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Information Technology Adoptions in Public Assembly Facilities: Benchmarking and Strategic Objectives


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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ADOPTIONS IN PUBLIC ASSEMBLY FACILITIES BENCHMARKING AND STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES By RENEE JANESE MUSSON A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN RECREATIONAL STUDIES UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2003

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Copyright 2003 by Renee Janese Musson

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I would like to dedicate this project to my children Kyle Edward Musson and Kacey Virginia Musson, who have stood by me and have been the lights of my life.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This year has been one of the darkest periods in my life due to a great personal loss, but, through it all, my children, Kyle and Kacey, have been the guiding lights that have kept the darkness from overtaking me. I was able to accomplish this project through their constant support, sacrifice of their time with me, and the knowledge that my ability to complete this project would set the stage for their reactions to life stresses. I must also thank my close circle of friends who supported me when I thought there was no reason to continue, who covered for me when this project took me away from work, and who loved me with all their hearts. I thank Catherine, Lynda, Mary, and Beth, for all they have done for me. My parents are owed a debt of gratitude for instilling in me a drive that carried me through and a sense of pride in my accomplishments. Their support during this difficult phase in my life can never be repaid and I owe them so much. My committee, Dr. Lori Pennington-Gray, Dr. John Spengler, and Dr. Michael Blachly, will forever be etched in my mind as individuals of the highest regard. Dr. Pennington-Gray must be specifically thanked for giving me the encouragement to continue this project through. Her advice, and support will never be forgotten. Finally, I would like to thank the peers in my industry who gave of their time for the data in this study. I know all of them are busy people and their moment of time at my expense is greatly appreciated. I hope that they find this information informative and useful. iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES...........................................................................................................viii LIST OF FIGURES.............................................................................................................x ABSTRACT.......................................................................................................................xi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem..............................................................................................4 Research Questions.......................................................................................................5 Hypotheses....................................................................................................................5 Definitions....................................................................................................................6 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................9 Public Assembly Facilities Defined...........................................................................9 Public Assembly Facilities as a Component of the Leisure Industry.........................10 Competitive Advantage Theoretical Framework.....................................................12 Technology in Service Oriented Fields......................................................................19 Competitive Strategy in the Travel and Tourism Industry.........................................20 Defining Measurements Organization Characteristics............................................22 Defining Measurements Strategic Priorities............................................................24 Defining Measurements Managerial Attitude.........................................................28 Study of Technology in US Hotels.............................................................................31 Study of Technology in Public Assembly Facilities...................................................32 Summary.....................................................................................................................37 3 METHODOLOGY.....................................................................................................39 Research Design.........................................................................................................39 Sample........................................................................................................................39 Survey Development..................................................................................................40 Operationalization of Variables..................................................................................41 Analysis......................................................................................................................44 v

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4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................46 Respondent Profile......................................................................................................46 Age......................................................................................................................48 Gender.................................................................................................................48 Years of Experience............................................................................................48 Education.............................................................................................................49 Field of Study......................................................................................................49 Information Technology Skill Level...................................................................49 Position Title.......................................................................................................50 Facility Profile............................................................................................................50 Information Technology Strategic Planning.......................................................52 Effects of the Events of September 11, 2001......................................................52 Training...............................................................................................................53 Use of Technology and Focus on Technology....................................................53 Management Support and Industry Comparison.................................................53 Facility Market and Type....................................................................................53 Management Structure.........................................................................................54 Number of Computers.........................................................................................54 Information Technology Expenditures................................................................55 Facility Age.........................................................................................................55 Facility Size.........................................................................................................56 Facility Budget....................................................................................................58 Information Technology Implementation Profile.......................................................59 Technology Implementations..............................................................................60 Website and Website Updating...........................................................................61 Employee Productivity........................................................................................63 Revenue Enhancement........................................................................................63 Customer Service.................................................................................................64 Analysis of Variations of Priorities Based on Facility Characteristics.......................65 Facility Type........................................................................................................65 Facility Age.........................................................................................................66 Facility Size.........................................................................................................67 Facility Budget....................................................................................................67 Facility Management Structure...........................................................................68 University verses Non-University Facilities.......................................................69 Analysis of Managerial Attitudes Toward Information Technology.........................69 Analysis of the Challenges of Implementing Information Technology.....................72 Summary.....................................................................................................................74 5 DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS....................................................................75 Summary of Methods.................................................................................................75 Discussion of Findings...............................................................................................76 Respondent Profile..............................................................................................76 Facility Profile.....................................................................................................76 vi

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Research Question 1: What Strategic Priorities (Customer Service, Revenue Enhancement, or Employee Productivity) are the Most Critical in the Selection of Information Technologies?..........................................................77 Research Question 2: Are There Variations in the Utilization of Technology Among Public Assembly Facilities Based Upon Various Facility Characteristics?................................................................................................79 Research Question 3: How Do the Managerial Attitudes of Public Assembly Facility Managers Affect the Acceptance of New Technologies?...................82 Research Question 4: How Does Specific IT Challenges Affect the Implementation of Information Technologies?...............................................83 Implications................................................................................................................84 Suggestions for Further Research...............................................................................86 APPENDIX A SURVEY INSTRUMENT..........................................................................................89 B IRB APPROVED INFORMED CONSENT..............................................................93 C BENCHMARKING BY FACILITY TYPE...............................................................94 LIST OF REFERENCES.................................................................................................101 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................105 vii

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Technological Implementations and Their Associated Strategic Priority.............41 3-2 Managerial Attitudes..............................................................................................43 4-1 Respondent Profile for Information Technology Survey.......................................47 4-2 Facility Profile for Information Technology Survey.............................................51 4-3 Number of Computers in an Organization.............................................................55 4-4 Information Technology Expenditures by Facility Type (in thousands)...............55 4-5 Age of Respondent Facilities.................................................................................56 4-6 Facility Size by Facility Type (in thousands)........................................................57 4-7 Determining Range of Facility Size.......................................................................57 4-8 Facilitys Annual Revenues (in millions)..............................................................58 4-9 Determining Range of Facility Budget..................................................................59 4-10 Website usage and Frequency of Website Update.................................................59 4-11 Information Technology Implementation Frequency............................................60 4-12 Index Score for Strategic Priorities........................................................................62 4-13 Number of Employee Productivity Implementations............................................63 4-14 Number of Revenue Enhancement Implementations............................................64 4-15 Number of Customer Service Implementations.....................................................65 4-16 ANOVA of Facility Type and the Strategic Priorities...........................................66 4-17 ANOVA of Facility Age and the Strategic Priorities............................................66 4-18 ANOVA of Facility Size and the Strategic Priorities............................................67 viii

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4-19 ANOVA of Facility Budget Size and the Strategic Priorities................................68 4-20 Independent Samples T-Test Results of Public vs Private Management..............68 4-21 Independent Samples T-test Results of University vs Non-University Facility....69 4-22 Facility Profile for Information Technology Survey.............................................70 4-23 Managerial Attitude Categorized...........................................................................71 4-24 ANOVA of Managerial Attitudes and the Strategic Priorities.............................72 4-25 Frequency of Implementation Challenges (in Percentages)..................................73 4-26 Correlations Between Challenges and Strategic Priorities with Pearsons R........73 C-1 Percentage of Information Technologies Implementations by Facility Type........94 C-2 Information Technologies Implementations by Arenas.........................................95 C-3 Information Technologies Implementations by Stadiums.....................................96 C-4 Information Technologies Implementations by Performing Arts Centers.............97 C-5 Information Technologies Implementations by Complexes..................................98 C-6 Information Technology Implementations by Conf/Conv. Ctrs............................99 C-7 Frequency of Website Updates by Facility Type.................................................100 ix

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Tourism and Information Technologies Strategic Framework ...............................27 3-1 Relationship Between Characteristics and Strategic Priorities................................45 x

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Recreational Studies INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ADOPTIONS IN PUBLIC ASSEMBLY FACILITIES: BENCHMARKING AND STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES By Renee Janese Musson December 2003 Chair: Lori Pennington-Gray Major Department: Recreation, Parks, and Tourism A critical function for an organization is the development of a strategic advantage over its competition in order to ensure organization success and growth. The purpose of this study was to investigate the strategic priorities of public assembly facilities, specifically arenas, stadiums, performing arts centers, complexes, and conference and convention centers, when implementing information technologies. In addition to determining this priority, this study benchmarked the current information technology implementations for use by facility managers to utilize in their future planning. The data were collected from a survey of public assembly facilities located in the United States who had at least one member in the International Association of Assembly Managers. A total of 372 survey questionnaires were collected between June and August 2003. A representative sample resulted amongst all the venue types. The demographic of the respondents, while largely male, also reflected the demographics of the industry. xi

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The study showed that the public assembly facility industry primarily implements technologies that are geared to employee productivity, supporting the theory that information technologies are first implemented to solve productivity problems prior to implementing for customer service or revenue enhancement. Facility characteristics play a significant role in the determination of implementations. Performing arts centers are behind in employee productivity implementations and in customer service implementations but conference and convention centers were behind the other facility types for revenue enhancing strategies. Stadiums were ahead in all three types of implementation. Younger venues, larger venues, venues with an increased budget, and venues that are privately managed are all more likely to implement technologies. There was no significant difference between University and non-university venues in the revenue and customer service categories but non-university venues implement more employee productivity implementations. The final results of this study showed that a positive management attitude towards technology has a significant impact on the number of technologies implemented and that most of the four main challenges identified in the literature also effect implementations for facilities. The four main challenges included training, time, managerial experience, and cost. The only challenge not identified by management as a significant challenge was training. Facilities lack strategic planning for technology and this study clarifies directions and potential avenues for competitive advantages for facilities. xii

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION On New Years Eve, December 31, 1999, the nation held its breath waiting for the power to go off, planes to crash, and for the world as we know it to come to a screeching halt. As New Years Eve approached, the panic about what has become know as Y2K gripped the nation as computer programmers worked to re-program the nations computers allowing the processing of a four-digit year. Two little digits had the power to panic the world. This nationwide panic demonstrates how the use of computers is ingrained in our everyday life, even on the lives of those who do not personally own a computer. The number of individuals that own a computer is increasing rapidly. The expenditures of computers and related equipment has grown from 2.1 billion in 1990 to 92.3 billion in 1999, a change of 4,295.24% while the percentage change in consumer spending as a whole only increased 33.62%, firmly launching us into the age of technology (US Census, 2000). Because of this, information technology development has become a critical factor for organizational planning. Businesses are scrambling to find a strategic advantage in this age of technology and those in the service sectors are no exceptions. Information technologies strive to link employees, codify an organizations knowledge base, improve boundary-expanding capabilities, improve information processing, increasing efficiency, and enhancing collaboration (Dewett, 2001). The challenge is keeping up with developments and the 1

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2 creation of new opportunities what the IT world calls relentless innovation (Bacheldor, 2000). Businesses are finding that they must compete with the customer for the customers own business (Hill & Schulman, 2001, p. 156) meaning that consumers can utilize the Internet to arm themselves with more information than ever before. The savvy consumer can make purchasing decisions based on Internet research they have completed before they talk to anyone offering the service. Many service sectors are spending tremendous amounts of money to capture dominance with their newfound technological freedoms while other service sectors are lagging behind. With the growth in demand for computer based information and order processing, assessments are critical to insure the organization will not be placed at a competitive disadvantage. As time goes on, certain implementations of information technologies will become a strategic necessity and that implementation will bring no competitive advantage. The technology becomes a necessity when the failure to implement the technology results in a strategic disadvantage (Floyd & Woolridge, 1990). Public assembly facilities serve the public by hosting multiple entertainment avenues for communities to enjoy. The entertainment comes in many forms including sporting events, concerts, performing arts, expositions, conferences, lectures, family shows and so much more. As consumers become savvier, facilities have to act more business like than ever before. The reality is that opening the gates and switching on the lights is no longer sufficient to attract customers (Cornelisse, 2002, p. 145). Technology must become part of the event experience as today's concert-goers and sports fans need instant information and constant excitement (Christison, 2002). Has the public assembly facility industry kept up with technology growth?

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3 Doug Routh, an expert on multi-disciplinary telecommunications and information services, said that we are entering what he calls the ICE age. ICE stands for information, communication and entertainment (Routh, 1994). Information, communication and entertainment are three of the fastest changing industries and public assembly facilities are at the junction point of all three (Routh, 1994). Growth in the technologies of information and communication are well documented, especially in the tourism industry where information is the key to success (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001). The Internet addresses the fragmentation of the industry and opens up a whole new way of doing business for the tourism industry. Still, the Internets potential seems to be somewhat unrealized. An estimated 33 to 50 percent of all consumer-based Internet transactions are tourism related (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001). Public assembly facilities serve the recreational needs of individual thus they look to the recreation, travel and tourism industry for insights into consumer behavior and industry trends. A recent study by Siguaw, Enz, and Namasivayam (2000) looked at the strategic priorities of hotels to determine if the hotels were more likely to implement technologies related to customer service, revenue enhancement, or employee productivity. They also determined the influences on size, type, and ownership on the strategic priorities of technological adoption. This same type of analysis is needed for the public assembly facility to allow managers to benchmark themselves and strategically plan for technology. Organizations progress through five stages of information technology adoption (McKenney, 1994). These five stages include finding a solution to a problem, building competence, expanding the solution, enabling change, and evolving a strategy that will

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4 gain the organization a competitive advantage. Finding solutions to problems and building competence will create a better work environment and increase employee productivity. The next step is to expand the solution to improve customer service and, finally, with these two frameworks in place, implementations can begin that will increase revenue by building a sustainable advantage (McKenney, 1994). By examining the preferences given to the strategic areas of customer service, revenue enhancement, or employee productivity, this study hopes to gain a better understanding of the current patterns of information technology adoptions in the facility management industry. The study will also look for relationships between the level of information technology implementation and the specific facilitys characteristics and management attitudes in an effort to benchmark the industrys progress towards a technological advanced industry. To follow is a statement of the problem, several research questions, definitions of key terms and a review of the literature. Statement of the Problem Public assembly facility management dates back as far as history is recorded. Anytime large crowds gathered as spectators for an event, the organizers of that event were managing the public assembly (Peterson, 2001). Even with its rich history, the formalized academic discipline of facility management is just beginning with the development of masters level graduate degree programs and formalized study. Due to the lack of formalized research in this field, facility managers are trained and receive their information from academic programs in similar industries, such as travel and tourism. In order to obtain a research framework to determine the technological progress of the industry, this research is based on the recent study of United States hotels. This hotel study examined the utilization of information technology in hotels to capture

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5 information about strategic differences and similarities among the studied hotels. (Siguaw, Enz, & Namasivayam 2000). Since minimal information is available for the facility management industry, this thesis performs a similar review of public assembly facilities to obtain needed benchmarking of their progress towards information technology implementation and best practices for gaining a technological strategic advantage. Research Questions The following research questions are addressed in this study. 1. What strategic priorities (customer service, revenue enhancement, or employee productivity) are the most critical in the selection of information technologies? 2. Are there variations in the utilization of technology among public assembly facility based upon the following characteristics? 2a. Type of facility: arena/amphitheater, stadium, convention/conference center, performing arts center/auditorium, or complex. 2b. Public assembly facility age. 2c. Public assembly facility size. 2d. Facility budget level. 2e. Management of a facility by a public entity or private entity. 2f. Operation of a facility within a University setting. 3. How do the managerial attitudes of public assembly facility managers affect the acceptance of new technologies? 4. How do specific IT challenges affect the implementation of information technologies? Hypotheses H1: Employee productivity is a strategic priority when making decisions about the implementation of information technologies.

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6 H2a: There is no significant difference between the various facility types and implementation of information technologies. H2b: There is no significant difference between age of the facility and implementation of information technologies. H2c: There is no significant difference between size of the facility and implementation of information technologies. H2d: There is no significant difference between facilitys budget and implementation of information technologies. H2e: There is no significant difference between publicly or privately managed facilities and implementation of information technologies. H2f: There is no significant difference between a university facility or non-university facility and the implementation of information technologies. H3: There is no significant difference in managerial attitudes and implementation of information technologies. H4: There is no significant difference in information technology challenges (cost, training, time, management experience) and implementation of information technologies. Definitions Amphitheater. An open-air facility with a stage, some permanent seating, and some lawn seating area (International Association of Assembly Managers, 1996a). Arena. An indoor facility with fixed and/or portable seats surrounding an open floor area, which can be set with different event configurations. May have a permanent stage or use portable staging when necessary (IAAM, 1996a).

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7 Auditorium/theater. An indoor performing arts facility or concert hall usually with some type of permanent stage and permanent seats on a raked (sloped) floor, or may have a center or thrust stage with either permanent and/or portable seating (IAAM, 1996a). Complex. A combination of two or more facility types governed by the same management and accounted for with joint financial records (IAAM, 1996a). Convention center. A facility with large exhibit areas, supplemented by a variety of different sized meeting rooms (IAAM, 1996a). Demographic information. For the purpose of this study, demographic variables collected on the individual completing the survey will include position in the organization, age, gender, number of years experience in the industry, and education level. Facility management. A field concerned with the supervision and organization of daily operations and employees of a sports, recreational, or theatrical venue (Reinhart, 1999) Facility types. Include arenas, amphitheaters, stadiums, convention centers, performing arts centers, and complexes (IAAM, 1996a). Information technologies (IT). Technologies that provide support of business activities through the use of hardware and software that collects, transmits, processes, and disseminates information (Cho & Olsen, 1998). International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM). The dominant professional organization in the facility management field (Reinhart, 1999).

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8 Public assembly facilities (facilities). Facilities built to allow the general public to gather to enjoy concerts, sporting events, expositions, lectures, performing arts presentations, conventions, and various other types of entertainment and recreation. In this study, public assembly facilities include arenas, stadiums, convention centers, performing arts centers, and complexes comprised of multiple of the above facilities. Public assembly facilities will be the units of analysis for this study. Stadium. A large facility, either open-aired or domed, with fixed seats or bleachers surrounding a field area (IAAM, 1996a). Strategic Priorities for Technology. The technological focus of an organization. The primary focus areas would be customer service, revenue enhancement or employee productivity. Units of analysis. The public assembly facility.

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The follow is a review of literature relevant to the study of information technology implementations in public assembly facilities. Public assembly facilities are defined and their place in the leisure industry is explained. A theoretical framework surrounding the necessity of a organization to maintain a strategic advantage over its competition and technologys role in that strategic plan is reviewed. This framework is applied to service industries and specifically the tourism industry and the variables in question for this study are introduced. Finally, a study of strategic priorities in US hotels lays the groundwork for this study and specific information about public assembly facilities is presented. Public Assembly Facilities Defined From as far back as 1500 BC when the Egyptians promoted sports and physical activity for the nobility, special facilities were constructed to host events and sporting contests. The need for facilities continued with the Chinese empires during 1100 BC and developed even further trough the Greek and Roman empires (Farmer, Mulrooney, & Ammon, 1996). In modern culture, one of the ways a community continues to fill the need for large scale recreational and sporting events is through the funding of public facilities. Public assembly facilities provide a place for sport, recreation, spectacle, artistic expression, political gatherings, religion, and various other commercial activities including conventions, meetings and trade shows. Public assembly facilities include any facility constructed to allow the public to assemble such as those with descriptive titles such as arena, stadium, civic center, 9

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10 amphitheater, convention center, conference center, congress center, exhibition hall, performing arts center, performance hall, auditorium, mega-theater, ballpark, trade center, merchandise mart, multi-purpose facility, fair ground, racetracks, and others (Peterson, 2001). While facilities can be described in various ways and are structured for different purposes, there are similarities in the management of these facilities. For the purposes of this study, all of the facility types have been combined into five main groups including arenas/amphitheaters, stadiums, auditoriums/performing arts centers, convention/conference centers, and complexes (IAAM, 1996a). The differences between these groups are discussed in more detail later in this chapter but these groups all share the common purpose of supporting the recreational needs and quality of life of a community. As an industry, these facilities share enough similarities that the profession of public assembly management can establish a body of knowledge used to shape the way the profession carries out the function of facility management (IAAM, 1996b). Public Assembly Facilities as a Component of the Leisure Industry Communities are formed from individuals banding together for safety, social, economics and mutual support. They grow and prosper because this togetherness is essential for human existence. A communitys perception as successful or attractive is directly related to that communitys quality of life (Allen, 1991). Quality of life can be defined as a composite rating of various life experiences relating to the individual and the environment around them (Allen, 1991, p. 333). Quality of life is a difficult concept to determine but literature supports that the activities one partakes in during their leisure time will dramatically impact their quality of life (Marans & Mohai, 1991, p.355). As communities grow, residents will seek facilities that meet their recreational desires and will push to have recreation amenities in their own communities to avoid the required

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11 travel to a metropolitan area. Just as the growth in a community will generate growth in the essential public functions such as utilities, emergency response, and schools, the increasing and changing population will demand more facilities for their leisure time (Peterson, 2001). This public push is a direct effect from a communitys desire to increase their own quality of life and to fulfill their recreational needs. In addition to fulfilling the communitys need for recreation, public assembly facilities contribute to a communitys financial stability through the promotion of tourism to the area. While the benefits of tourism are distinctly seen with a conference and convention centers ability to attract visitors from outside the local area, the other facility types (arenas, stadiums and performing arts centers), can also bring economic benefit to a community through dollars spent in the local community (verses outside the community) and through urban renewal (Peterson, 2001). The economic impact a facility has on a community is often reported in addition to a facilitys financial position as an indicator of the facilitys success and to show the strong relationship the facility has with the local tourism industry (Graham et al., 2003). Public assembly facilities are utilized by the public and, as such, are intensively competitive, even when their goal is not to amass profits. In some situations, the success of a public assembly facility is based upon their ability to stimulate the local economy through development and through the multiplier effect (Farmer, Mulrooney, & Ammon, 1996). When economic impact is used as a measure of success in lieu of a positive bottom line, it must be proven that the economic dollars spent in the community that are being attributed to the facility would not have been spent if that facility was not there (Peterson, 2001). This requirement ensures that public assembly facilities compete with

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12 all forms of entertainment and recreation, not just other facilities, for the patrons attention and financial support. Success and failure of a facility will depend upon the ability to know the market and to develop a competitive edge. Competitive Advantage Theoretical Framework As defined by Porter (1980), competitive strategy is the development of a plan to gain advantages over competitors through the use of cost leadership, differentiation, cost focus or differentiation focus. A sound strategy should consist of a focused, favorable, sustainable, and advantageous position over the competition. The strategy must be dynamic, as time will change all the factors affecting the business. No matter where the organization is in its life cycle, and even after long standing periods of competitive stability, disruptions can occur when there is a move by the competition or a change in market forces. An analysis of the industry as a whole is a critical first step in building a competitive strategy that will combat these changes in a fluid marketplace (Porter, 1980). A firms competitive strategy should consider the forces that effect their operation, and a firm should understand those forces better than their competitors in order to achieve success. While generating this understanding a firm should also understand that they are not restricted to the industrys current structural mix and look for new and inventive ways to change the industry forces. Quality competitive strategies will work to not only shape the organization but also shape the surrounding industry allowing the organization the ability to manipulate some of the variables and ultimately help change the rules of the industry. In this way, the organization creates a strategic innovation. Porter states that strategies can be placed into four generic categories: cost leadership, differentiation, cost focus, and differentiation focus. Once an organization has determined which strategy suites their strengths, they must complete a competitive

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13 analysis to insure the stability and protection of their strategy. Failure to do so could result in the organizations becoming stuck in the middle with no real competitive edge. Failure to fully comprehend the current and potential competition, and failure to track the competition will ultimately lead to a decline in the effectiveness of the organizations strategy. Competitive analysis and strategic benchmarking should include review of four components, competitors current strategy, their capabilities, their future goals, and their assumptions about themselves and the industry. An understanding of a competing firms current strategy is essential to insure two organizations in the same industry do not have an identical strategy. In addition, a review of competitors goals will reveal significant information about a competitor. It will show if they are satisfied with their current position in the industry and what initiatives they are about to be undertaken. Identification of the competitions assumptions about their current situation can lead to strategic advantages if the competitor has made assumptions that are known to be false. Conversely, should a competitor be acting on an assumption that was not recognized before, the competitor may end up in the advantageous position of being able to provide a unique product. Finally, a review of the capabilities, the strengths and weaknesses, of the competition is critical to discovering weaknesses and to turning weakness into gains. One of the least reviewed but critical capabilities that must be examined is the background of the upper management. Those in top management shape the organization. Top managements past history can show significant trends and assist with predictions about how a manager will act in the future. For example, managements responsiveness to market signals of change can be monitored to see if they are more cautious or more

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14 risky. This information can be used to get ahead during times of economic flux. As with all other strategic analysis, the review of a competitors strengths and weaknesses must be continually monitored. Understanding the industry as a whole and understanding the individual players in an industry are important to a firms strategic plan but the true focus of any strategic plan must be the strategic advantage that the company seeks to capitalize on. In 1985, Michael Porter introduced the concept of competitive advantage. True competitive advantage is the ability to create value for the customer that exceeds the firms cost of creating that value. To accomplish this, all members of the value chain must be engaged in the pursuit of competitive advantage. The value chain consists of the suppliers to an organization, the organization itself, and the customers who benefit from the companys product or service. All of the levels of the value chain should work together to create buyer value. Increased value to the buyer increases competitive advantage. Value is the amount that buyers are willing to pay for the companys output, be it a good or a service. As stated, a competitive strategy must plan for a unique product, a focus on a target customer, or extreme efficiency. Through these plans, a company can increase the value of the product. Keep in mind, the strategic advantage must not only physically differentiate itself from other, similar, products, it must also be perceived as different by the intended target. In addition, the differentiation must be sustainable. Creating barriers, long-term strategic planning, and technological growth are some ways to sustain this competitive advantage. Technological growth has posed unique challenges to planning a competitive strategy and maintaining a competitive advantage. Technological change plays a major

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15 role in the structure changes in all industries. Of all the things that can change the rules of competition, technological change is among the most prominent. (Porter, 1985, p60). Technology affects competition by giving companies ways to outperform their rivals, by changing the structure of the industry, and by creating new businesses. Technology changes not only the scientific developments of the organization, but also replaces traditional methods of doing business. Information technology can expedite the transfer of information. Process planning can be streamlined through the use of electronic modeling and computer aided designing, and office productivity can be increased through the development of office efficiencies. Porter further states that the impact of information technology is developing at a faster rate than managers can operationalize (Porter, 1985). Technology will only become a competitive advantage if it contributes to cost or position differentiation, as required for a true competitive advantage. Technology is suited for gaining economies of scale, timeliness, and relationship positioning. The best example of this is Federal Express who utilized technology to gain all three advantages through its customer service oriented package tracking, guaranteed delivery on time, and the distribution system to deliver an amazing amount of packages (Porter, 1985). While technology can give an organization a competitive advantage, the sustainability issue remains. Technological advances only stay an advantage until a competitor utilizes the technology, then the technology becomes a minimum criteria to stay competitive. Technology will lead to a sustainable advantage if the technology delivers a system or product that is in the organizations favor, is difficult to imitate, continues to be pioneered to new levels of knowledge, and it improves the entire

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16 industry. One note of importance is that technological change must improve the entire industry. If change is detrimental to the industry, it will ultimately cause even its creator to suffer as the industry declines (Porter, 1985). When building a technological strategy, a firm has to decide how to allocate funding from their limited budget resources (Porter, 1985). A clear plan is necessary to insure that the costs of developing technology will produce results that will assist with the firms overall competitive strategy. A firm must also decide if they want to be a technological leader or follower. The leader may reap the benefits of being the first to adopt a specific technology but they may also pay a higher price for the innovation. Taking the leadership role should be considered if the competition would have difficulty in duplicating the innovation or if the company has the ability to continue to produce innovations faster and cheaper than their competition. The company must also be prepared to train staff, as new innovations will not have a pre-made human resource pool to choose from. Management attitude will play a major role in the success of any technological implementation. In most cases, those managers who are innovative and are the first to market a new technology do not have as big an advantage as those who learn how to effectively incorporate the technology into the system. The ability of a firm to anticipate the evolution of technological change in their industry, and the managements ability to incorporate their findings in their strategic plan will be essential to a companys success. To accomplish a strategic plan for technology, management must first assess the intensity of information needed for their products, services, or processes. The more information a customer needs to make a purchase decision, the greater the need for

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17 informational technologies to manage the product or service. Next, the organization should rank the technologies according to which technology will give the company a greater competitive advantage. The organization must then consider the technologies ability to create new business. After all of this is considered, the organization must develop a plan for their use of technology to insure the end result will be positive and that a true competitive advantage will be gained. In 1997, Michael Porter summed up competitive advantage by stating that companies must have a clear vision of how they can be unique. They must work to improve the industry as a whole, and not just their organization, and they must value the trade-offs they have made to gain their unique position as those trade-offs will help create the barriers and sustainability required to insure continued advantage. Above all, the organization must be aggressive in continuously reviewing and updating the value it delivers as the industry and world around them changes. They must have the foresight to strategically plan for change and continue their future success (Porter, 1997). In order to adapt, the ability to manage change is critical. Change management includes focusing on evolving customer needs, evolving technologies for meeting customer needs, and evolving managerial practices (Porter, 1999). Technology is transforming the nature of products, processes, companies, industries, and even competition itself (Porter & Millar, 1985, p149). Change is needed for an organization to thrive in the information age. Physical changes are not the only things that must change; managerial attitudes must evolve as well. It is easy for management to get caught up in the technological wave without having the knowledge to manage that

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18 change. They need to strategically plan for the changes or the benefits of technology will be missed in the rush to implement technology. If technology, like all other resources, is not managed and strategically planned, the potential competitive advantages that technology can bring will quickly turn into competitive disadvantages. Technology becomes a necessity because failure to implement the technology results in a strategic disadvantage. A perfect example is the implementation of automatic teller machines (ATMs) in the banking industry. The first bank to introduce the technology reaped great rewards while the other banks struggled to catch up. Now there are no strategic advantages for banks to have an ATM service, but should a bank fail to provide that service, they would be at a strategic disadvantage. In essence, the requirement of ATMs for banks has become a competitive burden (Floyd & Woolridge, 1990). For the travel and tourism industry, and interactive web presence is become as established as ATMs in the banking industry. There will soon be a time that the lack of a web presence will put the attraction at a strategic disadvantage (Govers, Jansen-Verbeke, & Go, 2000). Porter agrees by touting the internet as a required element for strategic planning for any organization (Porter, 2001). In summary, an organization must utilize information technology to advance their strategic plan and ensure they are working towards a competitive advantage instead of fighting a competitive disadvantage. Assessments need to be made about the organizations current characteristics and how the organizations structure can benefit from increase technological advancements. Managerial attitudes towards implementations must embrace the change and encourage an environment of innovation. Finally, organizations must look at their strategic priorities for information technology

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19 and move beyond limiting the use of ITs for employee productivity and look at the customer service and revenue generation potential. Technology in Service Oriented Fields Information technology transforms the nature of products, processes, companies, industries, and even competition itself (Cho & Olsen, 1998, p. 378). In the lodging industry, the implementation of information technology (IT) tends to be reactive instead of proactive. IT investment decisions are based on what others in the industry are doing or are implemented when an organization is placed under pressure from their vendors (Cho & Olsen, 1998). Managers in the lodging industry are very aware of the importance of IT development as they believe IT has a major influence on competitive scope through the increased efficiencies that come from the ability to compete in a wider area and the ability to join forces with strategic partners. In summary, the main focus for IT implementation in the lodging industry is not to increase revenue but to reduce costs by improving efficiencies and increase customer satisfaction by providing convenient services to customers (Cho & Olsen, 1998). Web sites are a critical function of all service organizations. Web sites have the ability to collect data in an automated and methodological manner and to change consumer behavior. An Internet based study showed that visitations to a website changed the travel decisions of 53% of the visitors to that website, a very powerful argument towards the maintenance of a quality website (Tierney, 2000). While web sites typically focus on the information aspect of marketing, they also have the capability of completing the transaction, tracking the customer information, and increasing repeat business. On-line reservation systems are excellent examples of this

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20 web use. The most important elements of Internet effectiveness are quick loading speeds, fast responses, and added features. Mere Internet presence is no longer a competitive advantage but a business necessity (Law & Leung, 2000). The added features of a web site are what gives a travel organization a competitive advantage. The Web has changed from pushing firms and services to pulling clients into value-added opportunities that a copy provides. (Law & Leung, 2000, p.202). Competitive Strategy in the Travel and Tourism Industry The tourism industry is a prime example of how the lack of IT implementation can lead to a strategic disadvantage. Unlike durable goods, intangible tourism services cannot be physically displayed or inspected at the point of sale before purchasing. They are bought before the time of their use and away from the place of consumption. Hence they depend exclusively upon representations and descriptions (Buhalis, 1998, p. 409). The industry has traditionally provided this information in the form of brochures but the interactive experience that can be offered through the Internet is far superior to the old paper method and is more likely to attract travelers. Not to mention that the Internet can complete the transaction and gather information pre and post sale, qualities that brochures lack. The point has been reached where a lack of a web presence for a tourism destination would put that destination at a strategic disadvantage. The ability to use information technology is now available to everyone so IT does not alone afford a competitive advantage (Gretzel, 2000). Success is, instead, based upon the ability to manage the rapid changes and advances. Travel, and entertainment as a function of travel, is very information intensive therefore a perfect fit with the Internet as information dissemination is one of the strengths of the Internet. While traditional forms of advertising work to deliver a mass message, the web interacts and tailors information

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21 for the user. It is critical that the web presence go beyond being an information source and instead delve into providing a service and capturing information about perspective clients. The use of web measurement, ad-serving tools, database mining, collaborative filtering, behavioral analysis, and presentation tools can all contribute to a competitive advantage when utilized to segment the target market (Gretzel, 2000). Effective sites must be accurate, timely, attractive, easily searchable, interactive, and they must respond quickly to user input (Gretzel, 2000). On-line consumers not only want the information but they also want to be entertained. The site must add to the brand that the organization is trying to emulate. The customer must be able to create the positive mental image that is critical to an organizations development of a brand, without the benefit of the impression a physical facility can have on creating that brand image in a consumers mind. The use of the Internet, like any other business tool, must be managed and strategically planned. The continuous monitoring of the current offerings of the organization and tracking of developments in the industry are critical, regardless of the financial and human resource limitations (Gretzel, 2000). The Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) published a review of the use of the Internet by travelers and found that half of American travelers use the Internet and 93% of Internet users traveled in the year prior to the publication. The number of online travelers has grown 190 percent since 1996. During a three-year period covering 1997-1999, there was a 1,500 percent increase in on-line travel planning and only 5% of those using the Internet said they would decrease their usage of the Internet for travel planning in the future (Joerchel, Stueve, & Cook, 1999). This staggering growth requires organizations to offer on-line services or suffer a competitive disadvantage and this trend

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22 is applicable to other service industries as well. There is no doubt that technologies have become instrumental in the development and prosperity of companies competitiveness by permeating all functions of strategic and operational management. Hence, tourism operators have to realize that failure to adopt and utilize them will lead to competitive disadvantages. This in turn can jeopardize the prosperity of destinations (Sigala et al., 2000, p. 405). Defining Measurements Organization Characteristics Organization structure has a tremendous effect on the success of IT implementation. In America, organizations are more likely to focus on IT as a competitive advantage where Canadian organizations look to IT for increasing partnerships and integration. These two philosophies of IT implementation directly reflect the cultures of the two countries and show that organization characteristics play a role in the adoptions of information technologies (Gretzel & Fesenmaier, 2002). In 2001, Dewett focused on the role IT played in moderating the relationship between various organization characteristics. He studied the strategic outcomes, organizational efficiency and innovations based on organization structure, size, learning, culture, and inter-organizational relationships. The availability and use of information systems and technologies has grown almost to the point of being commodity-like in nature, becoming nearly as ubiquitous as labor (Dewett, 2001, p314). As mentioned before, sustainability of a competitive advantage is a critical step to insure the continued success of any organization. In a study of restaurant firms, 36 of the 51 firms that were studied had a sustainable impact from a technological implementation. This sustainability was primarily attributed to the amount of capital available prior to the implementation and the existing technological resources (Huo, 1998). As a general trend,

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23 the larger the organization, the greater the chance the organization will have the increased capital needed for sustainability of technology growth (Huo, 1998). While this may hold true in most cases, it is also possible that the smaller organizations can offset the financial and technical constraints of implementation with their ability to be flexible when implementing innovations (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001). Smaller organizations also stand to benefit greatly from the advent of the internet as it allows them to compete around the clock and around the world at a minimal cost (Buhalis & Main, 1998). Regardless of physical size, budget constraints play a major role in IT development as it determines the flexibility the organization has on technological implementation expenditures (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001). Small and medium enterprises may be forced to use current technologies longer than their useful life due to financial constraints. This causes an integration gap, possibly leading to a competitive disadvantage for the smaller organization (Steiner, 2000). Specialization in the firm refers to the number of specialties within the organization. The more specialization of departments, the more likely the units will not understand the organizations wider goals. IT can help bridge this gap by providing knowledge sharing and increased communication. The greater the number of departments, the greater the need for widespread technology implementation (Dewett, 2001). Organizations strive to formalize their rules, operating procedures, norms, and values. Formalization seeks to reduce ambiguity and increase efficiency. Formalizations downside is shown in the increased time taken to search for the resources

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24 needed to meet organizational objectives but this time restraint can be addressed by IT implementation to speed up the information gathering process (Dewett, 2001). Both centralization and decentralization in an organization can benefit from information technology. IT gathers information in both directions either allowing the decentralized units to make faster and more efficient decisions but still keep the organizations overall goals in mind. The centralized organization (decision making authority is concentrated in one area of the organization) benefits from the increased and timely information from the front line management to allow for better decision making with more input for the lower levels of the organization (Dewett, 2001). The relationship of an organizations size and its use of technology is not clear. Some studies show that technologically advanced organizations have lead to a reduction in middle management as the dissemination of information is automated. But it has also been shown that IT implementation has increased organizational size (Dewett, 2001). Defining Measurements Strategic Priorities For most organizations, the initial use of information technology was to improve employee productivity in the areas of accounting, record keeping, clerical functions, and some order processing. It has expanded dramatically to enhance the organizations links to its customers and suppliers and is now being sought for its revenue generating abilities (Porter & Millar, 1985). New technologies have moved organizations into a more global economy increasing the competitive scope, expanding the revenue sources, and creating new and exciting relationships among businesses (Porter & Millar, 1985). Yuan, Gretzel, and Fesenmaier (2001) propose a similar progression from an initial push to improve employee productivity, to an improvement in customer service and finally to a revenue enhancing strategy. In this model, there is a three-stage movement in

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25 the adoptions of information technologies: (1) Automation, (2) Information, and (3) Transformation (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001). This progression is similar to the employee customer revenue model in that technology is used in a limited capacity during the first stage with increasingly more complicated implementations during the next two stages. In the final stage, technology is extensive and complex but it is at this stage that real gains are achieved (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001). Unfortunately, many organizations are not reaching the level of technological development that is required to truly reap the benefits from technological interactions. During the 2002 Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) 33rd Annual Conference, a paper, by Jeong, Gretzel, and Fesenmaier reviewed the Internet readiness of tourism organizations. Their study supports the belief that most organizations have not reached the readiness level that the technologies can provide which means the organizations investments in these technologies is not being well spent (Jeong, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2002). Their theory is based on two scales: 1) successful implementation of IT and 2) sophisticated use of IT. Their results show that successful IT implementation is not enough. An organization must be willing to continue to invest in learning and management of IT to be successful. The model also suggests that in order for an organization to reach Internet readiness it must have high capacity towards change, extensive and innovative use of technology, and successfully develop strategies towards implementation of new information technologies. By using a questionnaire that measured current technology use, management practices, and organizational variables (such as size and culture) they were able to create benchmarks that would help an organization perform a SWOT analysis. The results of

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26 the survey ranked the organizations with a readiness score to be used as an indicator of the current organization status and set the organization up for comparison data as they improved their effectiveness. The scoring system was based on additive scales based on the 5 point Likert scale and the results were also displayed on scales constructed to give the user a broader understanding of factors related to successful IT use. These addition scales included 1) organizational structure; 2) organizational culture; 3) leadership; 4) organizational environment; and 5) change management. These scales allowed organizations to reflect their score with organizations similar to themselves. Technological growth can expand an organizations ability to not only serve its customers, but also improve the efficiencies of its employees and strengthen its partnerships.

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27 The framework in Figure 2-1 was proposed by Buhalis (1998) for information technology implementation and shows an interaction between three main axis: IntraIntra-organisation Interorganisation Internet World Wide b File Transfer l Electronic il Electronic Data h Banking S Global Distribution S Computer Reservation S Destination agement S Destination Integrated C InformatioReservation Management S Systems i horizontal, vertical and diagonal integratio n InternetWorld Wide b File Transfer l Electronic il Electronic Data h Banking SystemsGlobal Distribution S Computer Reservation S Destination Management S Destination d fi Reservation Management S Package creation and di i b i Tailor made products d special interests hl i d ysDestination based p roductsInternetProperty Management S Point of S Management Information S Strategic Information S Decision Support S AccountinFood Production hl Inventory Cl Internet CD Roms Home C ing Electronic h Direct Dial in Electronic Shopping d Banking Relationship and Partnership marketing Consumer Figure 2-1: Tourism and Information Technologies Strategic Framework (Buhalis, 1998) organization, Inter-organization, and Consumers. Therefore, the model not only focuses on the consumer and the growth of marketing capabilities but it also focuses on the benefits to the internal organization and the benefits that can be gained through relations with other organizations. For example, capturing employee knowledge, streamlining distribution channels, and information gathering for strategic decision making are all possible and performed in a more efficient manner when IT is implemented with all of those functions in mind. IT transforms the strategic position of an organization by

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28 altering the efficiency, differentiation, operational cost and response time (Buhalis, 1998, p419). One final note by Buhalis is that the implementation of IT by following this model will not only help the specific organization but the destination grow as a whole (Buhalis, 1998). Dewett (2001) proposes that information technologies are classified into two meta-beneficial categories, information efficiencies and information synergies. Information efficiencies include technologies that save time and money and lead to better efficiencies allowing employees to function on a higher level. These include automated systems, word processors and other functions that are utilized by employees on a daily basis to get their jobs done. Information synergies are the gains from technologies that allow units to form across boundaries and allow the pooling of resources (Dewett, 2001). Within these two categories, five sub-categories emerge. They include the ability to link and enable employees, ability to codify the organizations knowledge base, expansion beyond boundaries, improved information processing, and improved collaboration/coordination to promote innovation. While all these categories can promote both efficiencies and synergies, employee linking and the codification of the organizations knowledge base are directly related to the ability of the organization to improve efficiency. The expansion beyond boundaries and improved collaboration that comes from innovations increase the synergistic relationships between organizations. Regardless of their primary function, Dewett also noted that all of these functions are effected by organizational structure (Dewett, 2001). Defining Measurements Managerial Attitude Critical to the success of IT adoption is the organizations mentality towards training. The adaptation of information technology must be synergistic with the

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29 organization and the organizations business strategy. This requires support from the top management levels of the organization in order to have continued financial commitment towards the technological application (Sethi & King, 1994). Management must not only supply the financial resources, but they must also supply the training and vision needed to successfully integrate information technology into their organization IT implementation requires training. A firm must maximize its absorptive capacity which is defined as a firms ability to recognize the value of new external information, assimilate it, and apply it commercially. (Dewett, 2001, p332) Therefore, a constant renewal of research and training is critical to an organizations continued success. Technology must be integrated into the way an organization works at all levels of management in order for the technology to increase the organizations productivity (Williams, 2002). Any innovation must be readily accessible to the individuals in the organization or to the end user in a format and with equipment that is easy to use (Lengnick-Hall, 1992). Being an organization that focuses on learning is vital to establishing competitive advantage in the new economy (Gretzel, 2000). An organizations culture is critical to the success of any IT implementation. The culture can be defined as the organizations pattern of beliefs, expectations, ideas, values, attitudes, and behaviors shared by the members of an organization. If the organizations culture does not support innovation, the innovation will not be successful for that organization. IT can also shape culture due to its open forum of sharing (Dewett, 2001). Other critical success factors in the implementation of IT are organizations views towards the amount of time that should be allocated to IT management and the types of employees an organization has. Organizations must understand that, while the time it

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30 takes to implement technology can be great, it is not the only time that must be expended on IT infrastructure. Information technologies must be managed and updated requiring a constant time commitment. The types of employees will also affect the effectiveness of IT systems, as age, education, previous experience, and position can all affect the utilization of IT (Dewett, 2001). Individuals who are older and who have worked in their industries longer have a tendency to avoid technological growth, possibly due to their comfort level with the current way of accomplishing tasks (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesemaier, 2001). In summary, IT must become part of an organizations culture, not just part of the organizations wish list (Dewett, 2001). An organizations aggressiveness in its development of IT seems to be directly related to the past experiences of the companys managers. In fact, a pattern was discovered that directly relates the structure for IT implementation with that of the organizations structure (Cho & Olsen, 1998). In a study of small businesses, the main driver in effective IT implementations was the chief executive officers involvement in the implementation and their knowledge of computers (DeLone, 1988). Even with the increased use of computers in the last decade, managers are still somewhat computer illiterate. Computer literacy, even for individuals currently in collegiate programs for tourism related fields, is still forsaken for other coursework (Williams & McKercher, 2001). However, education does seem to play some role in the ability of a manager to support technological growth. In a study of convention and visitors bureaus, those managers who had higher forms of education were more likely to support technology adaptations (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001).

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31 The relationship between a tourism managers technological experience level and their beliefs toward the use of information technologies has a direct impact on the implementation of the information technology. Tourism operations can benefit from the implementation of a marketing decision support system (MDSS), a specialized technology that assists with strategic decision-making. For an MDSS to serve its intended purpose, it must be accepted and used by tourism managers. There is a critical need for the managers of human-technology interactions to have a positive attitude about the implementation and offer both quality user training and a quality user interface in order to succeed (Wober & Gretzel, 2000). Study of Technology in US Hotels No empirical research could be found on how the public assembly facility management industry implements information technologies but a study by Siguaw, Enz, and Namasivayam (2000) studied this exact question for the hotel industry. The study showed that hotels implement technologies for employee productivity over guest service and that upscale hotels, convention-type establishments, and chain affiliated hotels were more likely to implement technology than their counterparts. The study was based on two independent samples of US hotels and the questions were divided into three strategic priorities: (1) improved guest services, (2) increased employee productivity, and (3) enhanced revenue. Guest service technologies included in-room modem, in-room Internet access and in-room fax machine. Employee productivity technologies included voice-mail, interactive guides, and e-mail. Revenue enhancing technologies included Internet booking, teleconferencing, cell phone rentals, and automatic teller machines.

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32 For organizational characteristics, the surveys captured the number of rooms, a self-reported value added classification (choices included: budget, economy, mid-scale, upscale, or luxury), what the hotels brand affiliation was, and lodging type (choices included: all-suite, extended stay, convention hotel, casino, conference center, condominiums, standard, motel, or bed-and-breakfast. Guest service technologies were the least frequently adopted technologies adding to the belief that information technologies are first implemented to find a solution to a problem and that most organizations are still treating technology as a cost center rather than something that can create value and competitive advantage. The follow-up discussions with the industry leading hotels led to the belief that successful adoption of IT must first have the support of senior management and buy-in from all departments. Training is critical to the success of adoption and on-going upgrading is crucial to its continued success (Siguaw & Enz, 1999). The development of best practices for this hotel study looked at many of the variables that can effect IT implementation including strategic purpose, cost, managerial attitude, organizational structure, and organizational size. These same properties can be applied to the public assembly facility industry in order to formalize their current position and to assist with the development of benchmarks in IT development. Study of Technology in Public Assembly Facilities In 1995, the then President of the International Association of Assembly Managers, Pat Christison said that Ours has not been an industry on the cutting edge and he also stated that one of the goals of the year should be to keep up with technology; or more truthfully, in the case of IAAM, change to acknowledge technology (Christison, 1995, p2). In 1995, a survey showed that only half of facilities were using facility management

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33 software and only 24% were using a computer for general accounting functions (Herrick, 1995). A survey done in 1996 showed that only 15% of facilities had a web page (IAAM, 1996a, p24). Now new technologies are popping up at tremendous rates in facilities as fans are demanding more from the experience then just the game or musical presentation, and convention goes are looking for complete connectivity and instant answers (Wober, 2000). Benchmarking the current position is a critical step to understanding how far the various types of facilities have come with technology implementation as benchmarking allows comparisons among businesses in an industry and encourages the improvements to an individual organization (Wober, 2000). Facility types. The International Association of Assembly Managers (1996a) divides facilities into 6 major distinct groups. These groups include arenas, amphitheater, stadiums, auditoriums/performing arts centers, convention centers, and complexes. While each of the facility types have a standard or typical configuration and use, it should be noted that they are not limited to their standard. Arenas are primarily defined as venues with a combination of fixed and portable elevated seating surrounding an open floor area allowing for a flexible setup structure. Arenas usually host multiple event types including, but not limited to, athletic events, concerts, speaking engagements, trade shows, and other various events (IAAM, 1996a). Larger arenas will tier their seating to allow for better sight lines for the viewing public. The current trend in arena development also allows for the development of premium seating arrangements such as box suites, club seating, and skyboxes (Petersen, 2001). Amphitheaters are open-air facilities with a stage, some permanent seating, and large grassy areas where patrons can utilize blankets or lawn chairs to view the

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34 performance. Amphitheaters usually host events similar to arenas (IAAM, 1996a). Amphitheaters are among the most common of facilities from ancient times, specifically Greek and Roman times. A primary attraction of amphitheaters for touring acts is their ability to offer large audience sizes at a lower cost than arenas due to the fact that permanent seating only represents about 40% of the facilities capacity with the remaining seating available in a large grassy area referred to as lawn seating (Peterson, 2001). For the purpose of this study, arenas and amphitheaters will be considered as a combined category due to the limited number of amphitheaters in the sample and their similarities to arenas in structure and use. Stadiums are typically outside venues or large domed covered structures whose primary purpose and design is geared towards a specific sporting event. They have fixed seating surrounding a field area and while they can support arena-type events, their purpose is usually to host baseball, football, soccer, major concerts, major civic events, and large scale spectacles (IAAM, 1996a). Performing arts centers primary function and design are focused around performing arts productions. The structures are typically multi-level, with fixed seating structures on a raked (sloped) floor. Performing arts centers, also referred to as auditoriums and theaters, will primarily host orchestras, the symphony, ballet, opera, stage presentations, drama, dance, touring Broadway shows, and other community events (IAAM, 1996a). Performing arts venues are built at a significantly lower costs then either arenas or stadiums and they offer the added benefit of the enhanced acoustics, which is needed to showcase their typical events.

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35 Instead of providing spectator recreation, convention centers, conference centers, and exhibition halls are built with the intention of increasing tourism to an area in an effort to promote the economic growth (Petersen, 2001). They typically have large, unobstructed areas with little or no elevated seating (exhibition halls) which are supplemented by a variety of different sized meeting rooms (IAAM, 1996a). Convention centers will typically be larger than conference centers and will include exhibition halls. Their primary function is to attract conventions, trade shows, consumer shows, banquets, receptions and meetings. Conference centers are usually smaller in size and focus on smaller meetings and educational seminars. Both convention centers and conference centers may have attached sleeping rooms and include a small theater. One final note, congress centers, generally found in Europe, are included in this category and are differentiated due to their size and ability to host multiple events simultaneously. Congress centers will often have one or more theater style facilities included within the main structure (Graham et al., 2003). Complexes include combinations of the above facility types managed simultaneously by a single management team and combined financial reporting (IAAM, 1996a). For purposes of this study, an other category is utilized to include all other special event facilities including fair grounds, racetracks, velodromes, tennis stadiums and pavilions. Venue size. Each venue type has a dramatically different purpose and structure. To differentiate between what would be considered a small, medium, and large venue, the following conventions apply as was utilized in the 1996 Industry Profile Survey performed by the International Association of Assembly Managers. An arenas size is

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36 measured by seating capacity. Arenas with capacities of under 7,500 are classified as small, 7,500 to 12,500 as medium, and greater than 12,500 are considered large. Auditoriums and theaters are considered small with seating capacities of less than 1,250, medium between 1,250 and 2,500 seats, and large when greater than 2,500 seats. Convention centers are sized based upon square footage. Small convention centers have less than 100,000 square feet of exhibit space. Medium size centers have 100,000 to 250,000 square feet of exhibit space and large convention centers exceed 250,000 square feet of space. Small stadiums have less than 30,000 seats. Medium sized stadiums have 30,000 to 60,000 seats with large stadiums exceeding 60,000 seats (IAAM, 1996a). Management structure. Facilities can primarily be broken down into two different ownership structures: public and private. Ownership category does not always determine management structure. Public facilities can be managed by private management teams but would ultimately report back to the public at large, usually through elected officials or a governing board. University and Non-University can further categorize ownership (Quinn, 1987). The differences between these two categories are worth examining due to the unique challenges that University owned venues may face. University venues have the challenge of having to meet both the needs of the University and the Community, which are sometimes at odds with each other. They also face the competition for financial support, as the University owner must make decisions to support core college programs over the presentation of events. This forces University venues to become entrepreneur by seeking community events while at the same time maintaining their mission for the University (Quinn, 1987). For purposes of

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37 this study, the focus will be on the daily management of the facility and allow for each facility to define itself as public or private and University or Non-University. It should be noted that all forms of public assembly facilities are usually entrepreneurial by nature, as pressures exist to perform in a fiscally sound manner. Almost all public assembly facility managers report to a higher authority, be it the president of a University, a non-profit or foundation board, municipality government, or the board members and shareholders of a corporation. Management structure and reporting can dramatically change how decisions are made and how money is spent, it is therefore critical to note the distinctions between the main classifications of management structure (Graham et al., 2003). Summary The impact of technology is felt on three different levels in an organization, the internal strategy level, the competitive strategy level, and the business portfolio strategy level (Bakos & Treacy, 1986). Internal strategies work to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an organizations internal structure, in essence, to improve employee productivity. Competitive strategies allow an organization to gain an advantage over a competitor and, in a service industry, the primary way this is achieved is through customer service. Finally, the strategy of increasing the business portfolio means looking for ways to increase revenue streams for the entity (Bakos & Treacy, 1986). This study examines public assembly facilities along the continuum of technological implementation. Are public assembly facilities implementing technologies on the base level for employee productivity or have they advanced into revenue producing avenues? Are some facilities better prepared and does management play a role in the technological growth of the facility?

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38 While the public assembly facility industry lacks research, the travel and tourism industry is used as a comparison industry to determine the effective use of technology as a strategic position for public assembly facilities. The strategic priorities examined include a facilities tendency to focus on technological implementations that are geared towards customer service, revenue enhancement, or employee productivity. Facility characteristics such as facility type, size, age, budget, managerial structure, and the effects of a University setting are examined to determine significant differences between the sub-groups of facilities. Finally, a look into managerial attitudes rounds out the discussion

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Research Design The study was performed through the collection of survey data of public assembly facilities. Major threats in the use of surveys include their tendency to be superficial and have possible validity questions since surveys cannot collect the emotions behind a subject and are inflexible. The intention of this study was to take a snapshot of the current status and an across the board comparison of technology in public assembly facilities. For both of these goals, the survey method ensured consistency in questioning and increased the reliability of the results. The unit of analysis for this study is public assembly facilities. Response bias based upon who in the organization answers the survey was controlled for through the analysis of respondent demographics. Finally, there is some question about content validity. Did the data collected adequately measure technological adaptations? To control for this, the researcher used the data for comparison between the various classes/sizes of facilities and reported the means for use in benchmarking. It was not the intent of this research to declare technological adequacy of individual facilities, but to report on the industry as a whole. Sample The data for this study was collected from public assembly facilities including arenas/amphitheaters, stadiums, performing arts centers/auditoriums, Convention/conference centers, and complexes. The list of facilities was generated from the electronic copy of the International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) 39

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40 membership directory as of January 1, 2003. This list included facilities with active members of the IAAM from facilities located in the United States. Due to the manageable size of the list, the entire list was surveyed through the use of e-mail since almost all of the facilities had a listed e-mail address. Direct mail copies were issued to anyone without an e-mail address. Survey Development A survey, following the guidelines from the tailored design approach, was created in order to help reduce coverage, sampling, measurement and non-response survey errors. (Dillman, 2000). Several demographic items were measured based upon questions utilized in a prior study of public assembly facilities (Reinhart, 1999). Additional insight into some of the survey questions was provided by a similar study on convention and visitor bureaus (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001) with the remaining questions created specifically for this study. After a pilot study of five individual representatives of the public assembly facility industry, the entire list of facilities was e-mailed a survey instrument with an offer to send the instrument via US mail should the respondent want to complete the instrument in paper format. The survey was also created electronically at a non-public website where the respondent was given the opportunity to complete the survey. The biggest challenge of the survey was collecting an adequate number from busy professionals. To combat this challenge, two follow-up e-mails were sent to non-respondents at two-week intervals. The respondents were also offered a copy of the results as an incentive to complete the survey.

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41 Operationalization of Variables The dependant variable for this study is the strategic technical priority of the facility. The strategic technical priorities include customer service, revenue enhancement, or employee productivity. The strategic priority was determined based upon an scale created of possible technological implementations as shown in the following table 3-1. Table 3-1. Technological Implementations and Their Associated Strategic Priority Customer service Implementations Revenue Enhancing Implementations Employee Productivity Implementations 1 Computer Aided Design Software Bar Code Ticket Scanning Accounting Software 2 Computerized Sound Monitoring System Electronic Marketing Automated Timekeeping-time clocks 3 Computer booking and scheduling High Speed Internet connection Computerized HVAC system 4 Interactive Kiosks In-House Ticketing Electronic Keyless Entry 5 Interactive Web Page On-Line Ticketing Electronic file imaging 6 On-Line Booking Point of Sale Inventory Systems E-Mail 7 Onsite Automatic Teller Machines Video Boards Fax Machines 8 Surveillance systems Video Teleconferencing Capabilities Networked Computers (Server based) 9 Two-way Radio Communication Wireless Internet Access Staff Mobile Phones 10 Web-based surveillance systems Other Staff PDA's 11 Other Future Implementations Telephone Intercom System 12 Future Implementations Two-way Mobile Phones (Nextel) 13 Voice Mail 14 Other 15 Future Implementations The customer service priority is based on an 12-item index. The revenue enhancing priority is on a 11-item index, and the employee productivity priority is based on a 15-item scale. The respondents score was divided by the total possible score for each

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42 priority resulting in a mean score for each of the three strategic priorities. Means were calculated for each of the constructs. Comparisons of strategic technical priorities were further analyzed based upon facility characteristics such as facility type, facility size, facility governance structure, budget level, management structure and university affiliation. Of the independent variables, facility type was self-defined by the respondent into one of the following nominal choices: arenas/amphitheaters, stadiums, performing arts centers/auditoriums, conference/convention centers, complexes, or other (with an open ended chance to define their organization). Facility size was coded as a nominal variable by the researcher as small, medium, and large but the survey collected an actual figure from the respondent in the form of their published seating capacity for arenas, stadiums, and performing arts centers or the square footage for convention/conference centers. Complexes were asked to provide their capacities and square footage, where applicable. Governance structure captured the nominal differentiation between public and private management structures as well as university and non-university facilities. Managerial attitudes towards technology implementations were analyzed. Managerial attitudes were based on a series of questions about respondents own beliefs on technological implementations and self-rated skill level with information technologies. They were also asked questions about the perceived organizational beliefs towards technological implementations as shown below in table 3-2.

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43 Table 3-2. Managerial Attitudes Survey Quest. # Question What Question Attempts to Measure 5 Does your organization have a formal strategic plan for the implementation of technology? Shows managements attitude toward technology as a formal part of a strategic plan 6 Has your organization implemented any additional technologies after the events of 9/11? Shows that management utilizes and plans for technology after major events that shape organization plans and behavior 7 Does your organization offer training to its employees in the use of information technologies? Shows managements awareness of the necessity to support training. 10 Do you believe the organizations leadership is: Shows leaderships support of technology 11 When it comes to technology, do you feel that your organization is: Shows leaderships idea of their positioning in relation to technology in the industry. 15 How would you rate your personal skill level with computer technology? Allows participant to self-assign a skill level. For the first three questions (question numbers 5, 6, and 7), the respondents were given a score of 1 for each of the questions where they answer yes. For question 10, the respondents was given 4 points for Supportive of technological growth, 3 points for Unaware of technological growth, 2 points for Dont know and 1 point for Against technological growth. For question 11, respondents were give 4 points for answering ahead of others in the industry, 3 points for similar to others in the industry, 2 points for behind others in the industry, and 1 point for dont know. Likewise, for question 15, the respondents were given 5 points for expert, 4 points for above average skills, 3 points for average skills, 2 points for somewhat unskilled, and 1 point for unskilled. The total possible score for managerial attitude is 16 with a minimum score of 5. Respondents scoring 5 points were considered unsupportive of technology, (low

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44 support). Those scoring 9-12 were considered neutral in their support of technology (medium support), and those scoring 13 were considered supportive of technology (high support). For question 12, a qualitative review was performed and summarized in a nominal form to report the greatest barriers to implementation. Challenges were measured on a five point likert scale, where 5 was strongly agree and 1 was strongly disagree. Respondents were asked to indicate how cost, training, time and experience prevented implementation of information technologies. A mean score was created based on the sum of these items. A score of 1 5 where 5 indicated a high challenge and 1 was no challenge. Finally, demographic information was collected including age group and gender of the respondent, geographic location of the facility, relative position in the organization, and years in public assembly facility management. All demographic data was reported as nominal variables. Additional open-ended questions were reviewed qualitatively for patterns and significance. Analysis The data was first reported through the use of several descriptive statistical measures including frequency data, percentage data and other measures of central tendency. Cross-tabulated results were generated to compare various demographic data and facility characteristics to specific adaptations based on the multi-item scales to measure each of the strategic priorities. Finally, an ANOVA analysis with means significantly different at the .05 level was performed against all H2 hypotheses and the H3 hypothesis to determine the significance of any relationship. Demographic data was

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45 demographics had any direct effect on the results. nd Strategic Priorities analyzed by frequencies and means to insure representation and to determine if these Figure 3-1. Relationship Between Characteristics a Type Arena, Stadium, Conference Ctr, Performing Arts Center, Complex, Other University vs. Non University Public vs. Private Budget Small, Medium, and Large Size Small, Medium, and Large Age New, Established, Historical Unsupportive Neutral Supportive Employee Productivity Customer Service Revenue Enhancement Facility Characteristics Managerial Attitudes Categories ANOVA Means Independent Variable Dependant Variable(Strategic Priorities) Highly Challenged Neutral No Challenge IT Challen g es

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS A survey of public assembly facility managers provided many insights into the current state of information technology implementations for the public assembly facility industry. Utilizing the International Association of Assembly Managers membership list from January of 2003, with duplicate entries removed, 1,017 surveys were delivered. Of that 1,017, a total of 89 surveys were returned as undeliverable leaving a total of 928. After multiple follow-up requests, the total number of respondents was 372 for a 40.1% response rate from the deliverable surveys. All but 36 of the respondents replied in an electronic format. The other 36 responded by returning the survey via US Mail. There are seven major sections covered in this chapter, which include: Respondent Profile Facility Profile Information Technology Implementation Profile Analysis of Strategic Priorities Analysis of Variations of Priorities Based on Facility Characteristics Analysis of Managerial Attitudes Toward Information Technology Analysis of the Challenges of Implementing Information Technology Respondent Profile The demographic characteristics of the respondents were somewhat varied. The demographic variables included age, gender, years of experience, education, field of study, information technology skill level, and position held within the facility. The results are given in Table 4-1. 46

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47 Table 4-1. Respondent Profile for Information Technology Survey Demographic Characteristics Frequency Valid Percentage Age (N=346) Under 26 2 0.6 26 to 35 46 13.3 36 to 45 112 32.4 46 to 55 149 43.1 56 to 65 33 9.5 over 65 4 1.2 Gender (N=349) Female 90 25.8 Male 259 74.2 Years of Experience (N=346) Less than 5 years 31 9.0 5 to 10 years 67 19.4 11 to 15 years 72 20.8 16 to 20 years 65 18.8 21 to 25 years 47 13.6 Over 25 years 64 18.5 Highest Level of Education Completed (N=350) High School 26 7.4 Bachelors Degree 211 60.3 Masters Degree 98 28.0 Doctorate Degree 4 1.1 Other Education 11 3.1 Field of Study (N=329) Business 103 31.3 Arts/Music/Theater 57 17.3 Hospitality/Leisure/Recreation 44 13.4 Sports Management 25 7.6 Journalism/Communications/Broadcast 17 5.2 Education 15 4.6 Political Science 11 3.3 Engineering 6 1.8 Information Technology Related Field 6 1.8 Medical 5 1.5 Other 40 12.2

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48 Table 4-1. Continued Demographic Characteristics Frequency Valid Percentage Information Technology Skill Level (N=356) Unskilled 1 0.3 Somewhat unskilled 32 9.0 Average Skills 177 49.7 Above Average Skill 132 37.1 Expert 14 3.9 Position Title (N=342) Director/General Manager 202 59.1 Operations Manager 62 18.1 Assistant Director 27 7.9 Associate Director 16 4.7 Business/Box Office manager 15 4.4 Event Coordinator 8 2.3 Other 12 3.5 The number (N) may vary due to missing values or responses Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding Age The majority of the respondents (75.5%) were between the ages of 36 to 55 with a combined frequency of 261. Few respondents were younger than 26 (0.6%) or over 65 (1.2%). The age categories of 26 to 35 and 56 to 65 were represented by 13.3% and 9.5% of the population respectively. Gender Males comprised 74.2% of the sample while females comprised only 25.8% of the sample. This gender differential shows that public assembly facility managers are predominantly male. Years of Experience Public assembly facility management experience levels were well represented in this sample. The smallest group of respondents (9%) had less than five years of

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49 experience followed by those with 21 to 25 years of experience. All other experience levels had roughly equal representation in the sample. Those who have 5 to 10 years of experience comprised 19.4% of the sample. Respondents with 11 to 15 years of experience comprised 20.8% of the sample. Finally, individuals with 16 to 20 years and those with over 25 years were almost equally represented with 18.8% and 18.5% respectively. Education The majority of respondents (89.4%) were graduates of a collegiate program with 60.3% having obtained a Bachelors Degree, 28% having obtained a Masters Degree, and 1.1% having obtained a Doctorate Degree as their highest form of education. Only 7.4% of the respondents marked high school as their highest level of education completed and 3.1% of the responses marked other. Field of Study Of the 329 respondents who declared their educational field of study, 31.3% hailed from a business program. The next highest category (17.3%) was from fine arts programs such as art, music, and theater. Hospitality, leisure and recreation disciplines comprised another 13.4% of respondents and 7.6% of respondents studied under a sports management program. The remaining 30.4% were from fields such as journalism and communications (5.2%), education (4.6%), political science (3.3%), engineering (1.8%), information technology (1.8%), medical (1.5%), and other categories (12.2%). Information Technology Skill Level The majority of the respondents (86.8%) declared that their skill level with information technologies were average (49.7%) or above average (37.1%). Only 9.3% of

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50 respondents felt that they were somewhat unskilled (9.0%) or unskilled (0.3%). Fourteen respondents ranked themselves as experts (3.9%). Position Title Of the 342 individuals who reported their positions within their organization, 202 of them (59.1%) were the Director or General Manager of their facility. The Director or General Manager title is indicative of the top level of management within that facility. The surveys were delivered to the Directors or General Managers resulting in the increase response from that position. In most cases, the responses from other individuals in the organization were due to the assignment of the response task from the Director or General Manager to a subordinate or that the name of the Director or General Manager was not available when the surveys were issued and the survey was sent to another individual in the organization. Facility Profile The characteristics of the facilities surveyed showed a diverse cross section of facilities. The variables included the presence of a written strategic plan for technology implementation, changes in technology since the events of September 11, 2001, training support for staff, strategic priorities, leadership support, position in the industry, annual technology expenditures, number of computers in the facility, facility market, facility type, seating capacity, square footage, management structure, university vs. non-university, and facility age. The results are given in Table 4-2.

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51 Table 4-2. Facility Profile for Information Technology Survey Demographic Characteristics Frequency Valid Percentage Does the Organization have a Strategic Plan for Technology (N=358) Yes 71 19.8 No 268 74.9 Unknown 19 5.3 Were additional Technologies Implemented Due to the Events of 9/11/01. (N=356) Yes 121 34.0 No 229 64.3 Unknown 6 1.7 Is Training Given to Staff for New Technologies (N=359) Yes 287 79.9 No 70 19.5 Unknown 2 .6 The Most Important Use of Technology (N=357) Customer Service 165 46.2 Revenue Generation 42 11.8 Employee Productivity 142 39.8 Other 8 2.2 The Organizations Focus on Use of Technology (N=357) Customer Service 150 42.0 Revenue Generation 53 14.8 Employee Productivity 144 40.3 Other 10 2.8 Level of Management Support of Technology Growth (N=372) Supportive 330 88.7 Against 1 0.3 Unaware 21 5.6 Dont Know 20 5.4 Self-Comparison to Industry as a Whole in Regards to Technology Implementations (N=358) Behind Others 87 24.3 Similar to Others 193 53.9 Ahead of Others 74 20.7 Dont Know 4 1.1

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52 Table 4-2. Continued Demographic Characteristics Frequency Valid Percentage Facility Market Type (N=350) Primary Market 105 30.0 Secondary Market 167 47.7 Tertiary Market 74 21.1 Other 4 1.1 Facility Type (N=352) Arena 96 27.3 Performing Arts Center 89 25.3 Conference/Convention Center 77 21.9 Complex 49 13.9 Stadium 15 4.3 Amphitheater 6 1.7 Other 20 5.7 Facility Management Structure (N=348) Privately Managed 145 41.7 Publicly Managed 203 58.3 University vs. Non-University (N=349 University Facility 99 28.4 Non-University Facility 205 71.6 The number (N) may vary due to missing values or responses Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding Information Technology Strategic Planning An overwhelming majority (74.9%) of facilities report that they do not have a strategic plan for the implementation of technologies in their facilities. Effects of the Events of September 11, 2001 The increased security and public safety concerns stemming from the events of 9/11 did not seem to affect facility managers decisions about the implementation of additional information technologies. Only 34.0% of facilities responding stated they implemented additional technologies due to the events of that historic day.

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53 Training The majority of facilities surveyed (79.9%) offer training to their employees in the use of information technologies. Use of Technology and Focus on Technology Organizations reported that both their use of (46.2%) and their focus on (42.0%) technology was geared towards increasing customer service. A close second was for employee productivity with 39.8% stating that was their primary use for technology and 40.3% stating that it was the primary focus. Revenue generation was listed as a distant third in both use (11.8%) and focus (14.8%). Management Support and Industry Comparison The majority of the respondents (88.7%) felt that their management structure was supportive of technological growth. Only 0.3% of respondents believe their management structure is against growth. This category might be skewed by the fact that the majority of respondents were also the top managers of the facility. The majority of the respondents (53.9%) believe that their facility is similar to other facilities in the industry. Of the remaining respondents, 24.3% felt they were behind their industry peers and 20.7% felt they were ahead of their peers. Facility Market and Type The majority of facilities responding to the survey (47.7%) were secondary market facilities. This was followed by primary market facilities (30.0%) and then tertiary market facilities (21.1%). There was a similar response rate for arenas (27.3%), performing arts centers (25.3%), and conference/convention centers (21.9%). Complexes comprised 13.9% of the sample, stadiums were 4.3% of the sample, and amphitheaters were 1.7% of the sample. The remaining respondents were from facilities other than

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54 those listed above. Due to the small sample of amphitheaters, responses from amphitheaters and arenas were combined for all of the analysis in this study. Management Structure Most of the respondents (58.3%) are facilities that are publicly managed while 41.7% are privately managed. Just over 70% of the responding facilities were non-university facilities while 28.4% were operated in a university setting. Number of Computers For benchmarking purposes, this category is reported based upon facility types. As noted in Table 4-3, stadiums have, on average, more computers than the other facility types. They have an average of 82.86 computers and range from having three computers to 200 computers. The mean number of computers for conference and convention centers is 43.80 but they reported the single highest number of computers in a single facility with a report of 600 computers. Complexes reported 42.44 as the mean number of computers with no complex reporting fewer than four (4) computers and one complex reporting 350 computers. The mean number of computers located in complexes is 42.44. Arenas have an average of 28.49 computers with the majority of arenas having 15 computers. One of the arenas responding to this survey reported that they do not have computers and one arena reported having 230 computers. Interestingly, performing arts centers utilize approximately the same number of computers as arenas with an average of 26.98 computers and ranged from having zero to 300 computers, which exceeded the top arena by 70 computers.

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55 Table 4-3. Number of Computers in an Organization Mean Median Mode Standard Minimum Maximum Deviation Stadium (N=14) 82.86 87.50 150 70.71 3 200 Conference Ctrs (N=75) 43.80 20.00 4 79.40 0 600 Complex (N=45) 42.44 25.00 20 58.60 4 350 Arena (N=91) 28.49 15.00 6 41.57 0 230 Performing Arts (N=85) 26.98 15.00 30 42.28 0 300 Information Technology Expenditures Stadiums were the leaders in expenditures on information technology spending with an average of $295,462 expended each year, as shown in Table 4-4. Conference centers spend an average of $157,860 followed by complexes at $56,995, performing arts centers at $38,489, and arenas at $35,868. This order is somewhat reflective of the number of computers utilized but differs between the rankings of performing arts centers and arenas. Performing arts centers spend slightly more ($2,621) annually than arenas but have an average of 2.36 fewer computers. Table 4-4. Information Technology Expenditures by Facility Type (in thousands) Mean Median Mode Standard Minimum Maximum Deviation Stadium (N=7) 295.46 75.0 35 417.79 25.000 1000 Conference Ctrs (N=58) 157.86 27.5 10 557.37 0.004 4000 Complex (N=40) 56.99 27.5 *5 104.50 1.500 650 Performing Arts (N=56) 38.49 12.5 10 63.27 0.020 375 Arena (N=64) 34.94 10.5 10 81.42 0.050 600 *Multiple modes exist, smallest value is shown. Facility Age The age of facilities responding to this survey ranged in age from facilities that were just completed (Age=0) to 125 years old. A breakdown of the facilities surveyed is shown in Table 4-5 Below.

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56 Table 4-5. Age of Respondent Facilities Mean Median Mode Standard Minimum Maximum Deviation Age of facilities 25.2 19.3 10 23.0 0 125 (N=334) Respondents entered facility age as a numerical value and then the information was recoded into three equal groups titled New, Established, and Historic. The facilities were categorized using frequency analysis and dividing responses into three equal groups. Facilities that were less than 12 years old were classified as new facilities. Established facilities ranged in age from 12-27 years old. Historic facilities were any facility that was over 27 years old. Facility Size Table 4-6 below describes the size of the various facilities that responded to the study. Stadiums, arenas, performing arts centers, and complexes are listed based upon seating capacity and conference centers are listed based upon square footage in order to provide a more useful analysis. Stadiums in the sample had a mean seating capacity of 53.42 thousand seats. Complexes had a mean seating capacity of 16.51 thousand seats. Arenas had a mean seating capacity of 11.43 thousand seats. Performing arts centers had a mean seating capacity of 1.99 thousand seats. Conference centers had a mean square footage of 113.57 thousand square feet of space.

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57 Table 4-6. Facility Size by Facility Type (in thousands) Mean Median Mode Standard Minimum Maximum Deviation Stadium (N=14) 53.42 56.45 42.50 25.90 .35 107.50 Complex (N=48) 16.51 11.75 8.00 20.29 .50 85.50 Arena (N=100) 11.43 10.00 10.00 7.31 .02 65.00 Performing Arts (N=88) 1.99 1.18 1.70 1.11 .33 6.33 (in thousands) Conference Ctrs (N=74) 113.57 44.10 24.00 182.10 4.26 110.00 Stadium, Complexes, and Arenas are based on capacity. Conference centers are based on square footage. The data was re-coded to classify each facility as small, medium, and large based upon the most significant indicator of size for each facility type. For stadiums, arenas, PACs, and complexes, facility size was based upon seating capacity. For conference and convention centers, facility size was based upon square footage of the facility. Size was determined using frequency analysis with an equal division into the three groups. A frequency analysis was run on each facility type independently to allow for a more accurate comparison. For example, a large arena has a seating capacity of 12,000 or more seats whereas a large stadium has a seating capacity of 65,000 or more. The remaining size breakdowns are listed in Table 4-7. Table 4-7. Determining Range of Facility Size Small Medium Large Facility Type Arena 0 8,099 8,100 11,999 12,000 and above Stadium 0 42,499 42,500 64,999 65,000 and above Performing Arts Center 0 1,499 1,500 2,059 2,060 and above Complex 0 7,199 7,200 13,499 13,500 and above Conference/Convention 0 25,499 25,500 74,999 75,000 and above Arena, Stadium, PAC, and Complex are reported in seating capacity. Conference/Convention Center is reported in square footage.

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58 Facility Budget As with other descriptive statistics in this section, facility revenue is reported here and in Table 4-8 based upon facility type. Stadiums have a mean revenue of $28.04 million. Complexes have the second largest revenues with a mean of $20.81million. Conference centers have a mean revenue of $10.97 million. The revenue for arenas is a mean of 6.63 million and for performing arts centers, the annual revenue is an average of $4.66 million. Table 4-8. Facilitys Annual Revenues (in millions) Mean Median Mode Standard Minimum Maximum Deviation Stadium (N= 9) 28.04 1.40 0.60 43.97 0.60 140.00 Complex (N=45) 20.81 3.00 7.00 75.83 0.12 500.00 Conference Ctrs (N=63) 10.97 2.80 2.00 25.14 0.09 140.00 Arena (N=60) 6.63 1.80 2.00 1.95 0.07 138.00 Performing Arts (N=64) 4.66 1.16 0.15 9.81 0.02 50.00 While survey respondents entered actual budget figures into the survey, each facilitys budget was classified as small, medium, and large using a frequency analysis with an equal division into the three groups. The frequency analysis for budget size determination was run on each facility type independently to allow for a more accurate comparison. For example, a large budget for an arena would be $2,000,000.00 whereas a stadiums budget would not be considered a large budget until it reached $23,000,000.00. The remaining budget size breakdowns are listed in Table 4-9.

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59 Table 4-9. Determining Range of Facility Budget Small Medium Large Facility Budget Arena 0,000,000 1,000,001-2,000,000 2,000,001+ Stadium 0,500,000 2,500,001-23,000,000 23,000,001+ Performing Arts Centers 0-500,000 500,001-2,000,000 2,000,001+ Complex 0-1,300,000 1,300,001-6,500,000 6,500,001+ Conference/Convention Ctr. 0-2,000,000 2,000,001-4,500,000 4,500,001+ All figures are in millions. Information Technology Implementation Profile Table 4-10 highlights the presence of websites and how often facilities update the information contained on their websites. Table 4-11 reports the implementation frequency for each specific information technology discussed in this survey. Table 4-10. Website usage and Frequency of Website Update Website Information Frequency Valid Percentage Does the Facility Have a Website (N=360) No 11 3.1 Yes 349 96.9 How Often is the Website Updated (N=352) Daily 82 23.3 Weekly 141 40.1 Monthly 85 24.1 Yearly 19 5.4 Never 2 0.6 No Web Page 5 1.4 Unknown 18 5.1 The number (N) may vary due to missing values or responses Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding

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60 Table 4-11. Information Technology Implementation Frequency Information Technology Frequency Valid (N=372) Percentage Fax 360 96.8% Email 358 96.2% Voice Mail 345 92.7% Networked Computers 329 88.4% High Speed Internet 324 87.1% Two Way Radios 317 85.2% Accounting Software 294 79.0% Staff Mobile Phones 285 76.6% Computerized HVAC System 284 76.3% Computerized Booking/Scheduling 233 62.6% Interactive Web Page 230 61.8% On-line Ticketing 213 57.3% Computerized Sound and Lights 208 55.9% Onsite Automated Teller Machines 206 55.4% Computer Aided Design Software (CAD) 202 54.3% Intercom System 199 53.5% Surveillance Systems 199 53.5% Automated Timekeeping 197 53.0% In-house Ticketing 190 51.1% Electronic Marketing 157 42.2% Staff Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) 142 38.2% Electronic Keyless Entry 135 36.3% Video Boards 127 34.1% Video Teleconferencing 120 32.3% Wireless Internet 110 29.6% Bar Code Ticketing 110 29.6% Electronic File Imaging 105 28.2% Direct Connect Phones (Nextel) 102 27.4% Point of Sale Inventory 102 27.4% On-line Booking 98 26.3% Interactive Kiosks 54 14.5% Web Based Surveillance Systems 37 9.9% Technology Implementations The top six implementations of information technologies include fax machines (96.8%), Email (96.2%), Voice Mail (92.7%), Networked Computers (88.4%), High Speed Internet (87.1%), and Two Way Radios (85.2%). Each of these items were utilized by over 80% of the facilities surveyed. Less than 30% of the facilities responding

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61 reported implementations of a wireless internet (29.6%), bar code ticketing (29.6%), electronic file imaging (28.2%), direct connect phones (Nextel) (27.4%), point of sale inventory (27.4%), on-line booking (26.3%), interactive kiosks (14.5%), and web based surveillance systems (9.9%). See Appendix C for a similar analysis further broken down by facility type. Website and Website Updating All but eleven (3.1%) of respondents had a website for their facility and most facilities (40.1%) update their sites weekly. There was equivalent reporting of daily updates (23.3%) and monthly updates (24.1%). Only 0.6% of respondents report never updating their sites and 5.4% state their updates only occur once a year. See Appendix C for a similar analysis further broken down by facility type. Strategic priorities included customer service, revenue enhancement, and employee productivity. These strategies were analyzed for all respondents to determine which priority is the most critical in the selection of technological implementations. An index score was created based upon the number of technological implementations checked by the respondent. Each implementation was an indicator of a specific strategic priority and one point was assigned to each item selected. The total for each priority was tabulated and an index score resulted based upon the total possible score for each priority. The survey also asked for additional implementations and for future implementations but the responses were so minimal that they were eliminated from the study. As shown in Table 4-12, facilities, on average, implemented more (64.8%) of the factors that were related to employee productivity. Factors related to revenue enhancement and customer service were implemented in approximately the same amount

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62 with 43.3% of the revenue enhancing technologies being implemented and 48.0% of the customer service technologies implemented. Table 4-12. Index Score for Strategic Priorities Mean Median Mode Standard Percent Deviation Implemented Employee Productivity (13) 8.43 9 9 2.66 64.8% Revenue Enhancement (9) 3.91 4 3 2.17 43.4% Customer Service (10) 4.80 5 5 2.47 48.0% (N=372) While the index score indicates that employee productivity implementations are a priority for organizations, the answers to the survey question directly asking the respondent to rate which strategy they personally felt was most important, employee productivity was slightly eclipsed by customer service in response rate with employee productivity chosen 39.8% of the time and customer service selected 46.2%. Revenue enhancement was a distant third with 11.8% of the respondents indicating this to be the most important use of technology. Respondents were also asked to indicate which strategy they felt their organization focused on when implementing technologies. As with the question about what they felt was most important, customer service was the leader with 42.0% of the responses. For this question, employee productivity was very close with 40.3% of the responses and revenue enhancement was only selected in 14.8% of the surveys.

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63 Employee Productivity Employee productivity implementations included accounting software, automated timekeeping-time clocks, computerized HVAC system, electronic keyless entry, electronic file imaging, e-mail, fax machines, networked computers (server based), staff mobile phones, staff personal digital assistants (pda), telephone intercom system, two-way mobile phones (Nextel), and voice mail for a total of 13 possible implementations. Table 4-13 shows that the majority of respondents implemented nine of these technologies. Table 4-13. Number of Employee Productivity Implementations # of Implementations Frequency Valid Cumulative Percentage Percentage 0 11 2.96% 2.96% 1 2 0.54% 3.50% 3 3 0.81% 4.31% 4 9 2.42% 6.73% 5 12 3.23% 9.96% 6 36 9.68% 19.64% 7 48 12.90% 32.54% 8 52 13.98% 46.52% 9 61 16.40% 62.92% 10 54 14.52% 77.44% 11 45 12.10% 89.54% 12 31 8.33% 97.87% 13 8 2.15% 100.02% N=372 Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding Revenue Enhancement Revenue enhancement implementations included bar code ticket scanning, electronic marketing, high speed internet connection, in-house ticketing, on-line ticketing, point of sale inventory systems, video boards, video teleconferencing

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64 capabilities, and wireless internet access for a total of nine possible implementations. As shown in Table 4-14, the majority of respondents (17.47%) indicated that they implement three or four of these technologies. Table 4-14. Number of Revenue Enhancement Implementations # of Implementations Frequency Valid Cumulative Percentage Percentage 0 19 5.11% 5.11% 1 33 8.87% 13.98% 2 50 13.44% 27.42% 3 65 17.47% 44.89% 4 65 17.47% 62.36% 5 55 14.78% 77.14% 6 38 10.22% 87.36% 7 22 5.91% 93.27% 8 17 4.57% 97.84% 9 8 2.15% 100.00% N=372 Customer Service Customer service enhancement implementations included computer aided design software, computerized sound monitoring system, computer booking and scheduling, interactive kiosks, interactive web page, on-line booking, onsite automatic teller machines, surveillance systems, two-way radio communication, and web-based surveillance systems for a total of ten implementations. The majority of respondents (16.67%) reported implementations of five of these technologies as shown in Table 4-15.

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65 Table 4-15. Number of Customer Service Implementations # of Implementations Frequency Valid Cumulative Percentage Percentage 0 23 6.18% 6.18% 1 14 3.76% 9.94% 2 37 9.95% 19.89% 3 33 8.87% 28.76% 4 60 16.13% 44.89% 5 62 16.67% 61.56% 6 42 11.29% 72.85% 7 42 11.29% 84.14% 8 32 8.60% 92.74% 9 25 6.72% 99.46% 10 2 0.54% 100.00% N=372 Analysis of Variations of Priorities Based on Facility Characteristics The relationship between various facility characteristics, such as facility type, age, size, and management structure, and a facilitys use of technology were analyzed using a series of one-way analysis of variances (ANOVA) for those characteristics with at least three factors and with T-tests for the characteristics that had only two factors. Tukeys Honestly Significant Difference (HSD) post hoc analysis was run on all of the characteristics with three factors. Tukeys HSD test allows the computation of a single value to determine the minimum difference between two means to show significance. It is a commonly used post hoc test in psychological research (Gravetter & Wallnau, 1996). Facility Type Due to the small size of amphitheaters responding to the survey and to the similarities of amphitheaters and arenas, the amphitheater respondents were categorized with arenas for the analysis of the data reducing the facility types to five groups. For brevity in the table, arenas will be signified by ARA, stadiums will be STA, performing

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66 arts centers will be PAC, conference and convention centers will be noted by CON, and complexes will be COM. There was a significant difference of information technology implementation strategies based upon the types of facilities as shown in Table 4-16. Table 4-16. ANOVA of Facility Type and the Strategic Priorities ARA STA PAC CON COM F Sig. (N=102) (N=15) (N=89) (N=77) (N=49) Employee Productivity 8.47 9.87 8.27 9.03 9.10 2.93 .021 Customer Service 4.77 5.93 4.29a 5.38b 5.47b 3.83 .005 Revenue Enhancement 4.49b 4.60 3.81 3.25a 4.45b 5.30 .000 Significant at the <.05 level Note: Superscripts indicate significant differences utilizing HSD post hoc analysis. For example Performing Arts Centers were significantly different from Conferences/Convention Centers and Complexes in their implementations for Customer Service but Conferences/Convention Centers were significantly different from both Arenas and Complexes in their revenue enhancement implementations. Facility Age A significant relationship was found between information technology implementation strategies and the age of facilities as shown in Table 4-17. Specifically, new facilities implement significantly more technologies in all three of the strategic priority categories. Table 4-17. ANOVA of Facility Age and the Strategic Priorities New Established Historic F Sig. (N=114) (N=106) (N=114) Employee Productivity 9.36a 8.44b 8.31b 7.92 .000 Customer Service 5.72a 4.88b 4.21b 12.72 .000 Revenue Enhancement 4.70a 3.54b 3.78b 10.68 .000 Significant at the <.05 level Note: Superscripts indicate significant differences utilizing HSD post hoc analysis. For example, for all three factors, new facilities were significantly different from older facilities with their technology implementations.

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67 Facility Size The results indicated that there was a significant difference of information technology implementation strategies based upon the size of the facilities as shown in Table 4-18. Small and medium facilities are significantly different from large facilities in that the large facilities are more likely to implement technologies in all three strategic priority categories. Table 4-18. ANOVA of Facility Size and the Strategic Priorities Small Medium Large F Sig. (N=106) (N=103) (N=110) Employee Productivity 7.89a 8.46a 9.74b 22.18 .000 Customer Service 3.94a 4.63a 6.12b 28.21 .000 Revenue Enhancement 3.36a 3.71a 3.36b 18.53 .000 Significant at the <.05 level Note: Superscripts indicate significant differences utilizing HSD post hoc analysis. For example, for all three factors, small and medium size facilities were significantly different from large facilities with their technology implementations. Facility Budget The results indicated that there was a significant difference of information technology implementation strategies based upon the size of the facilitys budget as shown in Table 4-19. The larger a facilities budget, the more likely a facility would implement a variety of technologies. This trend was consistent in all three strategic priority categories.

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68 Table 4-19. ANOVA of Facility Budget Size and the Strategic Priorities Small Medium Large F Sig. (N=85) (N=74) (N=83) Employee Productivity 7.41a 8.82b 9.74c 2.36 .000 Customer Service 3.52a 5.00b 6.42c 30.83 .000 Revenue Enhancement 2.87a 3.88b 5.02c 29.39 .000 Significant at the <.05 level Note: Superscripts indicate significant differences utilizing HSD post hoc analysis. For example, for all three factors, budget size significantly effects the implementations of information technologies. The N is smaller for this analysis due to the sensitive nature of the information, fewer respondents were willing to disclose budget information about their facility. Facility Management Structure Facility management structure compared facilities managed by a private management firm or a public entity to see if they implemented technologies in a similar fashion. As shown in Table 4-20 below, private entities implement significantly more technologies in all three categories of strategic priorities then do facilities managed publicly. Table 4-20. Independent Samples T-Test Results of Public vs. Private Management Public vs. Private Mean Std. Sig. N Deviation Employee Productivity Public 8.22 2.16 .000 203 Private 9.32 2.13 .000 145 Customer Service Public 4.60 2.30 .002 203 Private 5.39 2.31 .002 145 Revenue Enhancement Public 3.55 1.89 .000 203 Private 4.65 2.16 .000 145 Significant at the <.05 level

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69 University verses Non-University Facilities University and non-university facilities were compared to see if they implemented technologies differently. As shown in Table 4-21 below, non-university facilities are slightly more likely to implement technologies for the purpose of improving employee productivity then the university facilities. There was no significant difference in technology implementations related to customer service and revenue enhancement for university facilities vs. non-university facilities. Table 4-21. Independent Samples T-test Results of University vs. Non-University Facility University vs. Non-University Mean Std. Sig. N Deviation Employee Productivity University 8.17 2.20 .010 99 Non-University 8.85 2.21 .010 250 Customer Service University 4.78 2.30 .487 99 Non-University 4.97 2.37 .487 250 Revenue Enhancement University 4.27 1.87 .151 99 Non-University 3.92 2.17 .151 250 Significant at the <.05 level Analysis of Managerial Attitudes Toward Information Technology To determine if managerial attitude affects the strategy used for information technology implementation, several survey questions were asked and are summarized in Table 4-22. Responses showed that most facilities do not have a formal strategic plan (74.9%), the majority have not implemented any additional technologies due to the events of September 11, 2001, but most facilities (79.9%) supply training to their employees in the use of technologies. Facilities reported significant support from management with a mean score of 3.99 out of a possible 4.00. This may be in part due to the fact that the survey was directed to the upper management of the organization, which may have

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70 skewed this data in favor of support. The majority (53.9%) of respondents felt that their facility was similar to others in the industry and that their personal skills were average (49.7%). Table 4-22. Facility Profile for Information Technology Survey Demographic Characteristics Frequency Valid Mean S.D. Percentage Does the Organization have a Strategic Plan for Technology (N=358) Yes 71 19.8 No 268 74.9 Unknown 19 5.3 Were additional Technologies Implemented Due to the Events of 9/11/01. (N=356) Yes 121 34.0 No 229 64.3 Unknown 6 1.7 Is Training Given to Staff for New Technologies (N=359) Yes 287 79.9 No 70 19.5 Unknown 2 .6 Level of Management Support of Technology Growth (N=358) Supportive 330 88.7 Against 1 0.3 Unaware 21 5.6 Dont Know 20 5.4 Mean 3.90 Standard Deviation 0.38 Self-Comparison to Industry as a Whole in Regards to Technology Implementations (N=358) Behind Others 87 24.3 Similar to Others 193 53.9 Ahead of Others 74 20.7 Dont Know 4 1.1 Mean 2.94 Standard Deviation .70

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71 Table 4-22. Continued Demographic Characteristics Frequency Valid Mean S.D. Percentage Information Technology Skill Level (N=356) Unskilled 1 0.3 Somewhat unskilled 32 9.0 Average Skills 177 49.7 Above Average Skill 132 37.1 Expert 14 3.9 Mean 3.35 Standard Deviation 0.71 The number (N) may vary due to missing values or responses Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding A managerial attitudes score was compiled based upon the answers to the above survey questions. A sum of all the answers resulted in an index score that was then divided into the categories of unsupportive for those with a score between five and eight, neutrally supportive for those with a score between nine and twelve, and supportive for those with a score between 13 and 16. Table 4-23 shows that the majority of respondents (65.1%) fall within the neutral support category. Those showing the highest level of support comprised the second group at 29.9% and the smallest group was the unsupportive group with 4.9%. Table 4-23. Managerial Attitude Categorized Attitude Category Frequency Valid Percentage Unsupportive (5-8) 16 4.9 Neutral Support (9-12) 211 65.1 Supportive (13-16) 97 29.9 Note: N=324, Mean=11.6, SD=1.7 Table 4-24 shows a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) between the strategic priorities and managerial attitudes held by the respondents. The results indicated that

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72 there is a significant relationship between the attitudes of managers and each of the strategic priorities. Significance was determined by Sig. figures less than or equal to the .05 level as was congruent with the literature. Table 4-24. ANOVA of Managerial Attitudes and the Strategic Priorities Unsupportive Neutral Supportive F Sig. (N=16) (N=211) (N=973) Employee Productivity 6.13a 8.31b 9.82c 30.51 .000 Customer Service 2.06a 4.54b 6.27c 37.48 .000 Revenue Enhancement 1.56a 3.66b 4.99c 29.24 .000 Significant at the <.05 level Note: Superscripts indicate significant differences utilizing HSD post hoc analysis. For example, for all three factors, managerial attitude significantly effects the implementations of information technologies. Analysis of the Challenges of Implementing Information Technology Of the four challenges noted in Table 4-25 that managers face when implementing information technologies, cost is the biggest challenge. Time, training, and experience were not considered to be a challenge to the majority of the respondents with none of these categories receiving a response rate higher than a 26.6% combined score among the agree and strongly agree categories. Cost, on the other hand, had 73.6% of the respondents reporting that they agreed or strongly agreed that cost was their primary challenge to technology implementation.

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73 Table 4-25. Frequency of Implementation Challenges (in Percentages) Challenges 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Mean Disagree Agree Time 12.1 40.4 21.6 23.6 2.2 2.63 Training 13.6 44.4 21.8 18.9 1.4 2.50 Experience 13.4 44.0 16.0 21.0 5.6 2.61 Cost 3.4 12.0 10.1 49.4 24.2 3.78 The number (N) may vary due to missing values or responses Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding To determine if there were any significant relationships between the perceived challenges to implementations and the specific strategic priorities of customer service, revenue enhancement and employee productivity, a correlation analysis was run. The results of the correlation analysis using Pearsons R are shown in Table 4-26. Table 4-26. Correlations Between Challenges and Strategic Priorities with Pearsons R FACTORS Time Training Experience Cost P Sig. P Sig. P Sig. P Sig. Employee Productivity -.112 .035 -.051 .344 -.183 .001 -.127 .017 Customer Service -.152 .004 -.067 .211 -.160 .003 -.166 .002 Revenue Enhancement -.154 .004 -.051 .338 -.148 .005 -.136 .011 Note: N=352, P=Pearsons R, Sig. = Significance. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level and is 2-tailed. The correlation analysis revealed that the only challenge that is not correlated with the strategic priorities is training. Time, experience, and cost are all directly related in an inverse fashion. As time becomes a greater challenge to implementation, the fewer the implementations in the organization. The same is true for both cost and experience. As those factors are perceived as a greater challenge, the number of implementations decreases.

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74 Summary In short, the respondents to the survey were very multifaceted from a demographic standpoint and allowed for a well-represented sample. The data tabulated as was expected and provided no surprise findings.

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS This study benchmarks the Public Assembly Facility Management Industrys strategic priorities in the implementation of information technologies. Specifically, the strategic priorities of employee productivity, customer service, and revenue enhancement were analyzed to determine the rank of priorities for the industry. Further, specific characteristics of facilities, managerial attitudes, and challenges to information technology implementation were analyzed to determine the differences in implementation among these sub-groups. This chapter sought to discuss the results and their relevance to the industry and is comprised of the following main sections: Summary of Methods Discussion of Findings Implications Suggestions for Further Research Summary of Methods The data for this study were collected through an on-line survey of public assembly facilities. The list of respondents was created from the membership list of the International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) and included only facilities from the United States. Surveys were collected during the time period of June, July and August 2003. A total of 1,017 surveys were issued with 89 returned as undeliverable. Out of the remaining 928, 372 responded for a final response rate of 40.1%. The survey instrument consisted of 30 questions that were presented to the respondent in an on-line form. The respondent was directed to a private web site through 75

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76 a link provided in an e-mail. In addition, respondents were sent an electronic copy via e-mail that they could return via US mail or in e-mail format. A total of 36 responded through US mail. The survey instrument collected demographic data as well as views on information technology implementation challenges. It also investigated managerial attitudes and implementation strategies. The survey took less than ten minutes to complete once the respondent had collected the information needed from their records. Discussion of Findings Respondent Profile The respondent profile gave valuable insight into the public assembly facility industry. Respondents were primarily male (74.2%) ages 36 to 55 (75.6%). Slightly over 60% of those responding have obtained Bachelors Degrees and the highest percentage of the respondents (31.3%) cited Business as their major field of study. Most of the respondents had over eleven years of experience (71.7%) and were employed in the top level of management for their organization (59.1%) at the Director/General Manager level. It should be noted that the surveys were distributed to the members who, whenever possible, were the Directors/General Managers of their organization. It can be concluded that the majority of those who received the survey responded directly instead of forwarding the survey to a staff member to complete. Just under 50% of the respondents self classified themselves as having average skills when it came to information technology. Facility Profile Arenas (27.3%), performing arts centers (25.3%), and conference/convention centers (21.9%) were roughly equally represented. Complexes comprised 13.9% of the respondents and stadiums another 4.3%. The facilities were managed by private

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77 organizations 42% of the time and were classified as a University facility 28% of the time. While the majority of the facilities were located in secondary markets (47.7%), a good number were primary market facilities (30.0%). The facilities were on average 19.3 years old. The average size for the responding stadiums was 53,420 seats. The responding complexes had an average of 16,510 seats and arenas had 11,430 seats. Performing Arts Centers had 1,990 seats and the conference and convention centers had an average of 113,570 square feet of space. Budgets varied by facility type and included stadiums at an average of 28 million, complexes with 21 million, conference centers with 11 million, arenas at 6 million, and performing arts centers at 4 million. Research Question 1: What Strategic Priorities (Customer Service, Revenue Enhancement, or Employee Productivity) are the Most Critical in the Selection of Information Technologies? As proposed by McKenney (1994), organizations seem to move through various stages when implementing information technology. These stages include a beginning stage where the organization seeks to find solutions to problems, build competence among employees and to create a better work environment in an effort to increase employee productivity. After utilizing technology to meet that goal, the organization works to utilize technology to improve customer service. The final goal based on this framework would be to create a strategic advantage by finding revenue-enhancing technologies. This study was based in part on a study conducted in the hotel industry. The findings of that study suggested that the focus for technological implementation is on employee productivity (Siguaw, Enz, & Namasivayam 2000). Similar to that study, the current study found that public assembly facilities implement technologies for the same purpose, with PAFs implementing 68% of the items related to employee productivity,

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78 followed by 48% in customer service and 43% in revenue enhancement. These percentages are consistent with the trend proposed by McKenney (1994). Interestingly, little difference was found between the categories of customer service and revenue enhancement, while the jump up to employee productivity was substantial (a difference of 20% of technologies implemented). While the results showed that facilities implement technologies in a manner consistent with prior research, it is interesting to note that managers of those facilities do not recognize this pattern. The survey directly asked managers what they felt the priority for technological implementation was in their organization and the majority stated that customer service (42%) was their priority. Employee productivity was not far behind capturing 40% of the responses but a surprisingly low 15% of the managers stated that revenue enhancement was a priority. When the managers were asked what they thought the priority should be, the results followed what they believed their organization was doing with 46% stating that customer service was the most important, 40% ranking employee productivity as the most important and only 12% of the managers seeing revenue enhancement as a priority. It would seem that managers believe their focus is, and should be, on serving the clients when in fact the focus is still on assisting the employee. This could be explained by the thought that one of the first steps in satisfying the customer is satisfying the employee. In this case, providing the employee with the needed technologies may lead to increased customer service. In addition, it would seem that managers do not place as much importance on the revenue side of information technologies as they do the customer service or employee productivity benefits. Perhaps this is because, information technology is such a large

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79 capital outlay in the beginning stages that managers have not moved towards looking at IT as a means of generating revenues or at the possibility of allowing ITs to pay for themselves. No doubt this is the direction that the industry will move in the next decade. Perhaps this is an area for future researchers to monitor. Furthermore, it should be noted that the survey asked the organizations if they had implemented any new technologies due to the events of 9/11 and only 34% of them responded that they had. While it could be argued that technological implementation would assist with the protection of life and property, it must be noted that the public assembly facility industry already had the protection of life and property as one of its priorities prior to 9/11. It is therefore not surprising that there were relatively few implementations as the result of that tragic day. Research Question 2: Are There Variations in the Utilization of Technology Among Public Assembly Facilities Based Upon Various Facility Characteristics? With the exception of the differential between University and Non-university venues, all of the proposed facility characteristics showed significant differences in their implementations of information technology. Out of curiosity the researcher ran a regression to explore which of the facility characteristics had the most influence on each of the strategies. It was interesting that across all three strategies, budget had the greatest influence on the amount of technology implemented. The second most influential characteristic was managerial attitude, followed by facility size. Facility type. The results indicated a significant difference among the various facility types. In all but the revenue enhancement category, performing arts centers were behind the other facilities in technological implementations. For revenue enhancement, conference and convention centers were the least likely to implement technologies.

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80 Stadiums were the leader in all of the categories. In the employee productivity and customer service implementation strategies, the facilities ranked in the same way, with stadiums at the top, followed by complexes, then conference/convention centers, arenas and performing arts centers last. With regards to the revenue enhancement category, stadiums lead the way but arenas took second place followed by complexes, performing arts centers and then conference/convention centers. It makes sense that stadiums, being the largest of the venue types, implemented more technologies in each of the three categories. This is partially due to the fact that they have larger budgets than other facilities and as mentioned before, size and budget are two of the top three determinations of information technology implementations. Facility age. Age played a significant role in the implementation of the various strategies. In all three strategic priorities, new facilities were more likely to implement more technologies. It was determined that venues less than 12 years old were significantly more likely to implement information technologies than buildings over 12 years old. Interestingly enough, there were no significant differences between facilities that were classified as established (12-27 years old) and historical facilities (over 27 years old). A possible explanation is that retrofitting a facility to handle IT infrastructure is a very expensive proposition and therefore, the older the facility the less likely they are to implement a greater number of technologies. In addition, newer buildings are constructed with technology growth in mind thereby reducing the cost to implement technology.

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81 Facility size. The claim by Huo (1998) that larger organizations will be more likely to implement technologies was further supported by this research. There was a significant increase in technological implementations across all of the strategic priorities for the larger venues. In addition, there was a linear trend in increasing implementation from the smaller facilities to the larger facilities. The post hoc analysis revealed that differences only occurred between the large facilities and the medium and small facilities not between the two smaller sized facilities. In 2000, Steiner noted this trend in his research and suggested that small and medium enterprises may be forced to use current technologies for a longer period of time due to financial constraints. Facility budget. As examined by Yuan, Gretzel & Fesenmaier (2001) budget constraints play a major role in IT development and this same theory holds true for facilities. Findings revealed that as the budget increased, the number of implementations increased. This is not a surprising given that the cost of implementation can be staggering. Management structure. The differentiation between publicly managed facilities and privately managed facilities plays a significant role in the implementation of information technologies in public assembly facilities. Similar to the study by Siguaw, Enz, and Namasivayam (2000), management structure played a significant role in the amount of IT implemented. In Siguaw et. als study, chain-operated hotels showed the greatest propensity for IT implementation, whereas in the current study, IT implementation was more common for privately managed public assembly facilities. One interesting finding in this study, was the lack of significant difference between University owned facilities and Non-university owned facilities. Since it was proposed

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82 that organization structure plays a significant role in IT implementation, it was believed that the difference between a University and Non-university venue would also be significant. It was hypothesized that because University venues typically operate with different goals than non-university venues that there would be differences in the amount of IT implemented. However, with all three of the strategic priorities, the only significant difference was in the employee productivity strategic priority. For this priority, non-university facilities exceed university facilities in the implementation of information technologies. Perhaps this is due to the budget crunch that universities have been experiencing in the last five years. Since employee productivity is at the bottom of the hierarchy of implementation, it is understandable that they would be implemented more commonly than those in the other categories. Perhaps budget is correlated with this finding, if these lower level technologies are not as common in university facilities. Research Question 3: How Do the Managerial Attitudes of Public Assembly Facility Managers Affect the Acceptance of New Technologies? Sethi & King (1994) have found that top-level management support of technological growth is required in order to have continued financial commitment towards the technological growth. In addition, Wober & Gretzel (2000) argued that management must have a positive attitude about technology implementation for successful implementation. Finally, DeLone (1988) stated that the main driver of IT implementation was attributed to top-level management involvement in the implementation of and the knowledge of computers. The current study supports all of these arguments. This research found a significant positive relationship between the attitudes of managers and the number of IT implementations within all three strategic

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83 priorities. As the attitude of managers towards technology became more positive, the likelihood that the organization would implement technology increased. Research Question 4: How Does Specific IT Challenges Affect the Implementation of Information Technologies? Throughout the literature review, there were four recurring challenges to the implementation of information technology. Training, as mentioned by Siguaw & Enz, (1999) is critical to the success of IT implementation and to the success of the on-going upgrades. Time, as stated by Dewett (2001), updating and maintaining information technologies requires an extensive time resource. Management experience and supportiveness, according to Wober & Gretzel (2000) is critical to the implementation and successful use of information technology. Finally, as discussed above, budget, or cost, of information technology implementation is a final critical challenge to the successful implementation of a technology. Of these four factors, training was the only factor that was not considered a significant deterrent to implementation of IT for public assembly facilities. For the other three factors, (time, managerial experience, and cost), the greater the perceived challenge, the fewer the implementations. This was consistent for all of the strategic priorities. A possible explanation for training not being classified as a significant challenge could be that facility managers are very training oriented. It is possible that training is not seen as a challenge because training is a part of daily management of a facility due to the high turn over of a mostly part time workforce. In addition, it is also possible that facilities are further behind in their implementation of technology than their employees are in their use and knowledge of technology. Since employees are entering the workforce better trained in information

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84 technology, it is possible that they enter the organization with a higher skill level that the available technology. This would lead to less of a challenge in training than some of the other challenges to implementation. Implications While this research provided results that did not significantly deviate from the expected, this information does provide valuable insight and clarification to industry professionals on the use of information technology in their organizations. It is interesting to note that while employee productivity is still the leading driver of IT implementation, management believes they are focusing on utilizing technology as a tool to improve customer service. It is also interesting to note that those same managers have not fully realized the potential to utilize technology as a revenue generator or taken full advantage of the potential strategic advantage. From a benchmarking standpoint, the information regarding the types of information technology being implemented by peer facilities will assist management in creating avenues for strategic advantages over their competition or, at the very least, give some managers the impedance to avoid being placed at a strategic disadvantage. In Appendix C, the frequencies of the various forms of information technology are stated by facility type in order for a more detailed benchmarking of peer facilities. The most interesting benchmarks to note include the fact that almost all facilities surveyed utilize fax machines, e-mail, web sites, and networked computers. Considering that almost all of the facilities had these items, and specifically, had web sites, this benchmark supports the statement by Law & Leung (2002) that internet presence is no longer a competitive advantage but a business necessity. It was also interesting to note that most facilities update their websites weekly. The one exception to the frequency to

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85 updates lies within the stadium group. The largest percentage of stadiums responded that they update their web sites on a daily basis. Facilities should review the revenue enhancing technologies that are available and work towards the implementation of those technologies that will assist with organization survival. Bar code ticket scanning, electronic marketing, the rental of high speed internet connections, on-line ticketing with the ability to increase convenience fees and reduce the cost of in-house printed tickets, video boards that allow the sale of advertising, and video teleconferencing as an equipment rental line item will all assist with the organizations financial health and well being. These forms of IT are all potential ways to generate revenue for PAFs. As both the patrons and the clients advance in their use of technology, a continual updating process will be necessary. The lack of strategic planning for the implementation of information technology is surprising (almost 75% of the facilities did not have a strategic plan) considering the potential benefits toward keeping up with the increasing demand from both of these groups. As noted by Porter (1999) change management is an essential function for any organization and one critical component of change management is technology management. Strategically, a formal plan for the implementation of technology is necessary for the positive growth of an organization to gain a strategic advantage over the competition. With that stated, it must be suggested that facilities develop a strategic implementation plan for not only the maintenance of their information technology system, but also for its growth in the future. Without this plan, it is possible that there may come a time when the organization is no longer able to meet the needs of their customers.

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86 Suggestions for Further Research The foremost suggestion for future research would be to complete an identical study for facilities that reside in other countries as a basis for comparison for facilities in the United States. In addition, understanding how geographic regions might differ is a research question that has not been answered by this study but warrants further investigation. Understanding how PAFs in different geographic regions of the U.S.A. implement technological strategies might be insightful for managers. This type of research also lends itself to a longitudinal study to allow for analysis over time. Due to the rapidly growing technology climate of todays businesses, trend data would be extremely useful for facility managers to aid in planning. A study over time could measure the success of various technological implementations as well as the level of use of certain technologies. For example, will bar code ticket scanning (and therefore print at home tickets) become the norm for the industry thereby effectively wiping out the outlet structure that is currently in place for ticket sales? What will be the growth rate for this type of ticketing distribution method? Possibly a review of the growth in on-line ticket buying from the past ten years might lend insight into what the future holds for this new technology. A correlation could be drawn between that past on-line ticketing history and its growth patterns as compared to the growth patterns in bar coded tickets. While this is just one example of how trending data would help managers plan for the future growth of technologies, there are limitless others that could be studied in a similar fashion. In addition to follow-up research, it would be interesting to see how the implementation of a strategic plan might be related to the success of a facility. Are facilities with strategic information technology plans more profitable? Are they better

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87 equipped to meet the needs of the customer? Are they better able to meet customers needs and establish relationships with customers? While this study focused on the industry as a whole, conducting an in-depth analysis of the individual facilities types could be beneficial to managers. Understanding why certain types of information technology are used within one facility type versus another may provide managers with the needed information to help with the future direction of the facility type. Clarification of what problems were solved with the implementation of a technology in one facility type might give insight to the manager of another facility type experiencing a similar problem. A good part of any organizational plan should include a survey of the clients and patrons of a facility. A formal study is necessary to determine what types of technology the ticket buying / conference attending public would like to see implemented in the facilities as well as a survey of the clients of those facilities. Such a study would provide the basis for a strategic plan to meet the needs of both the clients and the patrons. Any future extension of this study should also examine, in a more direct fashion, the management of information technology within the organization. Questions should include, Is there a dedicated information technology staff member or members on staff within the organization and dedicated to that specific facility? If not, How is information technology managed in your organization? Is IT supported by a staff member whose primary duties lie elsewhere? Is it a service that is contracted out to a third-party? Does the organization utilize IT departments from their city, county, state, university, or other governance structures where the staff is not dedicated to the specific facility but to the organization as a whole? A final question that needs to be answered

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88 by future research is As the learning curve for technology rapidly changes, how is training for employees and management keeping pace? Moreover, an in-depth qualitative study of the types of technology implemented by other industries would compliment this study. While this study looked at the currently utilized technologies, a qualitative study might gather information from industries, both competing industries as well as non-competing industries. As customers continue to become more savvy and their options for entertainment increase, questions on information technology implementation become more complex. For example, how will the PAF industry address the issue of on-line competition for entertainment? Will the industry openly compete with the on-line community or will they start to offer their own on-line products so as to influence choices by the consumer, which include both on-line and traditional forms of entertainment? These are merely a few questions, which will have drastic consequences for the public assembly facility industry in the next decade. In order to stay abreast of the massively changing role of technology in the lives of the public, managers are going to need to put together a plan. This thesis has provided the foundational information for managers to benchmark their status with others in the industry. The next step is to move the industry forward in terms of having technology work for them in the form of revenue enhancement.

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APPENDIX A SURVEY INSTRUMENT The entire survey was four pages in paper format. It was also created in a non-published web format and accessible to respondents on-line. It appears differently here to adhere to University of Florida Graduate School Thesis guidelines, with the highlighted percentages and means of answers by the respondents. Technology in Public Assembly Facilities Questionnaire 1. Please check all of the technology adoptions currently being used by your facility: 53.0% Automated Timekeeping 28.2% Electronic file imaging 79.0% Accounting Software 53.3% Computer Aided Design 26.3% On-Line Booking 76.3% Computerized HVAC system 62.6% Computerized booking /scheduling 55.9% Computer Sound/light Sys. 14.5% Interactive Kiosks 88.4% Networked Computers 55.4% Onsite Automatic Teller Machine 61.8% Interactive Web Page 76.5% Staff Mobile Phones 29.6% Wireless Internet Access 96.8% Fax Machines 96.2% E-Mail 53.5% Telephone Intercom System 92.7% Voice Mail 85.2% Two-way Radio Communication 87.1% High Speed Internet 27.4% Two-way Mobile Phones 42.2% Electronic Marketing 34.1% Video Boards 27.4% POS Inventory Systems 32.3% Video Teleconferencing Capabilities 57.3% On-Line Ticketing 53.5% Surveillance systems 51.1% In-House Ticketing 9.9% Web-based surveillance systems 29.6% Bar Code Ticket Scanning 36.3% Electronic Keyless Entry 38.2% Staff PDA's 2. What technologies are you planning on implementing? Varied, but few, answers 3. Does your facility have a web page? 96.9% Yes 3.1% No 89

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90 4. How often is your facilitys web page updated? (pick one) 23.3% Daily 40.1% Weekly 24.1% Monthly 5.4% Yearly 1.4% No Web Page 5.7% Other: ________________________________ 5. Does your organization have a formal written strategic plan for the implementation of technology? 19.8% Yes 74.9% No 5.3% Unknown 6. Has your organization implemented any additional technologies as a result of the events of 9/11? 34.0% Yes 64.3% No 1.7% Unknown 7. Does your organization offer training to its employees in the use of information technologies? 79.9% Yes 19.5% No 0.6% Unknown 8. Which of the following do you think is the most important use of technology? (pick one) 46.2% Customer Service 11.8% Revenue generation 39.8% Employee Productivity 2.2% Other 9. Which of the following priorities do you think your organization focuses on when implementing technology? (pick one) 42.0% Customer Service 14.8% Revenue generation 40.3% Employee Productivity 2.8% Other 10. Do you believe the organizations leadership is: (pick one) 88.7% Supportive of technological growth 0.3% Against technological growth 5.6% Unaware of technological growth 5.4% Dont know 11. When it comes to technology, do you feel that your organization is: (pick one) 24.3% Behind others in the industry 53.9% Similar to others 20.7% Ahead of others in the industry 1.1% Dont know 12. There are many things that can prevent an organization from implementing a specific technology. Please check, on the following scale of 1-5, where 1=strongly disagree and 5=strongly agree with each of the following statements as they pertain to your organization: Obstacles 1 Strongly Disagree 2 Disagree 3 Neutral 4 Agree 5 Strongly Agree The time required to implement technological improvements is an obstacle to implementation 12.1% 40.4% 21.6% 23.6% 2.2% The training required for new information technology is an obstacle to implementation 13.6% 44.4% 21.8% 18.9% 1.4% The lack of experience management has with information technologies is an obstacle to implementation 13.4% 44.0% 16.0% 21.0% 5.6% The cost of information technology is an obstacle to implementation 3.4% 12.0% 10.1% 49.4% 24.2%

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91 13. What are your average annual expenditures on information technology? varies (Include the cost of computer equipment, software, training and support) 14. How many computers are currently being utilized by your staff? varies 15. How would you rate your personal skill level with computer technology? 0.3% unskilled 37.1% above average skills 9.0% somewhat unskilled 3.9% expert 49.7% average skills 16. What is your position title? 59.1% Director / General Manager 4.7% Associate Director/Manager 7.9% Assistant Director/Manager 18.1% Operations Manager 2.3% Event Coordinator 4.4% Business Manager 3.5% Other 17. What is the Name of your Facility? undisclosed 18. You consider your location to which of the following markets: 30.0% Primary 47.7% Secondary 21.1% Tertiary 1.1% Other: 19. Specifically, what type of facility do you oversee? (Choose 1) 27.3% Arena 4.3% Stadium 25.3% Performing Arts Center/Auditorium 21.9% Convention/Conference Ctr 13.9% Complex 1.7% Amphitheater 5.7% Other: 20. What is the seating capacity of your largest area/room? varies 21. What is the square footage of your largest area/room? varies 22. What are your annual estimated revenues from all sources? varies 23. Is your facility: 28.4% University Owned or 71.6% Non-University Owned 24. Is your facility: 41.7% Privately Managed or 58.3% Publicly Managed 25. How old is your facility: varies 26. What is your age? 0.6% Under 26 13.3% 25 35 32.4% 36 45 43.1% 46 55 9.5% 56 65 1.2% Over 65 27. What is your gender? 25.8% Female 74.2% Male 28. How many years have you worked in the facility management field? 9.0% Under 5 19.4% 5 10 20.8% 11 15 18.8% 16 20

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92 13.6% 21 25 18.5% Over 25 29. Please check all levels of education you have completed : 7.4% High School 60.3% Undergraduate 28.0% Masters 1.1% Doctorate 3.1% Other 30. If you went to college, what was your field of study? Business 31.3% Arts/Music/Theater 17.3% Hospitality/Leisure/Recreation 13.4% Sports Management 7.6% Journalism/Communications/Broadcast 5.2% Education 4.6% Political Science 3.3% Engineering 1.8% Information Technology Related Field 1.8% Medical 1.5% Other 12.2% THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE WITH THIS STUDY.

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APPENDIX B IRB APPROVED INFORMED CONSENT 93

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APPENDIX C BENCHMARKING BY FACILITY TYPE Table C-1 Percentage of Information Technologies Implementations by Facility Type ARA STA PAC COM CON (N=102) (N=15) (N=89) (N=49) (N=77) 94 COM = Complexes, and CON = Conference/Convention Centers IT Implementations Valid % Valid % Valid % Valid % Valid % Fax 99.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% Email 99.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 97.4% Web Page 94.1% 100.0% 95.5% 98.0% 100.0% Voice Mail 96.1% 100.0% 95.5% 93.9% 94.8% Networked Computers 88.2% 100.0% 92.1% 98.0% 89.6% High Speed Internet 88.2% 86.7% 91.0% 93.9% 93.5% Two-way Radios 90.2% 100.0% 80.9% 89.8% 88.3% Staff Mobile Phones 82.4% 93.3% 69.7% 79.6% 100.0% Accounting Software 76.5% 93.3% 78.7% 81.6% 88.3% Computerized HVAC Systems 72.5% 80.0% 76.4% 85.7% 88.3% Computer Booking/Scheduling 58.8% 60.0% 52.8% 79.6% 79.2% Interactive Web Page 61.8% 73.3% 62.9% 71.4% 57.1% Onsite ATM 64.7% 93.3% 24.7% 69.4% 63.6% Surveillance Systems 51.0% 80.0% 47.2% 59.2% 66.2% On-line Ticketing 76.5% 60.0% 66.3% 75.5% 18.2% Computerized Sound/Lights 49.0% 53.3% 68.5% 61.2% 58.4% Automated Timekeeping 54.9% 53.3% 42.7% 69.4% 61.0% CAD Software 50.0% 40.0% 53.9% 59.2% 62.3% Intercom System 49.0% 40.0% 51.7% 59.2% 62.3% In-house Ticketing 56.9% 46.7% 70.8% 55.1% 29.9% Staff Personal Data Assistants 35.3% 60.0% 37.1% 53.1% 36.4% Electronic Keyless Entry 40.2% 80.0% 30.3% 28.6% 37.7% Electronic Marketing 43.1% 40.0% 43.8% 53.1% 33.8% Video Boards 52.0% 60.0% 15.7% 42.9% 27.3% Bar Code Ticketing 44.1% 53.3% 16.9% 38.8% 13.0% Wireless Internet 28.4% 46.7% 29.2% 22.4% 39.0% Point of Sale Inventory 33.3% 60.0% 20.2% 34.7% 16.9% Nextel Phones 30.4% 53.3% 21.3% 20.4% 35.1% Electronic File Imaging 23.5% 33.3% 31.5% 40.8% 24.7% Video Teleconferencing 26.5% 6.7% 27.0% 28.6% 53.2% On-line Booking 30.4% 26.7% 22.5% 28.6% 28.6% Kiosks 14.7% 46.7% 5.6% 14.3% 22.1% Web Based Surveillance 6.9% 20.0% 10.1% 14.3% 11.7% NOTE: ARA = Arena, STA = Stadium, PAC = Performing Arts Centers

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95 Table C-2 Information Technologies Implementations by Arenas Arena's IT Implementations FrequencyValid (N=102) Percentage Fax 101 99.0% Email 101 99.0% Web Page 96 94.1% Voice Mail 98 96.1% Networked Computers 90 88 9 0 88.2 Two-way Radio 92 90.2 % Staff Mobile Phones 84 82.4 % Accounting Software 78 76.5 Com ystems 74 72. 5% Computerize d Booking/ing Schedul 60 58. Interactive W 63 61. Onsite 66 64. Surveillanc 52 51. 0% On-line Tic keting 78 76. Computerized Sound ghts 50 49. Automated Timekeep g 56 54. Computer A Softwa 51 50. Int 50 49. In-hous e Ti 58 56. Staff Personal Dat istants 36 35. Electronic Key y 41 40. Elect 44 43. Video Boards 53 52. Bar Code 45 44. Wireless Internet 29 28. Point of Sale In 34 33. Nextel Phon 31 30. Electronic 24 23. Video Tel 27 26. On-line Book 31 30. Kios 15 14. Web Based Su System 6. .2% High Speed Internet % s % puterized HVAC S 8% eb Page 8% ATM 7% e Systems 5% /Li 0% in 9% ided Designre 0% ercom System 0% cketing 9% a Ass 3% less Entr 2% ronic Marketing 1% 0% Ticketing 1% 4% ventory 3% es 4% File Imaging 5% econferencing 5% ing 4% ks 7% rveillances 7 9%

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96 Table C-3 Information Technologies Implementations by Stadium s Stadiums' IT Implementations FrequencyValid Percentage (N=15) Fax 15 100.0% 15 100.0 % 15 100.0 % M 15 100.0 % 15 100.0 % High Speed Internet 13 86.7 % Two-way Radios 15 100.0 % Staff Mobile Ph 14 93.3 % Accounting Softwa 14 93.3 % Computerized HVA 12 80.0 % Computerized Booking/Sched 60.0 % Interactive Web Page 11 73.3 % Onsite ATM 14 93.3 % 12 80.0 % On-line Ticketing 60.0 % Computerized S 53.3 % Automated Timekeeping 53.3 % Computer Aided Design 40.0 % Intercom System 40.0 % In-house Ticket 46.7 % Staff Personal Da 60.0 % Electronic Keyless Entry 12 80.0 % Electronic Marketing 40.0 % Video Boards 60.0 % Bar Code Ti 53.3 % Wireless Internet 46.7 % Point of Sale In 60.0 % Nextel Phones 53.3 % Electronic Fi 33.3 % Video Teleconferencin 6.7 % On-line Booking 26.7 % Kiosks 46.7 % Web 20.0 % Email Web Page Voice ail Networked Computers ones re C Systems uling 9 Surveillance Systems 9 ound/Lights 8 8 Software 6 6 ing 7 ta Assistants 9 6 9 cketing 8 7 ventory 9 8 le Imaging 5 g 1 4 7 Based Surveillance Systems 3

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97 Table C-4 Information Technologies Implementations by Performing Arts Centers Perncy Valid (N=tage Fa fo rming Arts IT Implementations Freque 89 ) Percen x 100 a 100 eb age 95 i Mail 95 tw rked Computers 92 g peed Internet 91 o ay Radios 80 af obile Phones 69 c nting Software 78 uterized HVAC Systems 76 uterized Booking/Scheduling 52 te ctive Web Page 62 s ATM 24 rv illance Systems 47 e Ticketing 66 uterized Sound/Lights 68 t ated Timekeeping 42 uter Aided Design Software 53 te om System 51 -h se Ticketing 70 af ersonal Data Assistants 37 ec onic Keyless Entry 30 ec onic Marketing 43 d Boards 15 r ode Ticketing 16 ir ss Internet 29 in of Sale Inventory 20 x l Phones 21 ec onic File Imaging 31 d Teleconferencing 27 e Booking 22 o s 5.6% eb ased Surveillance Systems 10 89 .0% Emil 89 .0% W P 85 .5% Voce 85 .5% Neo 82 .1% Hih S 81 .0% Tw-w 72 .9% Stf M 62 .7% Acou 70 .7% Comp 68 .4% Comp 47 .8% Inra 56 .9% Onite 22 .7% Sue 42 .2% Onlin 59 .3% Comp 61 .5% Auom 38 .7% Comp 48 .9% Inrc 46 .7% Inou 63 .8% Stf P 33 .1% Eltr 27 .3% Eltr 39 .8% Vieo 14 .7% BaC 15 .9% Wele 26 .2% Pot 18 .2% Nete 19 .3% Eltr 28 .5% Vieo 24 .0% Onlin 20 .5% Kisk 5 W B 9 .1%

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98 Table C-5 Information Technologies Implementations by Complexes Complexes' IT Implementations FrequeValid 9) Pentax ncy (N=4 rce age F 10 0.0% Em 10 0.0% Web Pa 98.0% Voice M 93.9% Networked Comput 98.0% High Speed Intern 93.9% Two-way Radi 89.8% Staff Mobile Phon 79.6% Accounting Softwa 81.6% Computerized HVAC Syste 85.7% Computerized Booking/Scheduli 79.6% Interactive Web Pa 71.4% Onsite AT 69.4% Surveillance Syste 59.2% On-line Ticketi 75.5% Computerized Sound/Lig 61.2% Automated Timekeepi 69.4% Computer Aided Design Softwa 59.2% Intercom Syste 59.2% In-house Ticketi 55.1% Staff Personal Data Assista 53.1% Electronic Keyless En 28.6% Electronic Marketi 53.1% Video Boar 42.9% Bar Code Ticketi 38.8% Wireless Inter 22.4% Point of Sale Invento 34.7% Nextel Phon 20.4% Electronic File Imagi 40.8% Video Teleconferenci 28.6% On-line Booki 28.6% Kios 14.3% Web Based Surveillance Syste 14.3% 49 ail 49 ge 48 ail 46 ers 48 et 46 os 44 es 39 re 40 ms 42 ng 39 ge 35 M 34 ms 29 ng 37 hts 30 ng 34 re 29 m 29 ng 27 nts 26 try 14 ng 26 ds 21 ng 19 net 11 ry 17 es 10 ng 20 ng 14 ng 14 ks 7 ms 7

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99 Table C-6 Information Technology Implementations by Conf./Conv. C trs ons ncy lig Conference Ctr. IT Implementati Freque Va d (N=77) Percenta e Fax 100 .0 % Email 97 .4 % Web Page 100 .0 % Voice Mail 94 .8 % Networked Computers 89 .6 % High Speed Internet 93 .5 % Two-way Radios 88 .3 % Staff Mobile Phones 100 .0 % Accounting Software 88 .3 % Computerized HVAC Systems 88 .3 % Computerized Booking/Scheduling 79 .2 % Interactive Web Page 57 .1 % Onsite ATM 63 .6 % Surveillance Systems 66 .2 % On-line Ticketing 18 .2 % Computerized Sound/Lights 58 .4 % Automated Timekeeping 61 .0 % Computer Aided Design Software 62 .3 % Intercom System 62 .3 % In-house Ticketing 29 .9 % Staff Personal Data Assistants 36 .4 % Electronic Keyless Entry 37 .7 % Electronic Marketing 33 .8 % Video Boards 27 .3 % Bar Code Ticketing 13 .0 % Wireless Internet 39 .0 % Point of Sale Inventory 16 .9 % Nextel Phones 35 .1 % Electronic File Imaging 24 .7 % Video Teleconferencing 53 .2 % On-line Booking 28 .6 % Kiosks 22 .1 % Web Based Surveillance Systems 11 .7 77 75 77 73 69 72 68 77 68 68 61 44 49 51 14 45 47 48 48 23 28 29 26 21 10 30 13 27 19 41 22 17 9 %

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100 Table C-7 Frequency of Website Updates by Facility Type Web Page Updates Fr equencyValid Percent nas / Amphitheaters (N=101) Are Daily 2928.7Weekly 3837.6onthly 2120.8% 22.022.0%44.0%55.0% ) 746.7320.0%320.0%16.7%00.0%Page 00.0%16.7% rts Centers (N = 85) 1618.8%3541.2%2225.9%67.1%00.0%11.2%55.9% 47) 1021.3%2348.9%1021.3%12.1%00.0%age 00.0%36.4% Convention Centers (N = 76) ily 1114.5%3039.5%2431.6% Yearly 810.5% Never 00.0% No Web Page 00.0% Unknown 33.9% % % M Yearly % Never No Web Page Unknown Stadium (N = 15 Daily % Weekly Monthly Yearly Never No Web Unknown Performing A Daily Weekly Monthly Yearly Never No Web Page Unknown Complexes (N = Daily Weekly Monthly Yearly Never No Web P Unknown Conference / Da Weekly Monthly

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH to Cocoa Beach, Florida, in 1981. After graduating from Cocoa Beach High School in 1986,Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing and a conceed a portion of her college expenses through a part-time job at the Stephen C. OConnell Cente. Upon her graduation returned in 1996 to accept a position as Business Manager of the Stephen C. OConnell oppore in comercial recreation. Renee is now graduating with her Master of Science in Recres and Tourism, with e information learned from this opportunity in her current position at the OConnell Center. She resides permanently in Gainesville, Florida, with her two children. Renee Janese Musson was born in Patchogue, New York, in 1968 and moved she began her college career at the University of Florida where she obtained her ntration in computer scien ce. During her years as an undergraduate, she support r, a multi-purpose arena on the University of Florida campus in December of 1990, she left the Gainesville area to pursue interests elsewhere, but Center. Her love of public assembly facility management joined with the educational tunities at the University of Florida to encourage her to pursue her masters degrem ational Studies degree from the Department of Recreation, Park an emphasis on commercial recreation and facility management. She hopes to utilize th 105


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Physical Description: Mixed Material
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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ADOPTIONS IN PUBLIC ASSEMBLY
FACILITIES BENCHMARKING AND STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES















By

RENEE JANESE MUSSON


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN RECREATIONAL STUDIES

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2003

































Copyright 2003

by

Renee Janese Musson


































I would like to dedicate this project to my children Kyle Edward Musson and Kacey
Virginia Musson, who have stood by me and have been the lights of my life.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This year has been one of the darkest periods in my life due to a great personal loss,

but, through it all, my children, Kyle and Kacey, have been the guiding lights that have

kept the darkness from overtaking me. I was able to accomplish this project through their

constant support, sacrifice of their time with me, and the knowledge that my ability to

complete this project would set the stage for their reactions to life stresses.

I must also thank my close circle of friends who supported me when I thought there

was no reason to continue, who covered for me when this project took me away from

work, and who loved me with all their hearts. I thank Catherine, Lynda, Mary, and Beth,

for all they have done for me.

My parents are owed a debt of gratitude for instilling in me a drive that carried me

through and a sense of pride in my accomplishments. Their support during this difficult

phase in my life can never be repaid and I owe them so much.

My committee, Dr. Lori Pennington-Gray, Dr. John Spengler, and Dr. Michael

Blachly, will forever be etched in my mind as individuals of the highest regard. Dr.

Pennington-Gray must be specifically thanked for giving me the encouragement to

continue this project through. Her advice, and support will never be forgotten.

Finally, I would like to thank the peers in my industry who gave of their time for

the data in this study. I know all of them are busy people and their moment of time at my

expense is greatly appreciated. I hope that they find this information informative and

useful.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

L IS T O F T A B L E S ...................................................................... .......... .. ............. ...... v iii

LIST OF FIGURES ............................... ... ...... ... ................. .x

ABSTRACT ........ .............. ............. ...... ...................... xi

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

State ent of the P problem ............................................................................. ........ 4
R research Q uestions............ ................................................................ ........ .. .. ...
H ypotheses ................................................ 5
D definition s ......................................................................... . 6

2 LITER A TU R E REV IEW ............................................................. ....................... 9

Public A ssem bly Facilities D efined...................................................... ..................9
Public Assembly Facilities as a Component of the Leisure Industry .........................10
Competitive Advantage Theoretical Framework ................................................12
Technology in Service Oriented Fields .................................................. 19
Competitive Strategy in the Travel and Tourism Industry ......................................20
Defining Measurements Organization Characteristics .........................................22
Defining Measurements Strategic Priorities.........................................................24
Defining Measurements Managerial Attitude ............................... ................28
Study of Technology in US Hotels.................................................. 31
Study of Technology in Public Assembly Facilities.......................................32
S u m m a ry ............................................................................................................... 3 7

3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ............................................................................ ................... 39

R e se arch D e sig n ................................................................................................... 3 9
S a m p le ...............................................................................3 9
Survey D evelopm ent ........................................ ................. .... ....... 40
Operationalization of Variables........................................................... .....................41
A n aly sis ..............................................................................4 4











4 R E SU L T S ....................................................... 46

Respondent Profile ............... ... ...... ..................4............ .. ........ .. 46
A g e ..............................................................................4 8
G e n d e r ........................................................................................................... 4 8
Y ears of E experience ................................................. ............................... 48
E d u c a tio n ....................................................................................................... 4 9
Field of Study ........................................49
Information Technology Skill Level ....................................... ............... 49
P o sitio n T title ................................................................................................. 5 0
Facility Profile ........................................................... ......... 50
Information Technology Strategic Planning ................................................. 52
Effects of the Events of September 11, 2001 .................................................52
Training ........................................ ... ... ................. ............ 53
Use of Technology and Focus on Technology ............................... ...............53
Management Support and Industry Comparison............... ................... 53
Facility M market and Type ............................................................................. 53
M anagem ent Structure.............................................................. .....................54
N um ber of C om puters .............................................................. ............... 54
Information Technology Expenditures..................................... ...............55
F a cility A g e ..................................................................... 5 5
F facility S iz e ................................................................................... 5 6
Facility B budget .............................................. ................. ......... 58
Information Technology Implementation Profile................... .......................59
Technology Im plem entations ........................................ ......................... 60
W ebsite and W ebsite U pdating ........................................ ....................... 61
E m ployee Productivity ............................................... ............................. 63
R revenue Enhancem ent ............................................... ............................. 63
C custom er Service................ .. ..... ........... ........... ...................... ... .......... 64
Analysis of Variations of Priorities Based on Facility Characteristics....................65
F facility T y p e .................................................. ................ 6 5
F a cility A g e ..................................................................... 6 6
Facility Size ................................... ................................ ........67
F facility B budget ......................................................................67
Facility M anagem ent Structure ........................................ ....................... 68
U university verses N on-U university Facilities ....................................................69
Analysis of Managerial Attitudes Toward Information Technology .........................69
Analysis of the Challenges of Implementing Information Technology ...................72
S u m m ary ...................... .. .. ......... .. .. ................................................. 7 4

5 DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS....... ........... ................... .............75

Su m m ary of M eth od s ....................................................................... .............. 7 5
D discussion of F findings ....................... .. ........................ .. .. ...... ........... 76
R espondent Profile ...................................... .............................76
Facility Profile ............. .. ........... ........... ...... ... ........ ..... ....... 76









Research Question 1: What Strategic Priorities (Customer Service, Revenue
Enhancement, or Employee Productivity) are the Most Critical in the
Selection of Inform ation Technologies? .......................................................77
Research Question 2: Are There Variations in the Utilization of Technology
Among Public Assembly Facilities Based Upon Various Facility
C characteristics? ................................................... ...... .................... ..... . 79
Research Question 3: How Do the Managerial Attitudes of Public Assembly
Facility Managers Affect the Acceptance of New Technologies? ................ 82
Research Question 4: How Does Specific IT Challenges Affect the
Implementation of Information Technologies? ............ ................................ 83
Im plications ........................................................ ................. 84
Suggestions for Further R esearch..................................... ......................... .. ......... 86

APPENDIX

A SU R V E Y IN STR U M EN T ............................................................... .....................89

B IRB APPROVED INFORMED CONSENT ................................... .................93

C BENCHMARKING BY FACILITY TYPE ........... ................. ..... ............94

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ...................................................................... ..................... 10 1

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................................... .............105
















LIST OF TABLES


Table pge

3-1 Technological Implementations and Their Associated Strategic Priority ............41

3-2 M anagerial A ttitudes.......................................... ................... ............... 43

4-1 Respondent Profile for Information Technology Survey................ ........... 47

4-2 Facility Profile for Information Technology Survey ..........................................51

4-3 Number of Computers in an Organization...................... ..................... 55

4-4 Information Technology Expenditures by Facility Type (in thousands) ..............55

4-5 A ge of R espondent Facilities ...................................................................... ..... 56

4-6 Facility Size by Facility Type (in thousands) ................................ ............... 57

4-7 D term inning Range of Facility Size.................................... ....................... 57

4-8 Facility's Annual Revenues (in millions) ................................... .................58

4-9 Determining Range of Facility Budget..... ....................................59

4-10 Website usage and Frequency of Website Update..............................................59

4-11 Information Technology Implementation Frequency ........................................60

4-12 Index Score for Strategic Priorities................................... ......................... 62

4-13 Number of Employee Productivity Implementations ..........................................63

4-14 Number of Revenue Enhancement Implementations .........................................64

4-15 Number of Customer Service Implementations................... ...............65

4-16 ANOVA of Facility Type and the Strategic Priorities..............................66

4-17 ANOVA of Facility Age and the Strategic Priorities ........................................66

4-18 ANOVA of Facility Size and the Strategic Priorities ........................................67









4-19 ANOVA of Facility Budget Size and the Strategic Priorities.............................. 68

4-20 Independent Samples T-Test Results of Public vs Private Management .............68

4-21 Independent Samples T-test Results of University vs Non-University Facility ....69

4-22 Facility Profile for Information Technology Survey ..........................................70

4-23 Managerial Attitude Categorized.............................................71

4-24 ANOVA of Managerial Attitudes and the Strategic Priorities ...........................72

4-25 Frequency of Implementation Challenges (in Percentages) .............................73

4-26 Correlations Between Challenges and Strategic Priorities with Pearson's R........73

C-l Percentage of Information Technologies Implementations by Facility Type........94

C-2 Information Technologies Implementations by Arenas................. ................95

C-3 Information Technologies Implementations by Stadiums ...................................96

C-4 Information Technologies Implementations by Performing Arts Centers.............97

C-5 Information Technologies Implementations by Complexes............... ...............98

C-6 Information Technology Implementations by Conf/Conv. Ctrs.........................99

C-7 Frequency of W ebsite Updates by Facility Type ..............................................100
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure p

2-1 Tourism and Information Technologies Strategic Framework ............................27

3-1 Relationship Between Characteristics and Strategic Priorities .............................45
















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Recreational Studies

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ADOPTIONS
IN PUBLIC ASSEMBLY FACILITIES:
BENCHMARKING AND STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

By

Renee Janese Musson

December 2003

Chair: Lori Pennington-Gray
Major Department: Recreation, Parks, and Tourism

A critical function for an organization is the development of a strategic advantage

over its competition in order to ensure organization success and growth. The purpose of

this study was to investigate the strategic priorities of public assembly facilities,

specifically arenas, stadiums, performing arts centers, complexes, and conference and

convention centers, when implementing information technologies. In addition to

determining this priority, this study benchmarked the current information technology

implementations for use by facility managers to utilize in their future planning.

The data were collected from a survey of public assembly facilities located in the

United States who had at least one member in the International Association of Assembly

Managers. A total of 372 survey questionnaires were collected between June and August

2003. A representative sample resulted amongst all the venue types. The demographic

of the respondents, while largely male, also reflected the demographics of the industry.









The study showed that the public assembly facility industry primarily implements

technologies that are geared to employee productivity, supporting the theory that

information technologies are first implemented to solve productivity problems prior to

implementing for customer service or revenue enhancement.

Facility characteristics play a significant role in the determination of

implementations. Performing arts centers are behind in employee productivity

implementations and in customer service implementations but conference and convention

centers were behind the other facility types for revenue enhancing strategies. Stadiums

were ahead in all three types of implementation. Younger venues, larger venues, venues

with an increased budget, and venues that are privately managed are all more likely to

implement technologies. There was no significant difference between University and

non-university venues in the revenue and customer service categories but non-university

venues implement more employee productivity implementations.

The final results of this study showed that a positive management attitude towards

technology has a significant impact on the number of technologies implemented and that

most of the four main challenges identified in the literature also effect implementations

for facilities. The four main challenges included training, time, managerial experience,

and cost. The only challenge not identified by management as a significant challenge

was training.

Facilities lack strategic planning for technology and this study clarifies directions

and potential avenues for competitive advantages for facilities.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

On New Year's Eve, December 31, 1999, the nation held its breath waiting for the

power to go off, planes to crash, and for the world as we know it to come to a screeching

halt. As New Year's Eve approached, the panic about what has become know as Y2K

gripped the nation as computer programmers worked to re-program the nations

computers allowing the processing of a four-digit year. Two little digits had the power to

panic the world.

This nationwide panic demonstrates how the use of computers is ingrained in our

everyday life, even on the lives of those who do not personally own a computer. The

number of individuals that own a computer is increasing rapidly. The expenditures of

computers and related equipment has grown from 2.1 billion in 1990 to 92.3 billion in

1999, a change of 4,295.24% while the percentage change in consumer spending as a

whole only increased 33.62%, firmly launching us into the age of technology (US

Census, 2000). Because of this, information technology development has become a

critical factor for organizational planning.

Businesses are scrambling to find a strategic advantage in this age of technology

and those in the service sectors are no exceptions. Information technologies strive to link

employees, codify an organizations knowledge base, improve boundary-expanding

capabilities, improve information processing, increasing efficiency, and enhancing

collaboration (Dewett, 2001). The challenge is keeping up with developments and "the









creation of new opportunities what the IT world calls relentless innovation"

(Bacheldor, 2000). Businesses are finding that they must "compete with the customer for

the customer's own business" (Hill & Schulman, 2001, p. 156) meaning that consumers

can utilize the Internet to arm themselves with more information than ever before. The

savvy consumer can make purchasing decisions based on Internet research they have

completed before they talk to anyone offering the service.

Many service sectors are spending tremendous amounts of money to capture

dominance with their newfound technological freedoms while other service sectors are

lagging behind. With the growth in demand for computer based information and order

processing, assessments are critical to insure the organization will not be placed at a

competitive disadvantage. As time goes on, certain implementations of information

technologies will become a strategic necessity and that implementation will bring no

competitive advantage. The technology becomes a necessity when the failure to

implement the technology results in a strategic disadvantage (Floyd & Woolridge, 1990).

Public assembly facilities serve the public by hosting multiple entertainment

avenues for communities to enjoy. The entertainment comes in many forms including

sporting events, concerts, performing arts, expositions, conferences, lectures, family

shows and so much more. As consumers become savvier, facilities have to act more

business like than ever before. "The reality is that opening the gates and switching on the

lights is no longer sufficient to attract customers" (Cornelisse, 2002, p. 145). Technology

must become part of the event experience as today's concert-goers and sports fans need

instant information and constant excitement (Christison, 2002). Has the public assembly

facility industry kept up with technology growth?









Doug Routh, an expert on multi-disciplinary telecommunications and information

services, said that we are entering what he calls the ICE age. ICE stands for information,

communication and entertainment (Routh, 1994). Information, communication and

entertainment are three of the fastest changing industries and public assembly facilities

are at the junction point of all three (Routh, 1994). Growth in the technologies of

information and communication are well documented, especially in the tourism industry

where information is the key to success (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001). The

Internet addresses the fragmentation of the industry and opens up a whole new way of

doing business for the tourism industry. Still, the Internet's potential seems to be

somewhat unrealized. An estimated 33 to 50 percent of all consumer-based Internet

transactions are tourism related (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001).

Public assembly facilities serve the recreational needs of individual thus they look

to the recreation, travel and tourism industry for insights into consumer behavior and

industry trends. A recent study by Siguaw, Enz, and Namasivayam (2000) looked at the

strategic priorities of hotels to determine if the hotels were more likely to implement

technologies related to customer service, revenue enhancement, or employee

productivity. They also determined the influences on size, type, and ownership on the

strategic priorities of technological adoption. This same type of analysis is needed for the

public assembly facility to allow managers to benchmark themselves and strategically

plan for technology.

Organizations progress through five stages of information technology adoption

(McKenney, 1994). These five stages include finding a solution to a problem, building

competence, expanding the solution, enabling change, and evolving a strategy that will









gain the organization a competitive advantage. Finding solutions to problems and

building competence will create a better work environment and increase employee

productivity. The next step is to expand the solution to improve customer service and,

finally, with these two frameworks in place, implementations can begin that will increase

revenue by building a sustainable advantage (McKenney, 1994).

By examining the preferences given to the strategic areas of customer service,

revenue enhancement, or employee productivity, this study hopes to gain a better

understanding of the current patterns of information technology adoptions in the facility

management industry. The study will also look for relationships between the level of

information technology implementation and the specific facility's characteristics and

management attitudes in an effort to benchmark the industry's progress towards a

technological advanced industry. To follow is a statement of the problem, several

research questions, definitions of key terms and a review of the literature.

Statement of the Problem

Public assembly facility management dates back as far as history is recorded.

Anytime large crowds gathered as spectators for an event, the organizers of that event

were managing the public assembly (Peterson, 2001). Even with its rich history, the

formalized academic discipline of facility management is just beginning with the

development of master's level graduate degree programs and formalized study. Due to

the lack of formalized research in this field, facility managers are trained and receive

their information from academic programs in similar industries, such as travel and

tourism. In order to obtain a research framework to determine the technological progress

of the industry, this research is based on the recent study of United States hotels. This

hotel study examined the utilization of information technology in hotels to capture









information about strategic differences and similarities among the studied hotels.

(Siguaw, Enz, & Namasivayam 2000). Since minimal information is available for the

facility management industry, this thesis performs a similar review of public assembly

facilities to obtain needed benchmarking of their progress towards information

technology implementation and best practices for gaining a technological strategic

advantage.

Research Questions

The following research questions are addressed in this study.

1. What strategic priorities (customer service, revenue enhancement, or employee
productivity) are the most critical in the selection of information technologies?

2. Are there variations in the utilization of technology among public assembly facility
based upon the following characteristics?

2a. Type of facility: arena/amphitheater, stadium, convention/conference center,
performing arts center/auditorium, or complex.

2b. Public assembly facility age.

2c. Public assembly facility size.

2d. Facility budget level.

2e. Management of a facility by a public entity or private entity.

2f. Operation of a facility within a University setting.

3. How do the managerial attitudes of public assembly facility managers affect the
acceptance of new technologies?

4. How do specific IT challenges affect the implementation of information
technologies?

Hypotheses

Hi: Employee productivity is a strategic priority when making decisions about

the implementation of information technologies.









H2a: There is no significant difference between the various facility types and

implementation of information technologies.

H2b: There is no significant difference between age of the facility and

implementation of information technologies.

H2c: There is no significant difference between size of the facility and

implementation of information technologies.

H2d: There is no significant difference between facility's budget and

implementation of information technologies.

H2e: There is no significant difference between publicly or privately managed

facilities and implementation of information technologies.

H2f: There is no significant difference between a university facility or non-

university facility and the implementation of information technologies.

H3: There is no significant difference in managerial attitudes and

implementation of information technologies.

H4: There is no significant difference in information technology challenges

(cost, training, time, management experience) and implementation of information

technologies.

Definitions

Amphitheater. An open-air facility with a stage, some permanent seating, and

some lawn seating area (International Association of Assembly Managers, 1996a).

Arena. An indoor facility with fixed and/or portable seats surrounding an open

floor area, which can be set with different event configurations. May have a permanent

stage or use portable staging when necessary (IAAM, 1996a).









Auditorium/theater. An indoor performing arts facility or concert hall usually

with some type of permanent stage and permanent seats on a raked (sloped) floor, or may

have a center or thrust stage with either permanent and/or portable seating (IAAM,

1996a).

Complex. A combination of two or more facility types governed by the same

management and accounted for with joint financial records (IAAM, 1996a).

Convention center. A facility with large exhibit areas, supplemented by a variety

of different sized meeting rooms (IAAM, 1996a).

Demographic information. For the purpose of this study, demographic variables

collected on the individual completing the survey will include position in the

organization, age, gender, number of years experience in the industry, and education

level.

Facility management. A field concerned with the supervision and organization of

daily operations and employees of a sports, recreational, or theatrical venue (Reinhart,

1999)

Facility types. Include arenas, amphitheaters, stadiums, convention centers,

performing arts centers, and complexes (IAAM, 1996a).

Information technologies (IT). Technologies that provide support of business

activities through the use of hardware and software that collects, transmits, processes, and

disseminates information (Cho & Olsen, 1998).

International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM). The dominant

professional organization in the facility management field (Reinhart, 1999).









Public assembly facilities (facilities). Facilities built to allow the general public to

gather to enjoy concerts, sporting events, expositions, lectures, performing arts

presentations, conventions, and various other types of entertainment and recreation. In

this study, public assembly facilities include arenas, stadiums, convention centers,

performing arts centers, and complexes comprised of multiple of the above facilities.

Public assembly facilities will be the units of analysis for this study.

Stadium. A large facility, either open-aired or domed, with fixed seats or

bleachers surrounding a "field area" (IAAM, 1996a).

Strategic Priorities for Technology. The technological focus of an organization.

The primary focus areas would be customer service, revenue enhancement or employee

productivity.

Units of analysis. The public assembly facility.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

The follow is a review of literature relevant to the study of information technology

implementations in public assembly facilities. Public assembly facilities are defined and

their place in the leisure industry is explained. A theoretical framework surrounding the

necessity of a organization to maintain a strategic advantage over its competition and

technology's role in that strategic plan is reviewed. This framework is applied to service

industries and specifically the tourism industry and the variables in question for this study

are introduced. Finally, a study of strategic priorities in US hotels lays the groundwork

for this study and specific information about public assembly facilities is presented.

Public Assembly Facilities Defined

From as far back as 1500 BC when the Egyptians promoted sports and physical

activity for the nobility, special facilities were constructed to host events and sporting

contests. The need for facilities continued with the Chinese empires during 1100 BC and

developed even further trough the Greek and Roman empires (Farmer, Mulrooney, &

Ammon, 1996). In modem culture, one of the ways a community continues to fill the

need for large scale recreational and sporting events is through the funding of public

facilities. Public assembly facilities provide a place for sport, recreation, spectacle,

artistic expression, political gatherings, religion, and various other commercial activities

including conventions, meetings and trade shows.

Public assembly facilities include any facility constructed to allow the public to

assemble such as those with descriptive titles such as arena, stadium, civic center,









amphitheater, convention center, conference center, congress center, exhibition hall,

performing arts center, performance hall, auditorium, mega-theater, ballpark, trade

center, merchandise mart, multi-purpose facility, fair ground, racetracks, and others

(Peterson, 2001). While facilities can be described in various ways and are structured for

different purposes, there are similarities in the management of these facilities. For the

purposes of this study, all of the facility types have been combined into five main groups

including arenas/amphitheaters, stadiums, auditoriums/performing arts centers,

convention/conference centers, and complexes (IAAM, 1996a). The differences between

these groups are discussed in more detail later in this chapter but these groups all share

the common purpose of supporting the recreational needs and quality of life of a

community. As an industry, these facilities share enough similarities that the profession

of public assembly management can establish a body of knowledge used to shape the way

the profession carries out the function of facility management (IAAM, 1996b).

Public Assembly Facilities as a Component of the Leisure Industry

Communities are formed from individuals banding together for safety, social,

economics and mutual support. They grow and prosper because this togetherness is

essential for human existence. A community's perception as successful or attractive is

directly related to that community's quality of life (Allen, 1991). Quality of life can be

defined as "a composite rating of various life experiences relating to the individual and

the environment around them" (Allen, 1991, p. 333). Quality of life is a difficult concept

to determine but literature supports that the activities one partakes in during their leisure

time will dramatically impact their quality of life (Marans & Mohai, 1991, p.355). As

communities grow, residents will seek facilities that meet their recreational desires and

will push to have recreation amenities in their own communities to avoid the required









travel to a metropolitan area. Just as the growth in a community will generate growth in

the essential public functions such as utilities, emergency response, and schools, the

increasing and changing population will demand more facilities for their leisure time

(Peterson, 2001). This public push is a direct effect from a community's desire to

increase their own quality of life and to fulfill their recreational needs.

In addition to fulfilling the community's need for recreation, public assembly

facilities contribute to a community's financial stability through the promotion of tourism

to the area. While the benefits of tourism are distinctly seen with a conference and

convention center's ability to attract visitors from outside the local area, the other facility

types (arenas, stadiums and performing arts centers), can also bring economic benefit to a

community through dollars spent in the local community (verses outside the community)

and through urban renewal (Peterson, 2001). The economic impact a facility has on a

community is often reported in addition to a facility's financial position as an indicator of

the facility's success and to show the strong relationship the facility has with the local

tourism industry (Graham et al., 2003).

Public assembly facilities are utilized by the public and, as such, are intensively

competitive, even when their goal is not to amass profits. In some situations, the success

of a public assembly facility is based upon their ability to stimulate the local economy

through development and through the multiplier effect (Farmer, Mulrooney, & Ammon,

1996). When economic impact is used as a measure of success in lieu of a positive

bottom line, it must be proven that the economic dollars spent in the community that are

being attributed to the facility would not have been spent if that facility was not there

(Peterson, 2001). This requirement ensures that public assembly facilities compete with









all forms of entertainment and recreation, not just other facilities, for the patron's

attention and financial support. Success and failure of a facility will depend upon the

ability to know the market and to develop a competitive edge.

Competitive Advantage Theoretical Framework

As defined by Porter (1980), competitive strategy is the development of a plan to

gain advantages over competitors through the use of cost leadership, differentiation, cost

focus or differentiation focus. A sound strategy should consist of a focused, favorable,

sustainable, and advantageous position over the competition. The strategy must be

dynamic, as time will change all the factors affecting the business. No matter where the

organization is in it's life cycle, and even after long standing periods of competitive

stability, disruptions can occur when there is a move by the competition or a change in

market forces. An analysis of the industry as a whole is a critical first step in building a

competitive strategy that will combat these changes in a fluid marketplace (Porter, 1980).

A firm's competitive strategy should consider the forces that effect their operation,

and a firm should understand those forces better than their competitors in order to achieve

success. While generating this understanding a firm should also understand that they are

not restricted to the industry's current structural mix and look for new and inventive ways

to change the industry forces. Quality competitive strategies will work to not only shape

the organization but also shape the surrounding industry allowing the organization the

ability to manipulate some of the variables and ultimately help change the rules of the

industry. In this way, the organization creates a strategic innovation.

Porter states that strategies can be placed into four generic categories: cost

leadership, differentiation, cost focus, and differentiation focus. Once an organization has

determined which strategy suites their strengths, they must complete a competitive









analysis to insure the stability and protection of their strategy. Failure to do so could

result in the organizations becoming "stuck in the middle" with no real competitive edge.

Failure to fully comprehend the current and potential competition, and failure to track the

competition will ultimately lead to a decline in the effectiveness of the organization's

strategy. Competitive analysis and strategic benchmarking should include review of four

components, competitors' current strategy, their capabilities, their future goals, and their

assumptions about themselves and the industry.

An understanding of a competing firm's current strategy is essential to insure two

organizations in the same industry do not have an identical strategy. In addition, a review

of competitors' goals will reveal significant information about a competitor. It will show

if they are satisfied with their current position in the industry and what initiatives they are

about to be undertaken. Identification of the competitions assumptions about their

current situation can lead to strategic advantages if the competitor has made assumptions

that are known to be false. Conversely, should a competitor be acting on an assumption

that was not recognized before, the competitor may end up in the advantageous position

of being able to provide a unique product.

Finally, a review of the capabilities, the strengths and weaknesses, of the

competition is critical to discovering weaknesses and to turning weakness into gains.

One of the least reviewed but critical capabilities that must be examined is the

background of the upper management. Those in top management shape the organization.

Top management's past history can show significant trends and assist with predictions

about how a manager will act in the future. For example, management's responsiveness

to market signals of change can be monitored to see if they are more cautious or more









risky. This information can be used to get ahead during times of economic flux. As with

all other strategic analysis, the review of a competitor's strengths and weaknesses must

be continually monitored.

Understanding the industry as a whole and understanding the individual players in

an industry are important to a firms strategic plan but the true focus of any strategic plan

must be the strategic advantage that the company seeks to capitalize on. In 1985,

Michael Porter introduced the concept of competitive advantage. True competitive

advantage is the ability to create value for the customer that exceeds the firm's cost of

creating that value. To accomplish this, all members of the value chain must be engaged

in the pursuit of competitive advantage. The value chain consists of the suppliers to an

organization, the organization itself, and the customers who benefit from the company's

product or service. All of the levels of the value chain should work together to create

buyer value. Increased value to the buyer increases competitive advantage. Value is the

amount that buyers are willing to pay for the company's output, be it a good or a service.

As stated, a competitive strategy must plan for a unique product, a focus on a target

customer, or extreme efficiency. Through these plans, a company can increase the value

of the product. Keep in mind, the strategic advantage must not only physically

differentiate itself from other, similar, products, it must also be perceived as different by

the intended target. In addition, the differentiation must be sustainable. Creating

barriers, long-term strategic planning, and technological growth are some ways to sustain

this competitive advantage.

Technological growth has posed unique challenges to planning a competitive

strategy and maintaining a competitive advantage. Technological change plays a major









role in the structure changes in all industries. "Of all the things that can change the rules

of competition, technological change is among the most prominent." (Porter, 1985, p60).

Technology affects competition by giving companies ways to outperform their

rivals, by changing the structure of the industry, and by creating new businesses.

Technology changes not only the scientific developments of the organization, but also

replaces traditional methods of doing business. Information technology can expedite the

transfer of information. Process planning can be streamlined through the use of

electronic modeling and computer aided designing, and office productivity can be

increased through the development of office efficiencies. Porter further states that the

impact of information technology is developing at a faster rate than managers can

operationalize (Porter, 1985).

Technology will only become a competitive advantage if it contributes to cost or

position differentiation, as required for a true competitive advantage. Technology is

suited for gaining economies of scale, timeliness, and relationship positioning. The best

example of this is Federal Express who utilized technology to gain all three advantages

through it's customer service oriented package tracking, guaranteed delivery on time, and

the distribution system to deliver an amazing amount of packages (Porter, 1985).

While technology can give an organization a competitive advantage, the

sustainability issue remains. Technological advances only stay an advantage until a

competitor utilizes the technology, then the technology becomes a minimum criteria to

stay competitive. Technology will lead to a sustainable advantage if the technology

delivers a system or product that is in the organizations favor, is difficult to imitate,

continues to be "pioneered" to new levels of knowledge, and it improves the entire









industry. One note of importance is that technological change must improve the entire

industry. If change is detrimental to the industry, it will ultimately cause even its creator

to suffer as the industry declines (Porter, 1985).

When building a technological strategy, a firm has to decide how to allocate

funding from their limited budget resources (Porter, 1985). A clear plan is necessary to

insure that the costs of developing technology will produce results that will assist with the

firms overall competitive strategy. A firm must also decide if they want to be a

technological leader or follower. The leader may reap the benefits of being the first to

adopt a specific technology but they may also pay a higher price for the innovation.

Taking the leadership role should be considered if the competition would have difficulty

in duplicating the innovation or if the company has the ability to continue to produce

innovations faster and cheaper than their competition. The company must also be

prepared to train staff, as new innovations will not have a pre-made human resource pool

to choose from.

Management attitude will play a major role in the success of any technological

implementation. In most cases, those managers who are innovative and are the first to

market a new technology do not have as big an advantage as those who learn how to

effectively incorporate the technology into the system. The ability of a firm to anticipate

the evolution of technological change in their industry, and the management's ability to

incorporate their findings in their strategic plan will be essential to a company's success.

To accomplish a strategic plan for technology, management must first assess the

intensity of information needed for their products, services, or processes. The more

information a customer needs to make a purchase decision, the greater the need for









informational technologies to manage the product or service. Next, the organization

should rank the technologies according to which technology will give the company a

greater competitive advantage. The organization must then consider the technologies

ability to create new business. After all of this is considered, the organization must

develop a plan for their use of technology to insure the end result will be positive and that

a true competitive advantage will be gained.

In 1997, Michael Porter summed up competitive advantage by stating that

companies must have a clear vision of how they can be unique. They must work to

improve the industry as a whole, and not just their organization, and they must value the

trade-offs they have made to gain their unique position as those trade-offs will help create

the barriers and sustainability required to insure continued advantage. Above all, the

organization must be aggressive in continuously reviewing and updating the value it

delivers as the industry and world around them changes. They must have the foresight to

strategically plan for change and continue their future success (Porter, 1997).

In order to adapt, the ability to manage change is critical. Change management

includes focusing on evolving customer needs, evolving technologies for meeting

customer needs, and evolving managerial practices (Porter, 1999). "Technology is

transforming the nature of products, processes, companies, industries, and even

competition itself (Porter & Millar, 1985, p149)." Change is needed for an organization

to thrive in the information age. Physical changes are not the only things that must

change; managerial attitudes must evolve as well. It is easy for management to get

caught up in the technological wave without having the knowledge to manage that









change. They need to strategically plan for the changes or the benefits of technology will

be missed in the rush to implement technology.

If technology, like all other resources, is not managed and strategically planned, the

potential competitive advantages that technology can bring will quickly turn into

competitive disadvantages. Technology becomes a necessity because failure to

implement the technology results in a strategic disadvantage. A perfect example is the

implementation of automatic teller machines (ATMs) in the banking industry. The first

bank to introduce the technology reaped great rewards while the other banks struggled to

catch up. Now there are no strategic advantages for banks to have an ATM service, but

should a bank fail to provide that service, they would be at a strategic disadvantage. In

essence, the requirement of ATMs for banks has become a competitive burden (Floyd &

Woolridge, 1990). For the travel and tourism industry, and interactive web presence is

become as established as ATM's in the banking industry. There will soon be a time that

the lack of a web presence will put the attraction at a strategic disadvantage (Govers,

Jansen-Verbeke, & Go, 2000). Porter agrees by touting the internet as a required element

for strategic planning for any organization (Porter, 2001).

In summary, an organization must utilize information technology to advance their

strategic plan and ensure they are working towards a competitive advantage instead of

fighting a competitive disadvantage. Assessments need to be made about the

organizations current characteristics and how the organization's structure can benefit

from increase technological advancements. Managerial attitudes towards

implementations must embrace the change and encourage an environment of innovation.

Finally, organizations must look at their strategic priorities for information technology









and move beyond limiting the use of IT's for employee productivity and look at the

customer service and revenue generation potential.

Technology in Service Oriented Fields

"Information technology transforms the nature of products, processes, companies,

industries, and even competition itself (Cho & Olsen, 1998, p. 378)." In the lodging

industry, the implementation of information technology (IT) tends to be reactive instead

of proactive. IT investment decisions are based on what others in the industry are doing

or are implemented when an organization is placed under pressure from their vendors

(Cho & Olsen, 1998).

Managers in the lodging industry are very aware of the importance of IT

development as they believe IT has a major influence on competitive scope through the

increased efficiencies that come from the ability to compete in a wider area and the

ability to join forces with strategic partners. In summary, the main focus for IT

implementation in the lodging industry is not to increase revenue but to reduce costs by

improving efficiencies and increase customer satisfaction by providing convenient

services to customers (Cho & Olsen, 1998).

Web sites are a critical function of all service organizations. Web sites have the

ability to collect data in an automated and methodological manner and to change

consumer behavior. An Internet based study showed that visitations to a website changed

the travel decisions of 53% of the visitors to that website, a very powerful argument

towards the maintenance of a quality website (Tierney, 2000).

While web sites typically focus on the information aspect of marketing, they also

have the capability of completing the transaction, tracking the customer information, and

increasing repeat business. On-line reservation systems are excellent examples of this









web use. The most important elements of Internet effectiveness are quick loading speeds,

fast responses, and added features. Mere Internet presence is no longer a competitive

advantage but a business necessity (Law & Leung, 2000). The "added features" of a web

site are what gives a travel organization a competitive advantage. "The Web has changed

from pushing firms and services to pulling clients into value-added opportunities that a

copy provides." (Law & Leung, 2000, p.202).

Competitive Strategy in the Travel and Tourism Industry

The tourism industry is a prime example of how the lack of IT implementation can

lead to a strategic disadvantage. "Unlike durable goods, intangible tourism services

cannot be physically displayed or inspected at the point of sale before purchasing. They

are bought before the time of their use and away from the place of consumption. Hence

they depend exclusively upon representations and descriptions" (Buhalis, 1998, p. 409).

The industry has traditionally provided this information in the form of brochures but the

interactive experience that can be offered through the Internet is far superior to the old

paper method and is more likely to attract travelers. Not to mention that the Internet can

complete the transaction and gather information pre and post sale, qualities that brochures

lack. The point has been reached where a lack of a web presence for a tourism

destination would put that destination at a strategic disadvantage.

The ability to use information technology is now available to everyone so IT does

not alone afford a competitive advantage (Gretzel, 2000). Success is, instead, based upon

the ability to manage the rapid changes and advances. Travel, and entertainment as a

function of travel, is very information intensive therefore a perfect fit with the Internet as

information dissemination is one of the strengths of the Internet. While traditional forms

of advertising work to deliver a mass message, the web interacts and tailors information









for the user. It is critical that the web presence go beyond being an information source

and instead delve into providing a service and capturing information about perspective

clients. The use of web measurement, ad-serving tools, database mining, collaborative

filtering, behavioral analysis, and presentation tools can all contribute to a competitive

advantage when utilized to segment the target market (Gretzel, 2000).

Effective sites must be accurate, timely, attractive, easily searchable, interactive,

and they must respond quickly to user input (Gretzel, 2000). On-line consumers not only

want the information but they also want to be entertained. The site must add to the

"brand" that the organization is trying to emulate. The customer must be able to create

the positive mental image that is critical to an organization's development of a brand,

without the benefit of the impression a physical facility can have on creating that brand

image in a consumer's mind. The use of the Internet, like any other business tool, must

be managed and strategically planned. The continuous monitoring of the current

offerings of the organization and tracking of developments in the industry are critical,

regardless of the financial and human resource limitations (Gretzel, 2000).

The Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) published a review of the use of

the Internet by travelers and found that half of American travelers use the Internet and

93% of Internet users traveled in the year prior to the publication. The number of online

travelers has grown 190 percent since 1996. During a three-year period covering 1997-

1999, there was a 1,500 percent increase in on-line travel planning and only 5% of those

using the Internet said they would decrease their usage of the Internet for travel planning

in the future (Joerchel, Stueve, & Cook, 1999). This staggering growth requires

organizations to offer on-line services or suffer a competitive disadvantage and this trend









is applicable to other service industries as well. There is no doubt that "technologies

have become instrumental in the development and prosperity of companies'

competitiveness by permeating all functions of strategic and operational management.

Hence, tourism operators have to realize that failure to adopt and utilize them will lead to

competitive disadvantages. This in turn can jeopardize the prosperity of destinations

(Sigala et al., 2000, p. 405)."

Defining Measurements Organization Characteristics

Organization structure has a tremendous effect on the success of IT

implementation. In America, organizations are more likely to focus on IT as a

competitive advantage where Canadian organizations look to IT for increasing

partnerships and integration. These two philosophies of IT implementation directly

reflect the cultures of the two countries and show that organization characteristics play a

role in the adoptions of information technologies (Gretzel & Fesenmaier, 2002).

In 2001, Dewett focused on the role IT played in moderating the relationship

between various organization characteristics. He studied the strategic outcomes,

organizational efficiency and innovations based on organization structure, size, learning,

culture, and inter-organizational relationships. "The availability and use of information

systems and technologies has grown almost to the point of being commodity-like in

nature, becoming nearly as ubiquitous as labor" (Dewett, 2001, p314).

As mentioned before, sustainability of a competitive advantage is a critical step to

insure the continued success of any organization. In a study of restaurant firms, 36 of the

51 firms that were studied had a sustainable impact from a technological implementation.

This sustainability was primarily attributed to the amount of capital available prior to the

implementation and the existing technological resources (Huo, 1998). As a general trend,









the larger the organization, the greater the chance the organization will have the increased

capital needed for sustainability of technology growth (Huo, 1998). While this may hold

true in most cases, it is also possible that the smaller organizations can offset the financial

and technical constraints of implementation with their ability to be flexible when

implementing innovations (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001). Smaller organizations

also stand to benefit greatly from the advent of the internet as it allows them to compete

around the clock and around the world at a minimal cost (Buhalis & Main, 1998).

Regardless of physical size, budget constraints play a major role in IT development

as it determines the flexibility the organization has on technological implementation

expenditures (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001). Small and medium enterprises may

be forced to use current technologies longer than their useful life due to financial

constraints. This causes an integration gap, possibly leading to a competitive

disadvantage for the smaller organization (Steiner, 2000).

Specialization in the firm refers to the number of specialties within the

organization. The more specialization of departments, the more likely the units will not

understand the organization's wider goals. IT can help bridge this gap by providing

knowledge sharing and increased communication. The greater the number of

departments, the greater the need for widespread technology implementation (Dewett,

2001).

Organizations strive to formalize their rules, operating procedures, norms, and

values. Formalization seeks to reduce ambiguity and increase efficiency.

Formalization's downside is shown in the increased time taken to search for the resources









needed to meet organizational objectives but this time restraint can be addressed by IT

implementation to speed up the information gathering process (Dewett, 2001).

Both centralization and decentralization in an organization can benefit from

information technology. IT gathers information in both directions either allowing the

decentralized units to make faster and more efficient decisions but still keep the

organizations overall goals in mind. The centralized organization (decision making

authority is concentrated in one area of the organization) benefits from the increased and

timely information from the front line management to allow for better decision making

with more input for the lower levels of the organization (Dewett, 2001).

The relationship of an organization's size and its use of technology is not clear.

Some studies show that technologically advanced organizations have lead to a reduction

in middle management as the dissemination of information is automated. But it has also

been shown that IT implementation has increased organizational size (Dewett, 2001).

Defining Measurements Strategic Priorities

For most organizations, the initial use of information technology was to improve

employee productivity in the areas of accounting, record keeping, clerical functions, and

some order processing. It has expanded dramatically to enhance the organizations links

to its customers and suppliers and is now being sought for its revenue generating abilities

(Porter & Millar, 1985). New technologies have moved organizations into a more global

economy increasing the competitive scope, expanding the revenue sources, and creating

new and exciting relationships among businesses (Porter & Millar, 1985).

Yuan, Gretzel, and Fesenmaier (2001) propose a similar progression from an initial

push to improve employee productivity, to an improvement in customer service and

finally to a revenue enhancing strategy. In this model, there is a three-stage movement in









the adoptions of information technologies: (1) Automation, (2) Information, and (3)

Transformation (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001). This progression is similar to the

employee customer revenue model in that technology is used in a limited capacity

during the first stage with increasingly more complicated implementations during the

next two stages. In the final stage, technology is extensive and complex but it is at this

stage that real gains are achieved (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001).

Unfortunately, many organizations are not reaching the level of technological

development that is required to truly reap the benefits from technological interactions.

During the 2002 Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) 33rd Annual

Conference, a paper, by Jeong, Gretzel, and Fesenmaier reviewed the Internet readiness

of tourism organizations. Their study supports the belief that most organizations have not

reached the readiness level that the technologies can provide which means the

organizations' investments in these technologies is not being well spent (Jeong, Gretzel,

& Fesenmaier, 2002). Their theory is based on two scales: 1) successful implementation

of IT and 2) sophisticated use of IT. Their results show that successful IT

implementation is not enough. An organization must be willing to continue to invest in

learning and management of IT to be successful. The model also suggests that in order

for an organization to reach Internet readiness it must have high capacity towards change,

extensive and innovative use of technology, and successfully develop strategies towards

implementation of new information technologies.

By using a questionnaire that measured current technology use, management

practices, and organizational variables (such as size and culture) they were able to create

benchmarks that would help an organization perform a SWOT analysis. The results of









the survey ranked the organizations with a "readiness" score to be used as an indicator of

the current organization status and set the organization up for comparison data as they

improved their effectiveness. The scoring system was based on additive scales based on

the 5 point Likert scale and the results were also displayed on scales constructed to give

the user a broader understanding of factors related to successful IT use. These addition

scales included 1) organizational structure; 2) organizational culture; 3) leadership; 4)

organizational environment; and 5) change management. These scales allowed

organizations to reflect their score with organizations similar to themselves.

Technological growth can expand an organizations ability to not only serve its

customers, but also improve the efficiencies of its employees and strengthen its

partnerships.












The framework in Figure 2-1 was proposed by Buhalis (1998) for information


technology implementation and shows an interaction between three main axis: Intra-


Intra-


Internet


Relationship and
Partnership


Internet
CD Roms
Home ing
Electronic
Direct Dial in
Electronic Shopping
Banking



Consumer


Internet
SWorld Wide
SFile Transfer
Electronic
Electronic Data
Bankingystems
Global Distribution
Computer Reservation
Destination Management
Destination
Reservation Management
Package creation and
Tailor made products
special interests ys
-Destination based
products


Systems
horizontal, vertical
A and diagonal
> integration

Internet
World Wide
File Transfer
Electronic
Electronic Data
Banking
Global Distribution
Computer Reservation
Destination agement
Destination Integrated
Information
Reservation Management
L

Inter-
organisation


Figure 2-1: Tourism and Information Technologies Strategic Framework (Buhalis, 1998)


organization, Inter-organization, and Consumers. Therefore, the model not only focuses


on the consumer and the growth of marketing capabilities but it also focuses on the


benefits to the internal organization and the benefits that can be gained through relations


with other organizations. For example, capturing employee knowledge, streamlining


distribution channels, and information gathering for strategic decision making are all


possible and performed in a more efficient manner when IT is implemented with all of


those functions in mind. "IT transforms the strategic position of an organization by









altering the efficiency, differentiation, operational cost and response time" (Buhalis,

1998, p419). One final note by Buhalis is that the implementation of IT by following this

model will not only help the specific organization but the destination grow as a whole

(Buhalis, 1998).

Dewett (2001) proposes that information technologies are classified into two meta-

beneficial categories, information efficiencies and information synergies. Information

efficiencies include technologies that save time and money and lead to better efficiencies

allowing employees to function on a higher level. These include automated systems,

word processors and other functions that are utilized by employees on a daily basis to get

theirjobs done. Information synergies are the gains from technologies that allow units to

form across boundaries and allow the pooling of resources (Dewett, 2001).

Within these two categories, five sub-categories emerge. They include the ability

to link and enable employees, ability to codify the organization's knowledge base,

expansion beyond boundaries, improved information processing, and improved

collaboration/coordination to promote innovation. While all these categories can

promote both efficiencies and synergies, employee linking and the codification of the

organizations knowledge base are directly related to the ability of the organization to

improve efficiency. The expansion beyond boundaries and improved collaboration that

comes from innovations increase the synergistic relationships between organizations.

Regardless of their primary function, Dewett also noted that all of these functions are

effected by organizational structure (Dewett, 2001).

Defining Measurements Managerial Attitude

Critical to the success of IT adoption is the organization's mentality towards

training. The adaptation of information technology must be synergistic with the









organization and the organizations business strategy. This requires support from the top

management levels of the organization in order to have continued financial commitment

towards the technological application (Sethi & King, 1994). Management must not only

supply the financial resources, but they must also supply the training and vision needed to

successfully integrate information technology into their organization

IT implementation requires training. A firm must maximize it's absorptive

capacity which is defined as a "firm's ability to recognize the value of new external

information, assimilate it, and apply it commercially." (Dewett, 2001, p332) Therefore, a

constant renewal of research and training is critical to an organization's continued

success. Technology must be integrated into the way an organization works at all levels

of management in order for the technology to increase the organization's productivity

(Williams, 2002). Any innovation must be readily accessible to the individuals in the

organization or to the end user in a format and with equipment that is easy to use

(Lengnick-Hall, 1992). Being an organization that focuses on learning is vital to

establishing competitive advantage in the new economy (Gretzel, 2000).

An organization's culture is critical to the success of any IT implementation. The

culture can be defined as the organization's pattern of beliefs, expectations, ideas, values,

attitudes, and behaviors shared by the members of an organization. If the organization's

culture does not support innovation, the innovation will not be successful for that

organization. IT can also shape culture due to its open forum of sharing (Dewett, 2001).

Other critical success factors in the implementation of IT are organizations views

towards the amount of time that should be allocated to IT management and the types of

employees an organization has. Organizations must understand that, while the time it









takes to implement technology can be great, it is not the only time that must be expended

on IT infrastructure. Information technologies must be managed and updated requiring a

constant time commitment. The types of employees will also affect the effectiveness of

IT systems, as age, education, previous experience, and position can all affect the

utilization of IT (Dewett, 2001). Individuals who are older and who have worked in their

industries longer have a tendency to avoid technological growth, possibly due to their

comfort level with the current way of accomplishing tasks (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesemaier,

2001). In summary, IT must become part of an organizations culture, not just part of the

organizations wish list (Dewett, 2001).

An organization's aggressiveness in its development of IT seems to be directly

related to the past experiences of the company's managers. In fact, a pattern was

discovered that directly relates the structure for IT implementation with that of the

organization's structure (Cho & Olsen, 1998). In a study of small businesses, the main

driver in effective IT implementations was the chief executive officer's involvement in

the implementation and their knowledge of computers (DeLone, 1988). Even with the

increased use of computers in the last decade, managers are still somewhat computer

illiterate. Computer literacy, even for individuals currently in collegiate programs for

tourism related fields, is still forsaken for other coursework (Williams & McKercher,

2001). However, education does seem to play some role in the ability of a manager to

support technological growth. In a study of convention and visitors bureaus, those

managers who had higher forms of education were more likely to support technology

adaptations (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001).









The relationship between a tourism manager's technological experience level and

their beliefs toward the use of information technologies has a direct impact on the

implementation of the information technology. Tourism operations can benefit from the

implementation of a marketing decision support system (MDSS), a specialized

technology that assists with strategic decision-making. For an MDSS to serve its

intended purpose, it must be accepted and used by tourism managers. There is a critical

need for the managers of human-technology interactions to have a positive attitude about

the implementation and offer both quality user training and a quality user interface in

order to succeed (Wober & Gretzel, 2000).

Study of Technology in US Hotels

No empirical research could be found on how the public assembly facility

management industry implements information technologies but a study by Siguaw, Enz,

and Namasivayam (2000) studied this exact question for the hotel industry. The study

showed that hotels implement technologies for employee productivity over guest service

and that upscale hotels, convention-type establishments, and chain affiliated hotels were

more likely to implement technology than their counterparts.

The study was based on two independent samples of US hotels and the questions

were divided into three strategic priorities: (1) improved guest services, (2) increased

employee productivity, and (3) enhanced revenue. Guest service technologies included

in-room modem, in-room Internet access and in-room fax machine. Employee

productivity technologies included voice-mail, interactive guides, and e-mail. Revenue

enhancing technologies included Internet booking, teleconferencing, cell phone rentals,

and automatic teller machines.









For organizational characteristics, the surveys captured the number of rooms, a

self-reported value added classification (choices included: budget, economy, mid-scale,

upscale, or luxury), what the hotel's brand affiliation was, and lodging type (choices

included: all-suite, extended stay, convention hotel, casino, conference center,

condominiums, standard, motel, or bed-and-breakfast.

Guest service technologies were the least frequently adopted technologies adding to

the belief that information technologies are first implemented to find a solution to a

problem and that most organizations are still treating technology as a "cost center" rather

than something that can create value and competitive advantage. The follow-up

discussions with the industry leading hotels led to the belief that successful adoption of

IT must first have the support of senior management and buy-in from all departments.

Training is critical to the success of adoption and on-going upgrading is crucial to its

continued success (Siguaw & Enz, 1999).

The development of best practices for this hotel study looked at many of the

variables that can effect IT implementation including strategic purpose, cost, managerial

attitude, organizational structure, and organizational size. These same properties can be

applied to the public assembly facility industry in order to formalize their current position

and to assist with the development of benchmarks in IT development.

Study of Technology in Public Assembly Facilities

In 1995, the then President of the International Association of Assembly Managers,

Pat Christison said that "Ours has not been an industry on the cutting edge" and he also

stated that one of the goals of the year should be to "keep up with technology; or more

truthfully, in the case of IAAM, change to acknowledge technology" (Christison, 1995,

p2). In 1995, a survey showed that only half of facilities were using facility management









software and only 24% were using a computer for general accounting functions (Herrick,

1995). A survey done in 1996 showed that only 15% of facilities had a web page

(IAAM, 1996a, p24). Now new technologies are popping up at tremendous rates in

facilities as fans are demanding more from the experience then just the game or musical

presentation, and convention goes are looking for complete connectivity and instant

answers (Wober, 2000). Benchmarking the current position is a critical step to

understanding how far the various types of facilities have come with technology

implementation as benchmarking allows comparisons among businesses in an industry

and encourages the improvements to an individual organization (Wober, 2000).

Facility types. The International Association of Assembly Managers (1996a)

divides facilities into 6 major distinct groups. These groups include arenas,

amphitheater, stadiums, auditoriums/performing arts centers, convention centers, and

complexes. While each of the facility types have a standard or typical configuration and

use, it should be noted that they are not limited to their standard.

Arenas are primarily defined as venues with a combination of fixed and portable

elevated seating surrounding an open floor area allowing for a flexible setup structure.

Arenas usually host multiple event types including, but not limited to, athletic events,

concerts, speaking engagements, trade shows, and other various events (IAAM, 1996a).

Larger arenas will tier their seating to allow for better sight lines for the viewing public.

The current trend in arena development also allows for the development of premium

seating arrangements such as box suites, club seating, and skyboxes (Petersen, 2001).

Amphitheaters are open-air facilities with a stage, some permanent seating, and

large grassy areas where patrons can utilize blankets or lawn chairs to view the









performance. Amphitheaters usually host events similar to arenas (IAAM, 1996a).

Amphitheaters are among the most common of facilities from ancient times, specifically

Greek and Roman times. A primary attraction of amphitheaters for touring acts is their

ability to offer large audience sizes at a lower cost than arenas due to the fact that

permanent seating only represents about 40% of the facilities capacity with the remaining

seating available in a large grassy area referred to as lawn seating (Peterson, 2001). For

the purpose of this study, arenas and amphitheaters will be considered as a combined

category due to the limited number of amphitheaters in the sample and their similarities

to arenas in structure and use.

Stadiums are typically outside venues or large domed covered structures whose

primary purpose and design is geared towards a specific sporting event. They have fixed

seating surrounding a field area and while they can support arena-type events, their

purpose is usually to host baseball, football, soccer, major concerts, major civic events,

and large scale spectacles (IAAM, 1996a).

Performing arts centers primary function and design are focused around performing

arts productions. The structures are typically multi-level, with fixed seating structures on

a raked (sloped) floor. Performing arts centers, also referred to as auditoriums and

theaters, will primarily host orchestras, the symphony, ballet, opera, stage presentations,

drama, dance, touring Broadway shows, and other community events (IAAM, 1996a).

Performing arts venues are built at a significantly lower costs then either arenas or

stadiums and they offer the added benefit of the enhanced acoustics, which is needed to

showcase their typical events.









Instead of providing spectator recreation, convention centers, conference centers,

and exhibition halls are built with the intention of increasing tourism to an area in an

effort to promote the economic growth (Petersen, 2001). They typically have large,

unobstructed areas with little or no elevated seating (exhibition halls) which are

supplemented by a variety of different sized meeting rooms (IAAM, 1996a). Convention

centers will typically be larger than conference centers and will include exhibition halls.

Their primary function is to attract conventions, trade shows, consumer shows, banquets,

receptions and meetings. Conference centers are usually smaller in size and focus on

smaller meetings and educational seminars. Both convention centers and conference

centers may have attached sleeping rooms and include a small theater. One final note,

congress centers, generally found in Europe, are included in this category and are

differentiated due to their size and ability to host multiple events simultaneously.

Congress centers will often have one or more theater style facilities included within the

main structure (Graham et al., 2003).

Complexes include combinations of the above facility types managed

simultaneously by a single management team and combined financial reporting (IAAM,

1996a). For purposes of this study, an "other" category is utilized to include all other

special event facilities including fair grounds, racetracks, velodromes, tennis stadiums

and pavilions.

Venue size. Each venue type has a dramatically different purpose and structure.

To differentiate between what would be considered a small, medium, and large venue, the

following conventions apply as was utilized in the 1996 Industry Profile Survey

performed by the International Association of Assembly Managers. An arena's size is









measured by seating capacity. Arenas with capacities of under 7,500 are classified as

small, 7,500 to 12,500 as medium, and greater than 12,500 are considered large.

Auditoriums and theaters are considered small with seating capacities of less than 1,250,

medium between 1,250 and 2,500 seats, and large when greater than 2,500 seats.

Convention centers are sized based upon square footage. Small convention centers have

less than 100,000 square feet of exhibit space. Medium size centers have 100,000 to

250,000 square feet of exhibit space and large convention centers exceed 250,000 square

feet of space. Small stadiums have less than 30,000 seats. Medium sized stadiums have

30,000 to 60,000 seats with large stadiums exceeding 60,000 seats (IAAM, 1996a).

Management structure. Facilities can primarily be broken down into two

different ownership structures: public and private. Ownership category does not always

determine management structure. Public facilities can be managed by private

management teams but would ultimately report back to the public at large, usually

through elected officials or a governing board. University and Non-University can

further categorize ownership (Quinn, 1987). The differences between these two

categories are worth examining due to the unique challenges that University owned

venues may face. University venues have the challenge of having to meet both the needs

of the University and the Community, which are sometimes at odds with each other.

They also face the competition for financial support, as the University owner must make

decisions to support core college programs over the presentation of events. This forces

University venues to become entrepreneur by seeking community events while at the

same time maintaining their mission for the University (Quinn, 1987). For purposes of









this study, the focus will be on the daily management of the facility and allow for each

facility to define itself as public or private and University or Non-University.

It should be noted that all forms of public assembly facilities are usually

entrepreneurial by nature, as pressures exist to perform in a fiscally sound manner.

Almost all public assembly facility managers report to a higher authority, be it the

president of a University, a non-profit or foundation board, municipality government, or

the board members and shareholders of a corporation. Management structure and

reporting can dramatically change how decisions are made and how money is spent, it is

therefore critical to note the distinctions between the main classifications of management

structure (Graham et al., 2003).

Summary

The impact of technology is felt on three different levels in an organization, the

internal strategy level, the competitive strategy level, and the business portfolio strategy

level (Bakos & Treacy, 1986). Internal strategies work to improve the efficiency and

effectiveness of an organizations internal structure, in essence, to improve employee

productivity. Competitive strategies allow an organization to gain an advantage over a

competitor and, in a service industry, the primary way this is achieved is through

customer service. Finally, the strategy of increasing the business portfolio means looking

for ways to increase revenue streams for the entity (Bakos & Treacy, 1986).

This study examines public assembly facilities along the continuum of

technological implementation. Are public assembly facilities implementing technologies

on the base level for employee productivity or have they advanced into revenue

producing avenues? Are some facilities better prepared and does management play a role

in the technological growth of the facility?









While the public assembly facility industry lacks research, the travel and tourism

industry is used as a comparison industry to determine the effective use of technology as

a strategic position for public assembly facilities. The strategic priorities examined

include a facilities tendency to focus on technological implementations that are geared

towards customer service, revenue enhancement, or employee productivity. Facility

characteristics such as facility type, size, age, budget, managerial structure, and the

effects of a University setting are examined to determine significant differences between

the sub-groups of facilities. Finally, a look into managerial attitudes rounds out the

discussion














CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Research Design

The study was performed through the collection of survey data of public assembly

facilities. Major threats in the use of surveys include their tendency to be superficial and

have possible validity questions since surveys cannot collect the emotions behind a

subject and are inflexible. The intention of this study was to take a snapshot of the

current status and an across the board comparison of technology in public assembly

facilities. For both of these goals, the survey method ensured consistency in questioning

and increased the reliability of the results. The unit of analysis for this study is public

assembly facilities. Response bias based upon who in the organization answers the

survey was controlled for through the analysis of respondent demographics. Finally,

there is some question about content validity. Did the data collected adequately measure

technological adaptations? To control for this, the researcher used the data for

comparison between the various classes/sizes of facilities and reported the means for use

in benchmarking. It was not the intent of this research to declare technological adequacy

of individual facilities, but to report on the industry as a whole.

Sample

The data for this study was collected from public assembly facilities including

arenas/amphitheaters, stadiums, performing arts centers/auditoriums,

Convention/conference centers, and complexes. The list of facilities was generated from

the electronic copy of the International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM)









membership directory as of January 1, 2003. This list included facilities with active

members of the IAAM from facilities located in the United States. Due to the

manageable size of the list, the entire list was surveyed through the use of e-mail since

almost all of the facilities had a listed e-mail address. Direct mail copies were issued to

anyone without an e-mail address.

Survey Development

A survey, following the guidelines from the tailored design approach, was created

in order to help reduce coverage, sampling, measurement and non-response survey errors.

(Dillman, 2000). Several demographic items were measured based upon questions

utilized in a prior study of public assembly facilities (Reinhart, 1999). Additional insight

into some of the survey questions was provided by a similar study on convention and

visitor bureaus (Yuan, Gretzel, & Fesenmaier, 2001) with the remaining questions

created specifically for this study.

After a pilot study of five individual representatives of the public assembly facility

industry, the entire list of facilities was e-mailed a survey instrument with an offer to send

the instrument via US mail should the respondent want to complete the instrument in

paper format. The survey was also created electronically at a non-public website where

the respondent was given the opportunity to complete the survey. The biggest challenge

of the survey was collecting an adequate number from busy professionals. To combat

this challenge, two follow-up e-mails were sent to non-respondents at two-week intervals.

The respondents were also offered a copy of the results as an incentive to complete the

survey.









Operationalization of Variables

The dependant variable for this study is the strategic technical priority of the

facility. The strategic technical priorities include customer service, revenue

enhancement, or employee productivity. The strategic priority was determined based

upon an scale created of possible technological implementations as shown in the

following table 3-1.

Table 3-1. Technological Implementations and Their Associated Strategic Priority
Customer service Revenue Enhancing Employee Productivity
Implementations Implementations Implementations
SComputer Aided Design Bar Code Ticket Accounting Software
Software Scanning
2 Computerized Sound Electronic Marketing Automated Timekeeping-
Monitoring System time clocks
3 Computer booking and High Speed Internet Computerized HVAC
scheduling connection system
4 Interactive Kiosks In-House Ticketing Electronic Keyless Entry
5 Interactive Web Page On-Line Ticketing Electronic file imaging
6 On-Line Booking Point of Sale Inventory E-Mail
Systems
Onsite Automatic Teller Video Boards Fax Machines
Machines
8 Surveillance systems Video Teleconferencing Networked Computers
Capabilities (Server based)
9 Two-way Radio Wireless Internet Access Staff Mobile Phones
Communication
10 Web-based surveillance Other Staff PDA's
systems
11 Other Future Implementations Telephone Intercom
System
12 Future Implementations Two-way Mobile Phones
(Nextel)
13 Voice Mail
14 Other
15 Future Implementations

The customer service priority is based on an 12-item index. The revenue enhancing

priority is on a 11-item index, and the employee productivity priority is based on a 15-

item scale. The respondent's score was divided by the total possible score for each









priority resulting in a mean score for each of the three strategic priorities. Means were

calculated for each of the constructs.

Comparisons of strategic technical priorities were further analyzed based upon

facility characteristics such as facility type, facility size, facility governance structure,

budget level, management structure and university affiliation. Of the independent

variables, facility type was self-defined by the respondent into one of the following

nominal choices: arenas/amphitheaters, stadiums, performing arts centers/auditoriums,

conference/convention centers, complexes, or other (with an open ended chance to define

their organization). Facility size was coded as a nominal variable by the researcher as

small, medium, and large but the survey collected an actual figure from the respondent in

the form of their published seating capacity for arenas, stadiums, and performing arts

centers or the square footage for convention/conference centers. Complexes were asked

to provide their capacities and square footage, where applicable. Governance structure

captured the nominal differentiation between public and private management structures

as well as university and non-university facilities.

Managerial attitudes towards technology implementations were analyzed.

Managerial attitudes were based on a series of questions about respondent's own beliefs

on technological implementations and self-rated skill level with information technologies.

They were also asked questions about the perceived organizational beliefs towards

technological implementations as shown below in table 3-2.









Table 3-2. Managerial Attitudes
Survey What Question Attempts to
Quest.
Quest. Question Measure

Does your organization have a formal Shows managements attitude
5 strategic plan for the implementation of toward technology as a formal part
technology? of a strategic plan
Has your organization implemented any Shows that management utilizes
6 additional technologies after the events and plans for technology after
of 9/11? major events that shape
organization plans and behavior
Does your organization offer training to Shows managements awareness of
7 its employees in the use of information the necessity to support training.
technologies?
10 Do you believe the organization's Shows leadership's support of
leadership is: technology
When it comes to technology, do you Shows leadership's idea of their
11 feel that your organization is: positioning in relation to
technology in the industry.
How would you rate your personal skill Allows participant to self-assign a
level with computer technology? skill level.

For the first three questions (question numbers 5, 6, and 7), the respondents were

given a score of 1 for each of the questions where they answer yes. For question 10, the

respondent's was given 4 points for "Supportive of technological growth", 3 points for

"Unaware of technological growth", 2 points for "Don't know" and 1 point for "Against

technological growth".

For question 11, respondents were give 4 points for answering "ahead of others in

the industry", 3 points for "similar to others in the industry", 2 points for "behind others

in the industry", and 1 point for "don't know". Likewise, for question 15, the

respondents were given 5 points for "expert", 4 points for "above average skills", 3 points

for "average skills", 2 points for "somewhat unskilled", and 1 point for "unskilled". The

total possible score for managerial attitude is 16 with a minimum score of 5.

Respondents scoring 5-8 points were considered unsupportive of technology, (low









support). Those scoring 9-12 were considered neutral in their support of technology

(medium support), and those scoring 13-16 were considered supportive of technology

(high support).

For question 12, a qualitative review was performed and summarized in a nominal

form to report the greatest barriers to implementation. Challenges were measured on a

five point likert scale, where 5 was strongly agree and 1 was strongly disagree.

Respondents were asked to indicate how cost, training, time and experience prevented

implementation of information technologies. A mean score was created based on the sum

of these items. A score of 1 5 where 5 indicated a high challenge and 1 was no

challenge.

Finally, demographic information was collected including age group and gender of

the respondent, geographic location of the facility, relative position in the organization,

and years in public assembly facility management. All demographic data was reported as

nominal variables. Additional open-ended questions were reviewed qualitatively for

patterns and significance.

Analysis

The data was first reported through the use of several descriptive statistical

measures including frequency data, percentage data and other measures of central

tendency. Cross-tabulated results were generated to compare various demographic data

and facility characteristics to specific adaptations based on the multi-item scales to

measure each of the strategic priorities. Finally, an ANOVA analysis with means

significantly different at the .05 level was performed against all H2 hypotheses and the H3

hypothesis to determine the significance of any relationship. Demographic data was









analyzed by frequencies and means to insure representation and to determine if these

demographics had any direct effect on the results.


Independent Variable


Dependant Variable
(Strategic Priorities)


Categories 4 ANOVA


Figure 3-1. Relationship Between Characteristics and Strategic Priorities


* Means














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

A survey of public assembly facility managers provided many insights into the

current state of information technology implementations for the public assembly facility

industry. Utilizing the International Association of Assembly Manager's membership list

from January of 2003, with duplicate entries removed, 1,017 surveys were delivered. Of

that 1,017, a total of 89 surveys were returned as undeliverable leaving a total of 928.

After multiple follow-up requests, the total number of respondents was 372 for a 40.1%

response rate from the deliverable surveys. All but 36 of the respondents replied in an

electronic format. The other 36 responded by returning the survey via US Mail.

There are seven major sections covered in this chapter, which include:

* Respondent Profile
* Facility Profile
* Information Technology Implementation Profile
* Analysis of Strategic Priorities
* Analysis of Variations of Priorities Based on Facility Characteristics
* Analysis of Managerial Attitudes Toward Information Technology
* Analysis of the Challenges of Implementing Information Technology

Respondent Profile

The demographic characteristics of the respondents were somewhat varied. The

demographic variables included age, gender, years of experience, education, field of

study, information technology skill level, and position held within the facility. The

results are given in Table 4-1.









Table 4-1. Respondent Profile for Information Technology Survey
Demographic Characteristics Frequency Valid
Percentage

Age (N=346)
Under 26 2 0.6
26 to 35 46 13.3
36 to 45 112 32.4
46 to 55 149 43.1
56 to 65 33 9.5
over 65 4 1.2

Gender (N=349)
Female 90 25.8
Male 259 74.2

Years of Experience (N=346)
Less than 5 years 31 9.0
5 to 10 years 67 19.4
11 to 15 years 72 20.8
16 to 20 years 65 18.8
21 to 25 years 47 13.6
Over 25 years 64 18.5

Highest Level of Education Completed (N=350)
High School 26 7.4
Bachelor's Degree 211 60.3
Masters Degree 98 28.0
Doctorate Degree 4 1.1
Other Education 11 3.1

Field of Study (N=329)
Business 103 31.3
Arts/Music/Theater 57 17.3
Hospitality/Leisure/Recreation 44 13.4
Sports Management 25 7.6
Journalism/Communications/Broadcast 17 5.2
Education 15 4.6
Political Science 11 3.3
Engineering 6 1.8
Information Technology Related Field 6 1.8
Medical 5 1.5
Other 40 12.2









Table 4-1. Continued
Demographic Characteristics Frequency Valid
Percentage

Information Technology Skill Level (N=356)
Unskilled 1 0.3
Somewhat unskilled 32 9.0
Average Skills 177 49.7
Above Average Skill 132 37.1
Expert 14 3.9

Position Title (N=342)
Director/General Manager 202 59.1
Operations Manager 62 18.1
Assistant Director 27 7.9
Associate Director 16 4.7
Business/Box Office manager 15 4.4
Event Coordinator 8 2.3
Other 12 3.5

The number (N) may vary due to missing values or responses
Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding

Age

The majority of the respondents (75.5%) were between the ages of 36 to 55 with a

combined frequency of 261. Few respondents were younger than 26 (0.6%) or over 65

(1.2%). The age categories of 26 to 35 and 56 to 65 were represented by 13.3% and 9.5%

of the population respectively.

Gender

Males comprised 74.2% of the sample while females comprised only 25.8% of the

sample. This gender differential shows that public assembly facility managers are

predominantly male.

Years of Experience

Public assembly facility management experience levels were well represented in

this sample. The smallest group of respondents (9%) had less than five years of









experience followed by those with 21 to 25 years of experience. All other experience

levels had roughly equal representation in the sample. Those who have 5 to 10 years of

experience comprised 19.4% of the sample. Respondents with 11 to 15 years of

experience comprised 20.8% of the sample. Finally, individuals with 16 to 20 years and

those with over 25 years were almost equally represented with 18.8% and 18.5%

respectively.

Education

The majority of respondents (89.4%) were graduates of a collegiate program with

60.3% having obtained a Bachelor's Degree, 28% having obtained a Masters Degree, and

1.1% having obtained a Doctorate Degree as their highest form of education. Only 7.4%

of the respondents marked high school as their highest level of education completed and

3.1% of the responses marked other.

Field of Study

Of the 329 respondents who declared their educational field of study, 31.3% hailed

from a business program. The next highest category (17.3%) was from fine arts

programs such as art, music, and theater. Hospitality, leisure and recreation disciplines

comprised another 13.4% of respondents and 7.6% of respondents studied under a sports

management program. The remaining 30.4% were from fields such as journalism and

communications (5.2%), education (4.6%), political science (3.3%), engineering (1.8%),

information technology (1.8%), medical (1.5%), and other categories (12.2%).

Information Technology Skill Level

The majority of the respondents (86.8%) declared that their skill level with

information technologies were average (49.7%) or above average (37.1%). Only 9.3% of









respondents felt that they were somewhat unskilled (9.0%) or unskilled (0.3%). Fourteen

respondents ranked themselves as experts (3.9%).

Position Title

Of the 342 individuals who reported their positions within their organization, 202

of them (59.1%) were the Director or General Manager of their facility. The Director or

General Manager title is indicative of the top level of management within that facility.

The surveys were delivered to the Directors or General Managers resulting in the increase

response from that position. In most cases, the responses from other individuals in the

organization were due to the assignment of the response task from the Director or

General Manager to a subordinate or that the name of the Director or General Manager

was not available when the surveys were issued and the survey was sent to another

individual in the organization.

Facility Profile

The characteristics of the facilities surveyed showed a diverse cross section of

facilities. The variables included the presence of a written strategic plan for technology

implementation, changes in technology since the events of September 11, 2001, training

support for staff, strategic priorities, leadership support, position in the industry, annual

technology expenditures, number of computers in the facility, facility market, facility

type, seating capacity, square footage, management structure, university vs. non-

university, and facility age. The results are given in Table 4-2.









Table 4-2. Facility Profile for Information Technology Survey
Demographic Characteristics Frequency Valid Percentage

Does the Organization have a Strategic Plan for Technology (N=358)
Yes 71 19.8
No 268 74.9
Unknown 19 5.3

Were additional Technologies Implemented Due to the Events of 9/11/01. (N=356)
Yes 121 34.0
No 229 64.3
Unknown 6 1.7

Is Training Given to Staff for New Technologies (N=359)
Yes 287 79.9
No 70 19.5
Unknown 2 .6

The Most Important Use of Technology (N=357)
Customer Service 165 46.2
Revenue Generation 42 11.8
Employee Productivity 142 39.8
Other 8 2.2

The Organizations Focus on Use of Technology (N=357)
Customer Service 150 42.0
Revenue Generation 53 14.8
Employee Productivity 144 40.3
Other 10 2.8

Level of Management Support of Technology Growth (N=372)
Supportive 330 88.7
Against 1 0.3
Unaware 21 5.6
Don't Know 20 5.4

Self-Comparison to Industry as a Whole in Regards to Technology Implementations
(N=358)
Behind Others 87 24.3
Similar to Others 193 53.9
Ahead of Others 74 20.7
Don't Know 4 1.1









Table 4-2. Continued
Demographic Characteristics Frequency Valid
Percentage

Facility Market Type (N=350)
Primary Market 105 30.0
Secondary Market 167 47.7
Tertiary Market 74 21.1
Other 4 1.1

Facility Type (N=352)
Arena 96 27.3
Performing Arts Center 89 25.3
Conference/Convention Center 77 21.9
Complex 49 13.9
Stadium 15 4.3
Amphitheater 6 1.7
Other 20 5.7

Facility Management Structure (N=348)
Privately Managed 145 41.7
Publicly Managed 203 58.3

University vs. Non-University (N=349
University Facility 99 28.4
Non-University Facility 205 71.6


The number (N) may vary due to missing values or responses
Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding

Information Technology Strategic Planning

An overwhelming majority (74.9%) of facilities report that they do not have a

strategic plan for the implementation of technologies in their facilities.


Effects of the Events of September 11, 2001

The increased security and public safety concerns stemming from the events of

9/11 did not seem to affect facility managers decisions about the implementation of

additional information technologies. Only 34.0% of facilities responding stated they

implemented additional technologies due to the events of that historic day.









Training

The majority of facilities surveyed (79.9%) offer training to their employees in the

use of information technologies.

Use of Technology and Focus on Technology

Organizations reported that both their use of (46.2%) and their focus on (42.0%)

technology was geared towards increasing customer service. A close second was for

employee productivity with 39.8% stating that was their primary use for technology and

40.3% stating that it was the primary focus. Revenue generation was listed as a distant

third in both use (11.8%) and focus (14.8%).

Management Support and Industry Comparison

The majority of the respondents (88.7%) felt that their management structure was

supportive of technological growth. Only 0.3% of respondents believe their management

structure is against growth. This category might be skewed by the fact that the majority

of respondents were also the top managers of the facility.

The majority of the respondents (53.9%) believe that their facility is similar to

other facilities in the industry. Of the remaining respondents, 24.3% felt they were behind

their industry peers and 20.7% felt they were ahead of their peers.

Facility Market and Type

The majority of facilities responding to the survey (47.7%) were secondary market

facilities. This was followed by primary market facilities (30.0%) and then tertiary

market facilities (21.1%). There was a similar response rate for arenas (27.3%),

performing arts centers (25.3%), and conference/convention centers (21.9%). Complexes

comprised 13.9% of the sample, stadiums were 4.3% of the sample, and amphitheaters

were 1.7% of the sample. The remaining respondents were from facilities other than









those listed above. Due to the small sample of amphitheaters, responses from

amphitheaters and arenas were combined for all of the analysis in this study.

Management Structure

Most of the respondents (58.3%) are facilities that are publicly managed while

41.7% are privately managed. Just over 70% of the responding facilities were non-

university facilities while 28.4% were operated in a university setting.

Number of Computers

For benchmarking purposes, this category is reported based upon facility types. As

noted in Table 4-3, stadiums have, on average, more computers than the other facility

types. They have an average of 82.86 computers and range from having three computers

to 200 computers. The mean number of computers for conference and convention centers

is 43.80 but they reported the single highest number of computers in a single facility with

a report of 600 computers. Complexes reported 42.44 as the mean number of computers

with no complex reporting fewer than four (4) computers and one complex reporting 350

computers. The mean number of computers located in complexes is 42.44. Arenas have

an average of 28.49 computers with the majority of arenas having 15 computers. One of

the arenas responding to this survey reported that they do not have computers and one

arena reported having 230 computers. Interestingly, performing arts centers utilize

approximately the same number of computers as arenas with an average of 26.98

computers and ranged from having zero to 300 computers, which exceeded the top arena

by 70 computers.









Table 4-3. Number of Computers in an Organization
Mean Median Mode Standard
Deviation


Minimum Maximum


Stadium (N=14) 82.86 87.50 150 70.71 3 200
Conference Ctrs (N=75) 43.80 20.00 4 79.40 0 600
Complex (N=45) 42.44 25.00 20 58.60 4 350
Arena (N=91) 28.49 15.00 6 41.57 0 230
Performing Arts (N=85) 26.98 15.00 30 42.28 0 300


Information Technology Expenditures

Stadiums were the leaders in expenditures on information technology spending

with an average of $295,462 expended each year, as shown in Table 4-4. Conference

centers spend an average of $157,860 followed by complexes at $56,995, performing arts

centers at $38,489, and arenas at $35,868. This order is somewhat reflective of the

number of computers utilized but differs between the rankings of performing arts centers

and arenas. Performing arts centers spend slightly more ($2,621) annually than arenas

but have an average of 2.36 fewer computers.

Table 4-4. Information Technology Expenditures by Facility Type (in thousands)
Mean Median Mode Standard Minimum Maximum
Deviation

Stadium (N=7) 295.46 75.0 35 417.79 25.000 1000
Conference Ctrs (N=58) 157.86 27.5 10 557.37 0.004 4000
Complex (N=40) 56.99 27.5 *5 104.50 1.500 650
Performing Arts (N=56) 38.49 12.5 10 63.27 0.020 375
Arena (N=64) 34.94 10.5 10 81.42 0.050 600


*Multiple modes exist, smallest value is shown.

Facility Age

The age of facilities responding to this survey ranged in age from facilities that

were just completed (Age=0) to 125 years old. A breakdown of the facilities surveyed is

shown in Table 4-5 Below.









Table 4-5. Age of Respondent Facilities
Mean Median Mode Standard Minimum Maximum
Deviation

Age of facilities 25.2 19.3 10 23.0 0 125

(N=334)

Respondents entered facility age as a numerical value and then the information was

recorded into three equal groups titled New, Established, and Historic. The facilities were

categorized using frequency analysis and dividing responses into three equal groups.

Facilities that were less than 12 years old were classified as new facilities. Established

facilities ranged in age from 12-27 years old. Historic facilities were any facility that was

over 27 years old.

Facility Size

Table 4-6 below describes the size of the various facilities that responded to the

study. Stadiums, arenas, performing arts centers, and complexes are listed based upon

seating capacity and conference centers are listed based upon square footage in order to

provide a more useful analysis. Stadiums in the sample had a mean seating capacity of

53.42 thousand seats. Complexes had a mean seating capacity of 16.51 thousand seats.

Arenas had a mean seating capacity of 11.43 thousand seats. Performing arts centers had

a mean seating capacity of 1.99 thousand seats. Conference centers had a mean square

footage of 113.57 thousand square feet of space.









Table 4-6. Facility Size by Facility Type (in thousands)
Mean Median Mode Standard Minimum Maximum
Deviation


Arena 0 8,099 8,100 11,999 12,000 and above
Stadium 0 42,499 42,500 64,999 65,000 and above
Performing Arts Center 0 1,499 1,500 2,059 2,060 and above
Complex 0 7,199 7,200 13,499 13,500 and above
Conference/Convention 0 25,499 25,500 74,999 75,000 and above

Arena, Stadium, PAC, and Complex are reported in seating capacity.
Conference/Convention Center is reported in square footage.


Stadium (N=14) 53.42 56.45 42.50 25.90 .35 107.50
Complex (N=48) 16.51 11.75 8.00 20.29 .50 85.50
Arena (N=100) 11.43 10.00 10.00 7.31 .02 65.00
Performing Arts (N=88) 1.99 1.18 1.70 1.11 .33 6.33

(in thousands)
Conference Ctrs (N=74) 113.57 44.10 24.00 182.10 4.26 110.00

Stadium, Complexes, and Arenas are based on capacity. Conference centers are based on
square footage.

The data was re-coded to classify each facility as small, medium, and large based

upon the most significant indicator of size for each facility type. For stadiums, arenas,

PACs, and complexes, facility size was based upon seating capacity. For conference and

convention centers, facility size was based upon square footage of the facility. Size was

determined using frequency analysis with an equal division into the three groups. A

frequency analysis was run on each facility type independently to allow for a more

accurate comparison. For example, a large arena has a seating capacity of 12,000 or

more seats whereas a large stadium has a seating capacity of 65,000 or more. The

remaining size breakdowns are listed in Table 4-7.

Table 4-7. Determining Range of Facility Size
Small Medium Large
Facility Type









Facility Budget

As with other descriptive statistics in this section, facility revenue is reported here

and in Table 4-8 based upon facility type. Stadiums have a mean revenue of $28.04

million. Complexes have the second largest revenues with a mean of $20.8 million.

Conference centers have a mean revenue of $10.97 million. The revenue for arenas is a

mean of 6.63 million and for performing arts centers, the annual revenue is an average of

$4.66 million.

Table 4-8. Facility's Annual Revenues (in millions)
Mean Median Mode Standard Minimum Maximum
Deviation

Stadium (N= 9) 28.04 1.40 0.60 43.97 0.60 140.00
Complex (N=45) 20.81 3.00 7.00 75.83 0.12 500.00
Conference Ctrs (N=63) 10.97 2.80 2.00 25.14 0.09 140.00
Arena (N=60) 6.63 1.80 2.00 1.95 0.07 138.00
Performing Arts (N=64) 4.66 1.16 0.15 9.81 0.02 50.00


While survey respondents entered actual budget figures into the survey, each

facility's budget was classified as small, medium, and large using a frequency analysis

with an equal division into the three groups. The frequency analysis for budget size

determination was run on each facility type independently to allow for a more accurate

comparison. For example, a large budget for an arena would be $2,000,000.00 whereas a

stadium's budget would not be considered a large budget until it reached $23,000,000.00.

The remaining budget size breakdowns are listed in Table 4-9.









Table 4-9. Determining Range of Facility Budget
Small Medium Large
Facility Budget

Arena 0-1,000,000 1,000,001-2,000,000 2,000,001+
Stadium 0-2,500,000 2,500,001-23,000,000 23,000,001+
Performing Arts Centers 0-500,000 500,001-2,000,000 2,000,001+
Complex 0-1,300,000 1,300,001-6,500,000 6,500,001+
Conference/Convention Ctr. 0-2,000,000 2,000,001-4,500,000 4,500,001+

All figures are in millions.

Information Technology Implementation Profile

Table 4-10 highlights the presence of websites and how often facilities update the

information contained on their websites. Table 4-11 reports the implementation

frequency for each specific information technology discussed in this survey.

Table 4-10. Website usage and Frequency of Website Update
Website Information Frequency Valid
Percentage

Does the Facility Have a Website (N=360)
No 11 3.1
Yes 349 96.9

How Often is the Website Updated (N=352)
Daily 82 23.3
Weekly 141 40.1
Monthly 85 24.1
Yearly 19 5.4
Never 2 0.6
No Web Page 5 1.4
Unknown 18 5.1

The number (N) may vary due to missing values or responses
Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding









Table 4-11. Information Technology Implementation Frequency
Information Technology Frequency Valid
(N=372) Percentage

Fax 360 96.8%
Email 358 96.2%
Voice Mail 345 92.7%
Networked Computers 329 88.4%
High Speed Internet 324 87.1%
Two Way Radios 317 85.2%
Accounting Software 294 79.0%
Staff Mobile Phones 285 76.6%
Computerized HVAC System 284 76.3%
Computerized Booking/Scheduling 233 62.6%
Interactive Web Page 230 61.8%
On-line Ticketing 213 57.3%
Computerized Sound and Lights 208 55.9%
Onsite Automated Teller Machines 206 55.4%
Computer Aided Design Software (CAD) 202 54.3%
Intercom System 199 53.5%
Surveillance Systems 199 53.5%
Automated Timekeeping 197 53.0%
In-house Ticketing 190 51.1%
Electronic Marketing 157 42.2%
Staff Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) 142 38.2%
Electronic Keyless Entry 135 36.3%
Video Boards 127 34.1%
Video Teleconferencing 120 32.3%
Wireless Internet 110 29.6%
Bar Code Ticketing 110 29.6%
Electronic File Imaging 105 28.2%
Direct Connect Phones (Nextel) 102 27.4%
Point of Sale Inventory 102 27.4%
On-line Booking 98 26.3%
Interactive Kiosks 54 14.5%
Web Based Surveillance Systems 37 9.9%


Technology Implementations

The top six implementations of information technologies include fax machines

(96.8%), Email (96.2%), Voice Mail (92.7%), Networked Computers (88.4%), High

Speed Internet (87.1%), and Two Way Radios (85.2%). Each of these items were utilized

by over 80% of the facilities surveyed. Less than 30% of the facilities responding









reported implementations of a wireless internet (29.6%), bar code ticketing (29.6%),

electronic file imaging (28.2%), direct connect phones (Nextel) (27.4%), point of sale

inventory (27.4%), on-line booking (26.3%), interactive kiosks (14.5%), and web based

surveillance systems (9.9%). See Appendix C for a similar analysis further broken down

by facility type.

Website and Website Updating

All but eleven (3.1%) of respondents had a website for their facility and most

facilities (40.1%) update their sites weekly. There was equivalent reporting of daily

updates (23.3%) and monthly updates (24.1%). Only 0.6% of respondents report never

updating their sites and 5.4% state their updates only occur once a year. See Appendix C

for a similar analysis further broken down by facility type.

Strategic priorities included customer service, revenue enhancement, and employee

productivity. These strategies were analyzed for all respondents to determine which

priority is the most critical in the selection of technological implementations. An index

score was created based upon the number of technological implementations checked by

the respondent. Each implementation was an indicator of a specific strategic priority and

one point was assigned to each item selected. The total for each priority was tabulated

and an index score resulted based upon the total possible score for each priority. The

survey also asked for additional implementations and for future implementations but the

responses were so minimal that they were eliminated from the study.

As shown in Table 4-12, facilities, on average, implemented more (64.8%) of the

factors that were related to employee productivity. Factors related to revenue

enhancement and customer service were implemented in approximately the same amount









with 43.3% of the revenue enhancing technologies being implemented and 48.0% of the

customer service technologies implemented.

Table 4-12. Index Score for Strategic Priorities
Mean Median Mode Standard Percent
Deviation Implemented


Employee Productivity (13) 8.43 9 9 2.66 64.8%
Revenue Enhancement (9) 3.91 4 3 2.17 43.4%
Customer Service (10) 4.80 5 5 2.47 48.0%

(N=372)

While the index score indicates that employee productivity implementations are a

priority for organizations, the answers to the survey question directly asking the

respondent to rate which strategy they personally felt was most important, employee

productivity was slightly eclipsed by customer service in response rate with employee

productivity chosen 39.8% of the time and customer service selected 46.2%. Revenue

enhancement was a distant third with 11.8% of the respondents indicating this to be the

most important use of technology.

Respondents were also asked to indicate which strategy they felt their organization

focused on when implementing technologies. As with the question about what they felt

was most important, customer service was the leader with 42.0% of the responses. For

this question, employee productivity was very close with 40.3% of the responses and

revenue enhancement was only selected in 14.8% of the surveys.









Employee Productivity

Employee productivity implementations included accounting software, automated

timekeeping-time clocks, computerized HVAC system, electronic keyless entry,

electronic file imaging, e-mail, fax machines, networked computers (server based), staff

mobile phones, staff personal digital assistants (pda), telephone intercom system, two-

way mobile phones (Nextel), and voice mail for a total of 13 possible implementations.

Table 4-13 shows that the majority of respondents implemented nine of these

technologies.

Table 4-13. Number of Employee Productivity Implementations
# of Implementations Frequency Valid Cumulative
Percentage Percentage

0 11 2.96% 2.96%
1 2 0.54% 3.50%
3 3 0.81% 4.31%
4 9 2.42% 6.73%
5 12 3.23% 9.96%
6 36 9.68% 19.64%
7 48 12.90% 32.54%
8 52 13.98% 46.52%
9 61 16.40% 62.92%
10 54 14.52% 77.44%
11 45 12.10% 89.54%
12 31 8.33% 97.87%
13 8 2.15% 100.02%


N=372
Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding


Revenue Enhancement

Revenue enhancement implementations included bar code ticket scanning,

electronic marketing, high speed internet connection, in-house ticketing, on-line

ticketing, point of sale inventory systems, video boards, video teleconferencing









capabilities, and wireless internet access for a total of nine possible implementations. As

shown in Table 4-14, the majority of respondents (17.47%) indicated that they implement

three or four of these technologies.

Table 4-14. Number of Revenue Enhancement Implementations
# of Implementations Frequency Valid Cumulative
Percentage Percentage

0 19 5.11% 5.11%
1 33 8.87% 13.98%
2 50 13.44% 27.42%
3 65 17.47% 44.89%
4 65 17.47% 62.36%
5 55 14.78% 77.14%
6 38 10.22% 87.36%
7 22 5.91% 93.27%
8 17 4.57% 97.84%
9 8 2.15% 100.00%


N=372


Customer Service

Customer service enhancement implementations included computer aided design

software, computerized sound monitoring system, computer booking and scheduling,

interactive kiosks, interactive web page, on-line booking, onsite automatic teller

machines, surveillance systems, two-way radio communication, and web-based

surveillance systems for a total of ten implementations. The majority of respondents

(16.67%) reported implementations of five of these technologies as shown in Table 4-15.









Table 4-15. Number of Customer Service Implementations
# of Implementations Frequency Valid Cumulative
Percentage Percentage

0 23 6.18% 6.18%
1 14 3.76% 9.94%
2 37 9.95% 19.89%
3 33 8.87% 28.76%
4 60 16.13% 44.89%
5 62 16.67% 61.56%
6 42 11.29% 72.85%
7 42 11.29% 84.14%
8 32 8.60% 92.74%
9 25 6.72% 99.46%
10 2 0.54% 100.00%


N=372

Analysis of Variations of Priorities Based on Facility Characteristics

The relationship between various facility characteristics, such as facility type, age,

size, and management structure, and a facility's use of technology were analyzed using a

series of one-way analysis of variances (ANOVA) for those characteristics with at least

three factors and with T-tests for the characteristics that had only two factors. Tukey's

Honestly Significant Difference (HSD) post hoc analysis was run on all of the

characteristics with three factors. Tukey's HSD test allows the computation of a single

value to determine the minimum difference between two means to show significance. It

is a commonly used post hoc test in psychological research (Gravetter & Wallnau, 1996).

Facility Type

Due to the small size of amphitheaters responding to the survey and to the

similarities of amphitheaters and arenas, the amphitheater respondents were categorized

with arenas for the analysis of the data reducing the facility types to five groups. For

brevity in the table, arenas will be signified by ARA, stadiums will be STA, performing









arts centers will be PAC, conference and convention centers will be noted by CON, and

complexes will be COM. There was a significant difference of information technology

implementation strategies based upon the types of facilities as shown in Table 4-16.

Table 4-16. ANOVA of Facility Type and the Strategic Priorities
ARA STA PAC CON COM F Sig.

(N=102) (N=15) (N=89) (N=77) (N=49)
Employee Productivity 8.47 9.87 8.27 9.03 9.10 2.93 .021
Customer Service 4.77 5.93 4.29a 5.38b 5.47b 3.83 .005
Revenue Enhancement 4.49b 4.60 3.81 3.25a 4.45b 5.30 .000


Significant at the <.05 level
Note: Superscripts indicate significant differences utilizing HSD post hoc analysis. For
example Performing Arts Centers were significantly different from
Conferences/Convention Centers and Complexes in their implementations for Customer
Service but Conferences/Convention Centers were significantly different from both
Arenas and Complexes in their revenue enhancement implementations.


Facility Age

A significant relationship was found between information technology

implementation strategies and the age of facilities as shown in Table 4-17. Specifically,

new facilities implement significantly more technologies in all three of the strategic

priority categories.

Table 4-17. ANOVA of Facility Age and the Strategic Priorities
New Established Historic F Sig.

(N=114) (N=106) (N=114)
Employee Productivity 9.36a 8.44b 8.31b 7.92 .000
Customer Service 5.72a 4.88b 4.21b 12.72 .000
Revenue Enhancement 4.70a 3.54b 3.78b 10.68 .000


Significant at the <.05 level
Note: Superscripts indicate significant differences utilizing HSD post hoc analysis. For
example, for all three factors, new facilities were significantly different from older
facilities with their technology implementations.









Facility Size

The results indicated that there was a significant difference of information

technology implementation strategies based upon the size of the facilities as shown in

Table 4-18. Small and medium facilities are significantly different from large facilities in

that the large facilities are more likely to implement technologies in all three strategic

priority categories.

Table 4-18. ANOVA of Facility Size and the Strategic Priorities
Small Medium Large F Sig.

(N=106) (N=103) (N=110)
Employee Productivity 7.89a 8.46a 9.74b 22.18 .000
Customer Service 3.94a 4.63a 6.12b 28.21 .000
Revenue Enhancement 3.36a 3.71a 3.36b 18.53 .000


Significant at the <.05 level
Note: Superscripts indicate significant differences utilizing HSD post hoc analysis. For
example, for all three factors, small and medium size facilities were significantly
different from large facilities with their technology implementations.

Facility Budget

The results indicated that there was a significant difference of information

technology implementation strategies based upon the size of the facility's budget as

shown in Table 4-19. The larger a facilities budget, the more likely a facility would

implement a variety of technologies. This trend was consistent in all three strategic

priority categories.











Table 4-19. ANOVA of Facility Budget Size and the Strategic Priorities
Small Medium Large F Sig.

(N=85) (N=74) (N=83)
Employee Productivity 7.41a 8.82b 9.74c 2.36 .000
Customer Service 3.52a 5.00b 6.42c 30.83 .000
Revenue Enhancement 2.87a 3.88b 5.02c 29.39 .000


Significant at the <.05 level
Note: Superscripts indicate significant differences utilizing HSD post hoc analysis. For
example, for all three factors, budget size significantly effects the implementations of
information technologies. The N is smaller for this analysis due to the sensitive nature of
the information, fewer respondents were willing to disclose budget information about
their facility.

Facility Management Structure

Facility management structure compared facilities managed by a private

management firm or a public entity to see if they implemented technologies in a similar

fashion. As shown in Table 4-20 below, private entities implement significantly more

technologies in all three categories of strategic priorities then do facilities managed

publicly.

Table 4-20. Independent Samples T-Test Results of Public vs. Private Management
Public vs. Private Mean Std. Sig. N
Deviation

Employee Productivity
Public 8.22 2.16 .000 203
Private 9.32 2.13 .000 145
Customer Service
Public 4.60 2.30 .002 203
Private 5.39 2.31 .002 145
Revenue Enhancement
Public 3.55 1.89 .000 203
Private 4.65 2.16 .000 145


Significant at the <.05 level









University verses Non-University Facilities

University and non-university facilities were compared to see if they implemented

technologies differently. As shown in Table 4-21 below, non-university facilities are

slightly more likely to implement technologies for the purpose of improving employee

productivity then the university facilities. There was no significant difference in

technology implementations related to customer service and revenue enhancement for

university facilities vs. non-university facilities.

Table 4-21. Independent Samples T-test Results of University vs. Non-University Facility
University vs. Non-University Mean Std. Sig. N
Deviation

Employee Productivity
University 8.17 2.20 .010 99
Non-University 8.85 2.21 .010 250
Customer Service
University 4.78 2.30 .487 99
Non-University 4.97 2.37 .487 250
Revenue Enhancement
University 4.27 1.87 .151 99
Non-University 3.92 2.17 .151 250

Significant at the <.05 level

Analysis of Managerial Attitudes Toward Information Technology

To determine if managerial attitude affects the strategy used for information

technology implementation, several survey questions were asked and are summarized in

Table 4-22. Responses showed that most facilities do not have a formal strategic plan

(74.9%), the majority have not implemented any additional technologies due to the events

of September 11, 2001, but most facilities (79.9%) supply training to their employees in

the use of technologies. Facilities reported significant support from management with a

mean score of 3.99 out of a possible 4.00. This may be in part due to the fact that the

survey was directed to the upper management of the organization, which may have









skewed this data in favor of support. The majority (53.9%) of respondents felt that their

facility was similar to others in the industry and that their personal skills were average

(49.7%).

Table 4-22. Facility Profile for Information Technology Survey
Demographic Characteristics Frequency Valid Mean S.D.
Percentage

Does the Organization have a Strategic Plan for Technology (N=358)
Yes 71 19.8
No 268 74.9
Unknown 19 5.3

Were additional Technologies Implemented Due to the Events of 9/11/01. (N=356)
Yes 121 34.0
No 229 64.3
Unknown 6 1.7

Is Training Given to Staff for New Technologies (N=359)
Yes 287 79.9
No 70 19.5
Unknown 2 .6

Level of Management Support of Technology Growth (N=358)
Supportive 330 88.7
Against 1 0.3
Unaware 21 5.6
Don't Know 20 5.4
Mean 3.90
Standard Deviation 0.38

Self-Comparison to Industry as a Whole in Regards to Technology Implementations
(N=358)
Behind Others 87 24.3
Similar to Others 193 53.9
Ahead of Others 74 20.7
Don't Know 4 1.1
Mean 2.94
Standard Deviation .70









Table 4-22. Continued
Demographic Characteristics Frequency Valid Mean S.D.
Percentage


Percentage


Unsupportive (5-8) 16 4.9
Neutral Support (9-12) 211 65.1
Supportive (13-16) 97 29.9

Note: N=324, Mean= 11.6, SD=1.7

Table 4-24 shows a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) between the strategic

priorities and managerial attitudes held by the respondents. The results indicated that


Information Technology Skill Level (N=356)
Unskilled 1 0.3
Somewhat unskilled 32 9.0
Average Skills 177 49.7
Above Average Skill 132 37.1
Expert 14 3.9
Mean 3.35
Standard Deviation 0.71

The number (N) may vary due to missing values or responses
Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding

A managerial attitudes score was compiled based upon the answers to the above

survey questions. A sum of all the answers resulted in an index score that was then

divided into the categories of unsupportive for those with a score between five and eight,

neutrally supportive for those with a score between nine and twelve, and supportive for

those with a score between 13 and 16. Table 4-23 shows that the majority of respondents

(65.1%) fall within the neutral support category. Those showing the highest level of

support comprised the second group at 29.9% and the smallest group was the

unsupportive group with 4.9%.

Table 4-23. Managerial Attitude Categorized
Attitude Category Frequency Valid









there is a significant relationship between the attitudes of managers and each of the

strategic priorities. Significance was determined by "Sig." figures less than or equal to

the .05 level as was congruent with the literature.

Table 4-24. ANOVA of Managerial Attitudes and the Strategic Priorities
Unsupportive Neutral Supportive F Sig.

(N=16) (N=211) (N=973)
Employee Productivity 6.13a 8.31b 9.82c 30.51 .000
Customer Service 2.06a 4.54b 6.27c 37.48 .000
Revenue Enhancement 1.56a 3.66b 4.99 29.24 .000


Significant at the <.05 level
Note: Superscripts indicate significant differences utilizing HSD post hoc analysis. For
example, for all three factors, managerial attitude significantly effects the
implementations of information technologies.

Analysis of the Challenges of Implementing Information Technology

Of the four challenges noted in Table 4-25 that managers face when implementing

information technologies, cost is the biggest challenge. Time, training, and experience

were not considered to be a challenge to the majority of the respondents with none of

these categories receiving a response rate higher than a 26.6% combined score among the

agree and strongly agree categories. Cost, on the other hand, had 73.6% of the

respondents reporting that they agreed or strongly agreed that cost was their primary

challenge to technology implementation.









Table 4-25. Frequency of Implementation Challenges (in Percentages)
Challenges 1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Mean
Disagree Agree

Time 12.1 40.4 21.6 23.6 2.2 2.63
Training 13.6 44.4 21.8 18.9 1.4 2.50
Experience 13.4 44.0 16.0 21.0 5.6 2.61
Cost 3.4 12.0 10.1 49.4 24.2 3.78

The number (N) may vary due to missing values or responses
Percentages may not add up to 100 due to rounding

To determine if there were any significant relationships between the perceived

challenges to implementations and the specific strategic priorities of customer service,

revenue enhancement and employee productivity, a correlation analysis was run. The

results of the correlation analysis using Pearson's R are shown in Table 4-26.

Table 4-26. Correlations Between Challenges and Strategic Priorities with Pearson's R
FACTORS Time Training Experience Cost

P Sig. P Sig. P Sig. P Sig.
Employee Productivity -.112 .035 -.051 .344 -.183 .001 -.127.017
Customer Service -.152 .004 -.067 .211 -.160 .003 -.166.002
Revenue Enhancement -.154 .004 -.051 .338 -.148 .005 -.136.011

Note: N=352, P=Pearson's R, Sig. = Significance. Correlation is significant at the 0.05
level and is 2-tailed.

The correlation analysis revealed that the only challenge that is not correlated with

the strategic priorities is training. Time, experience, and cost are all directly related in an

inverse fashion. As time becomes a greater challenge to implementation, the fewer the

implementations in the organization. The same is true for both cost and experience. As

those factors are perceived as a greater challenge, the number of implementations

decreases.






74


Summary

In short, the respondents to the survey were very multifaceted from a demographic

standpoint and allowed for a well-represented sample. The data tabulated as was

expected and provided no surprise findings.














CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS

This study benchmarks the Public Assembly Facility Management Industry's

strategic priorities in the implementation of information technologies. Specifically, the

strategic priorities of employee productivity, customer service, and revenue enhancement

were analyzed to determine the rank of priorities for the industry. Further, specific

characteristics of facilities, managerial attitudes, and challenges to information

technology implementation were analyzed to determine the differences in implementation

among these sub-groups. This chapter sought to discuss the results and their relevance to

the industry and is comprised of the following main sections:

* Summary of Methods
* Discussion of Findings
* Implications
* Suggestions for Further Research

Summary of Methods

The data for this study were collected through an on-line survey of public assembly

facilities. The list of respondents was created from the membership list of the

International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) and included only facilities

from the United States. Surveys were collected during the time period of June, July and

August 2003. A total of 1,017 surveys were issued with 89 returned as undeliverable.

Out of the remaining 928, 372 responded for a final response rate of 40.1%.

The survey instrument consisted of 30 questions that were presented to the

respondent in an on-line form. The respondent was directed to a private web site through









a link provided in an e-mail. In addition, respondents were sent an electronic copy via e-

mail that they could return via US mail or in e-mail format. A total of 36 responded

through US mail. The survey instrument collected demographic data as well as views on

information technology implementation challenges. It also investigated managerial

attitudes and implementation strategies. The survey took less than ten minutes to

complete once the respondent had collected the information needed from their records.

Discussion of Findings

Respondent Profile

The respondent profile gave valuable insight into the public assembly facility

industry. Respondents were primarily male (74.2%) ages 36 to 55 (75.6%). Slightly over

60% of those responding have obtained Bachelor's Degrees and the highest percentage of

the respondents (31.3%) cited Business as their major field of study. Most of the

respondents had over eleven years of experience (71.7%) and were employed in the top

level of management for their organization (59.1%) at the Director/General Manager

level. It should be noted that the surveys were distributed to the members who, whenever

possible, were the Directors/General Managers of their organization. It can be concluded

that the majority of those who received the survey responded directly instead of

forwarding the survey to a staff member to complete. Just under 50% of the respondents

self classified themselves as having average skills when it came to information

technology.

Facility Profile

Arenas (27.3%), performing arts centers (25.3%), and conference/convention

centers (21.9%) were roughly equally represented. Complexes comprised 13.9% of the

respondents and stadiums another 4.3%. The facilities were managed by private









organizations 42% of the time and were classified as a University facility 28% of the

time. While the majority of the facilities were located in secondary markets (47.7%), a

good number were primary market facilities (30.0%). The facilities were on average 19.3

years old. The average size for the responding stadiums was 53,420 seats. The

responding complexes had an average of 16,510 seats and arenas had 11,430 seats.

Performing Arts Centers had 1,990 seats and the conference and convention centers had

an average of 113,570 square feet of space. Budgets varied by facility type and included

stadiums at an average of 28 million, complexes with 21 million, conference centers with

11 million, arenas at 6 million, and performing arts centers at 4 million.

Research Question 1: What Strategic Priorities (Customer Service, Revenue
Enhancement, or Employee Productivity) are the Most Critical in the Selection of
Information Technologies?

As proposed by McKenney (1994), organizations seem to move through various

stages when implementing information technology. These stages include a beginning

stage where the organization seeks to find solutions to problems, build competence

among employees and to create a better work environment in an effort to increase

employee productivity. After utilizing technology to meet that goal, the organization

works to utilize technology to improve customer service. The final goal based on this

framework would be to create a strategic advantage by finding revenue-enhancing

technologies.

This study was based in part on a study conducted in the hotel industry. The

findings of that study suggested that the focus for technological implementation is on

employee productivity (Siguaw, Enz, & Namasivayam 2000). Similar to that study, the

current study found that public assembly facilities implement technologies for the same

purpose, with PAF's implementing 68% of the items related to employee productivity,









followed by 48% in customer service and 43% in revenue enhancement. These

percentages are consistent with the trend proposed by McKenney (1994). Interestingly,

little difference was found between the categories of customer service and revenue

enhancement, while the jump up to employee productivity was substantial (a difference

of 20% of technologies implemented).

While the results showed that facilities implement technologies in a manner

consistent with prior research, it is interesting to note that managers of those facilities do

not recognize this pattern. The survey directly asked managers what they felt the priority

for technological implementation was in their organization and the majority stated that

customer service (42%) was their priority. Employee productivity was not far behind

capturing 40% of the responses but a surprisingly low 15% of the managers stated that

revenue enhancement was a priority. When the managers were asked what they thought

the priority should be, the results followed what they believed their organization was

doing with 46% stating that customer service was the most important, 40% ranking

employee productivity as the most important and only 12% of the managers seeing

revenue enhancement as a priority. It would seem that managers believe their focus is,

and should be, on serving the clients when in fact the focus is still on assisting the

employee. This could be explained by the thought that one of the first steps in satisfying

the customer is satisfying the employee. In this case, providing the employee with the

needed technologies may lead to increased customer service.

In addition, it would seem that managers do not place as much importance on the

revenue side of information technologies as they do the customer service or employee

productivity benefits. Perhaps this is because, information technology is such a large









capital outlay in the beginning stages that managers have not moved towards looking at

IT as a means of generating revenues or at the possibility of allowing ITs to pay for

themselves. No doubt this is the direction that the industry will move in the next decade.

Perhaps this is an area for future researchers to monitor.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the survey asked the organizations if they had

implemented any new technologies due to the events of 9/11 and only 34% of them

responded that they had. While it could be argued that technological implementation

would assist with the protection of life and property, it must be noted that the public

assembly facility industry already had the protection of life and property as one of its

priorities prior to 9/11. It is therefore not surprising that there were relatively few

implementations as the result of that tragic day.

Research Question 2: Are There Variations in the Utilization of Technology Among
Public Assembly Facilities Based Upon Various Facility Characteristics?

With the exception of the differential between University and Non-university

venues, all of the proposed facility characteristics showed significant differences in their

implementations of information technology. Out of curiosity the researcher ran a

regression to explore which of the facility characteristics had the most influence on each

of the strategies. It was interesting that across all three strategies, budget had the greatest

influence on the amount of technology implemented. The second most influential

characteristic was managerial attitude, followed by facility size.

Facility type. The results indicated a significant difference among the various

facility types. In all but the revenue enhancement category, performing arts centers were

behind the other facilities in technological implementations. For revenue enhancement,

conference and convention centers were the least likely to implement technologies.









Stadiums were the leader in all of the categories. In the employee productivity and

customer service implementation strategies, the facilities ranked in the same way, with

stadiums at the top, followed by complexes, then conference/convention centers, arenas

and performing arts centers last.

With regards to the revenue enhancement category, stadiums lead the way but

arenas took second place followed by complexes, performing arts centers and then

conference/convention centers. It makes sense that stadiums, being the largest of the

venue types, implemented more technologies in each of the three categories. This is

partially due to the fact that they have larger budgets than other facilities and as

mentioned before, size and budget are two of the top three determinations of information

technology implementations.

Facility age. Age played a significant role in the implementation of the various

strategies. In all three strategic priorities, new facilities were more likely to implement

more technologies. It was determined that venues less than 12 years old were

significantly more likely to implement information technologies than buildings over 12

years old. Interestingly enough, there were no significant differences between facilities

that were classified as established (12-27 years old) and historical facilities (over 27 years

old). A possible explanation is that retrofitting a facility to handle IT infrastructure is a

very expensive proposition and therefore, the older the facility the less likely they are to

implement a greater number of technologies. In addition, newer buildings are

constructed with technology growth in mind thereby reducing the cost to implement

technology.









Facility size. The claim by Huo (1998) that larger organizations will be more likely

to implement technologies was further supported by this research. There was a

significant increase in technological implementations across all of the strategic priorities

for the larger venues. In addition, there was a linear trend in increasing implementation

from the smaller facilities to the larger facilities. The post hoc analysis revealed that

differences only occurred between the large facilities and the medium and small facilities

not between the two smaller sized facilities. In 2000, Steiner noted this trend in his

research and suggested that small and medium enterprises may be forced to use current

technologies for a longer period of time due to financial constraints.

Facility budget. As examined by Yuan, Gretzel & Fesenmaier (2001) budget

constraints play a major role in IT development and this same theory holds true for

facilities. Findings revealed that as the budget increased, the number of implementations

increased. This is not a surprising given that the cost of implementation can be

staggering.

Management structure. The differentiation between publicly managed facilities

and privately managed facilities plays a significant role in the implementation of

information technologies in public assembly facilities. Similar to the study by Siguaw,

Enz, and Namasivayam (2000), management structure played a significant role in the

amount of IT implemented. In Siguaw et. al's study, chain-operated hotels showed the

greatest propensity for IT implementation, whereas in the current study, IT

implementation was more common for privately managed public assembly facilities.

One interesting finding in this study, was the lack of significant difference between

University owned facilities and Non-university owned facilities. Since it was proposed









that organization structure plays a significant role in IT implementation, it was believed

that the difference between a University and Non-university venue would also be

significant. It was hypothesized that because University venues typically operate with

different goals than non-university venues that there would be differences in the amount

of IT implemented. However, with all three of the strategic priorities, the only significant

difference was in the employee productivity strategic priority. For this priority, non-

university facilities exceed university facilities in the implementation of information

technologies. Perhaps this is due to the budget crunch that universities have been

experiencing in the last five years. Since employee productivity is at the bottom of the

hierarchy of implementation, it is understandable that they would be implemented more

commonly than those in the other categories. Perhaps budget is correlated with this

finding, if these lower level technologies are not as common in university facilities.

Research Question 3: How Do the Managerial Attitudes of Public Assembly Facility
Managers Affect the Acceptance of New Technologies?

Sethi & King (1994) have found that top-level management support of

technological growth is required in order to have continued financial commitment

towards the technological growth. In addition, Wober & Gretzel (2000) argued that

management must have a positive attitude about technology implementation for

successful implementation. Finally, DeLone (1988) stated that the main driver of IT

implementation was attributed to top-level management involvement in the

implementation of and the knowledge of computers. The current study supports all of

these arguments. This research found a significant positive relationship between the

attitudes of managers and the number of IT implementations within all three strategic









priorities. As the attitude of managers towards technology became more positive, the

likelihood that the organization would implement technology increased.

Research Question 4: How Does Specific IT Challenges Affect the Implementation
of Information Technologies?

Throughout the literature review, there were four recurring challenges to the

implementation of information technology. Training, as mentioned by Siguaw & Enz,

(1999) is critical to the success of IT implementation and to the success of the on-going

upgrades. Time, as stated by Dewett (2001), updating and maintaining information

technologies requires an extensive time resource. Management experience and

supportiveness, according to Wober & Gretzel (2000) is critical to the implementation

and successful use of information technology. Finally, as discussed above, budget, or

cost, of information technology implementation is a final critical challenge to the

successful implementation of a technology.

Of these four factors, training was the only factor that was not considered a

significant deterrent to implementation of IT for public assembly facilities. For the other

three factors, (time, managerial experience, and cost), the greater the perceived challenge,

the fewer the implementations. This was consistent for all of the strategic priorities. A

possible explanation for training not being classified as a significant challenge could be

that facility managers are very training oriented. It is possible that training is not seen as

a challenge because training is a part of daily management of a facility due to the high

turn over of a mostly part time workforce.

In addition, it is also possible that facilities are further behind in their

implementation of technology than their employees are in their use and knowledge of

technology. Since employees are entering the workforce better trained in information









technology, it is possible that they enter the organization with a higher skill level that the

available technology. This would lead to less of a challenge in training than some of the

other challenges to implementation.

Implications

While this research provided results that did not significantly deviate from the

expected, this information does provide valuable insight and clarification to industry

professionals on the use of information technology in their organizations. It is interesting

to note that while employee productivity is still the leading driver of IT implementation,

management believes they are focusing on utilizing technology as a tool to improve

customer service. It is also interesting to note that those same managers have not fully

realized the potential to utilize technology as a revenue generator or taken full advantage

of the potential strategic advantage.

From a benchmarking standpoint, the information regarding the types of

information technology being implemented by peer facilities will assist management in

creating avenues for strategic advantages over their competition or, at the very least, give

some managers the impedance to avoid being placed at a strategic disadvantage. In

Appendix C, the frequencies of the various forms of information technology are stated by

facility type in order for a more detailed benchmarking of peer facilities.

The most interesting benchmarks to note include the fact that almost all facilities

surveyed utilize fax machines, e-mail, web sites, and networked computers. Considering

that almost all of the facilities had these items, and specifically, had web sites, this

benchmark supports the statement by Law & Leung (2002) that internet presence is no

longer a competitive advantage but a business necessity. It was also interesting to note

that most facilities update their websites weekly. The one exception to the frequency to









updates lies within the stadium group. The largest percentage of stadiums responded that

they update their web sites on a daily basis.

Facilities should review the revenue enhancing technologies that are available and

work towards the implementation of those technologies that will assist with organization

survival. Bar code ticket scanning, electronic marketing, the rental of high speed internet

connections, on-line ticketing with the ability to increase convenience fees and reduce the

cost of in-house printed tickets, video boards that allow the sale of advertising, and video

teleconferencing as an equipment rental line item will all assist with the organizations

financial health and well being. These forms of IT are all potential ways to generate

revenue for PAFs.

As both the patrons and the clients advance in their use of technology, a continual

updating process will be necessary. The lack of strategic planning for the implementation

of information technology is surprising (almost 75% of the facilities did not have a

strategic plan) considering the potential benefits toward keeping up with the increasing

demand from both of these groups. As noted by Porter (1999) change management is an

essential function for any organization and one critical component of change

management is technology management.

Strategically, a formal plan for the implementation of technology is necessary for

the positive growth of an organization to gain a strategic advantage over the competition.

With that stated, it must be suggested that facilities develop a strategic implementation

plan for not only the maintenance of their information technology system, but also for its

growth in the future. Without this plan, it is possible that there may come a time when

the organization is no longer able to meet the needs of their customers.









Suggestions for Further Research

The foremost suggestion for future research would be to complete an identical

study for facilities that reside in other countries as a basis for comparison for facilities in

the United States. In addition, understanding how geographic regions might differ is a

research question that has not been answered by this study but warrants further

investigation. Understanding how PAFs in different geographic regions of the U.S.A.

implement technological strategies might be insightful for managers.

This type of research also lends itself to a longitudinal study to allow for analysis

over time. Due to the rapidly growing technology climate of today's businesses, trend

data would be extremely useful for facility managers to aid in planning. A study over

time could measure the success of various technological implementations as well as the

level of use of certain technologies. For example, will bar code ticket scanning (and

therefore print at home tickets) become the norm for the industry thereby effectively

wiping out the outlet structure that is currently in place for ticket sales? What will be the

growth rate for this type of ticketing distribution method? Possibly a review of the

growth in on-line ticket buying from the past ten years might lend insight into what the

future holds for this new technology. A correlation could be drawn between that past on-

line ticketing history and it's growth patterns as compared to the growth patterns in bar

coded tickets. While this is just one example of how trending data would help managers

plan for the future growth of technologies, there are limitless others that could be studied

in a similar fashion.

In addition to follow-up research, it would be interesting to see how the

implementation of a strategic plan might be related to the success of a facility. Are

facilities with strategic information technology plans more profitable? Are they better









equipped to meet the needs of the customer? Are they better able to meet customers'

needs and establish relationships with customers?

While this study focused on the industry as a whole, conducting an in-depth

analysis of the individual facilities types could be beneficial to managers. Understanding

why certain types of information technology are used within one facility type versus

another may provide managers with the needed information to help with the future

direction of the facility type. Clarification of what problems were solved with the

implementation of a technology in one facility type might give insight to the manager of

another facility type experiencing a similar problem.

A good part of any organizational plan should include a survey of the clients and

patrons of a facility. A formal study is necessary to determine what types of technology

the ticket buying / conference attending public would like to see implemented in the

facilities as well as a survey of the clients of those facilities. Such a study would provide

the basis for a strategic plan to meet the needs of both the clients and the patrons.

Any future extension of this study should also examine, in a more direct fashion,

the management of information technology within the organization. Questions should

include, "Is there a dedicated information technology staff member or members on staff

within the organization and dedicated to that specific facility?" If not, "How is

information technology managed in your organization? Is IT supported by a staff

member whose primary duties lie elsewhere? Is it a service that is contracted out to a

third-party? Does the organization utilize IT departments from their city, county, state,

university, or other governance structures where the staff is not dedicated to the specific

facility but to the organization as a whole?" A final question that needs to be answered









by future research is "As the learning curve for technology rapidly changes, how is

training for employees and management keeping pace?"

Moreover, an in-depth qualitative study of the types of technology implemented by

other industries would compliment this study. While this study looked at the currently

utilized technologies, a qualitative study might gather information from industries, both

competing industries as well as non-competing industries. As customers continue to

become more savvy and their options for entertainment increase, questions on

information technology implementation become more complex. For example, how will

the PAF industry address the issue of on-line competition for entertainment? Will the

industry openly compete with the on-line community or will they start to offer their own

on-line products so as to influence choices by the consumer, which include both on-line

and traditional forms of entertainment?

These are merely a few questions, which will have drastic consequences for the

public assembly facility industry in the next decade. In order to stay abreast of the

massively changing role of technology in the lives of the public, managers are going to

need to put together a plan. This thesis has provided the foundational information for

managers to benchmark their status with others in the industry. The next step is to move

the industry forward in terms of having technology work for them in the form of revenue

enhancement.