Title page for ETD etd-01312006-100621

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Douglas, Anneli
Email jdouglas@mweb.co.za
URN etd-01312006-100621
Document Title The development of a conceptual model for the effective management of corporate travel
Degree MCom (Tourism Management)
Department Tourism Management
Advisor Name Title
Prof B A Lubbe
  • corporate travellers
  • corporate travel management
  • value conflicts
  • survey
  • South Africa
  • travel management company
  • business travel
  • corporate travel
  • suppliers
Date 2005-07-22
Availability restricted
Corporate travel is that segment of the business travel market that can be described as travel undertaken by the employee of a particular organisation that has a substantial travel volume and where travel arrangements are generally consolidated into a centralized function.

The management of the corporate travel function is ideally the responsibility of the corporate travel manager. The corporate travel management programme cannot be successful without the support of the senior management of the organisation, the corporate travellers, the travel management company (TMC) and various suppliers. Each of these stakeholders (management, travellers, the corporate travel management companies and the suppliers) has certain motivations and aims and uses certain processes to manage corporate travel. These do not always coincide and this can lead to so-called value conflicts. When these value conflicts occur between the role players, the effectiveness of the corporate travel programme may be negatively influenced.

The overall purpose of the research study was to identify these value conflicts and propose a model, which incorporates a common goal. The common goal that all the role players should strive towards is the achievement of an effective corporate travel management programme that satisfies the needs of all the stakeholders involved in the process. To this end, specific research objectives were identified and included:

-- The identification of the role players in the corporate travel management programme.

-- The identification of the values and objectives of each party in the corporate travel management process.

-- The identification of the value conflicts that exist between the respective parties involved in the corporate travel management process.

-- The assessment of whether organisations in South Africa manage their corporate travel programmes effectively.

-- The development of a conceptual model for the effective management of corporate travel.

A literature review as well as empirical research was conducted to achieve these objectives.

The literature review provided a demarcation of the broad concepts of business travel, corporate travel and components of the corporate travel management programme such as the travel policy, travel data, the travel expenditure procedure and the travel management process. Also discussed in the literature review were the roles of management and corporate travellers, the travel management company (TMC) and the suppliers. The literature review also identified the nature of the relationships between the stakeholders in the management process. Furthermore the actions required by stakeholders to ensure an effective management process were drawn from the study of the literature on the subject and discussed.

Finally, an appropriate model that could depict the components and process of effective corporate travel management were sought. The so-called ‘Soft Value Management Model‘ was selected and conceptualised in terms of corporate travel management.

The empirical research was conducted as a formal, descriptive and explanatory study and based on the conceptual model for the effective management of corporate travel. In applying this model it was first necessary to describe the needs and values of the role players involved in the corporate travel market within South Africa, as it existed, without manipulation or control of any elements involved under the study.

The four stakeholders namely management, corporate travellers, TMCs and suppliers made up the target populations of the study. Management were represented by the individuals concerned with managing the corporate travel function of organisations in South Africa while corporate travellers were defined as all employees of a specific organisation within South Africa. TMCs were selected travel companies specialising in corporate travel, and suppliers included airlines, hotels and car rental companies. Due to the nature of the databases available, non-probability sampling methods, namely convenience and purposive sampling, were used in this study. The researcher used quantitative as well as qualitative methods to gather data. Quantitative methods used to collect data from corporate travellers and organisations included self-administered, structured questionnaires with no field workers, while in depth interviews and partially unstructured questionnaires, a qualitative method; was used to collect data from TMCs and suppliers.

Quantitative data analysis primarily included the use of descriptive statistics and non-parametric tests, while qualitative data analysis involved content analysis through coding and categorisation to assess the needs, values and opinions of role players within the corporate travel market.

A limitation of the study within which data analysis occurred was the low response rate. However, this study shows a number of significant results and provides a valuable contribution to the corporate travel literature.

This study shows that the role players within the corporate travel market all have their own specific needs and opinions about technology, revenue agreements, and what constitutes an effective travel management programme to name but a few. Furthermore, the results show that value conflicts exist between corporations, corporate travellers, TMCs and suppliers. The results should enable role players to identify these value conflicts and by applying the process in the model, goal achievement could be ensured. The implementation of the proposed model could ultimately lead to a more successful, effective travel management programme to the equal benefit of all involved.

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