Title

Appropriation of Value from Airline Computer Reservation Systems

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2001

Abstract

It is difficult for the firm competing through information technology resources to gain a sustainable advantage because systems are easy to imitate and substitute resources are often available to competitors. The innovator may be unable to appropriate all of the benefits from information technology investments. Airlines have installed computerized reservations systems in travel agencies to appropriate the returns from their investments in information technology. The airlines expected to obtain a number of benefits from this strategy, including increased efficiency, possible bias in favor of the computerized reservations systems owner on the part of the travel agent, and fees from other airlines for making reservations for them. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the appropriation of value by computerized reservations systems owners from deploying systems in travel agencies. These benefits, beyond fees from travel agents, should be seen in the vendor airline's market share between cities and in the overall performance of the airline at an industry level. This paper models airline performance as a function of computerized reservations systems ownership at two levels: for selected city-pairs and at the overall level of the firm. The city-pair analysis employs a multinomial logit market share model that analyzes five years of data on 72 city-pair routes. The industry model uses longitudinal data for a panel of 10 airlines for 12 years. The results of both analyses support hypotheses that computerized reservations systems ownership is positively related to airline performance. It appears that strong airlines have appropriated the benefits of their computerized reservations systems, turning them into highly specialized assets for further travel-related innovation. This work offers useful theoretical extensions and methodological approaches for the study of similar kinds of network technology innovations that are currently being deployed in association with electronic commerce on the Internet.

Discipline

Computer Sciences | Management Information Systems

Research Areas

Information Systems and Management

Publication

Organizational Science

Volume

12

Issue

6

First Page

702

Last Page

768

ISSN

1047-7039

Identifier

10.1287/orsc.12.6.702.10087

Publisher

INFORMS

Additional URL

http://www.jstor.org/stable/3086042

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