Professional Doctorate - Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
This dissertation aims to evaluate the value of a Website for the institutional catering industry in implementing marketing strategies in Hong Kong. In view of the limited literature exploring why there are firms that are still not establishing Websites, this research investigates whether the adoption of a Website as an Internet marketing tool is under-valued by the firms or is inappropriate to suit a particular industry in a specific geographical location. This research evaluates whether a Website is an effective marketing tool for institutional catering companies in Hong Kong. This exploratory research adopts a case study approach using qualitative methods. A purposive sampling design is adopted to identify the appropriate respondents. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 5 firms with and 5 firms without a Website. A comparative analysis and content analysis are used to compare and analyse the findings of these two sub-samples. This research explores the underlying reasons and possible determinants of non-establishment of a Website for some firms. The findings indicated that there is a difference between perceived effectiveness and actual effectiveness of Websites in performing its basic functions as well as in implementing its marketing strategies. The actual usage of company Websites deviates from its intended use in implementing marketing strategies due to an incapability of current Website features to fully match with the desired strategic marketing implementation. This research also provides a thorough discussion on the firms’ intention of adopting a Website as an Internet marketing tool in future. Moreover, the perceived trend of using a Website as a marketing tool has been examined. Findings indicated that firms with existing Websites would continue employing this marketing tool while those firms without Website would consider adopting one since it is perceived that this Internet marketing tool will increase in importance in the coming decade.