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Social media usage in business decision-making: the case of Malaysian small hospitality organisations

A.K. Siti-Nabiha (Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia , George Town, Malaysia)
Norfarah Nordin (Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia , George Town, Malaysia)
Boon Kar Poh (Graduate School of Business, Universiti Sains Malaysia , George Town, Malaysia)

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration

ISSN: 1757-4323

Article publication date: 11 February 2021

Issue publication date: 4 May 2021

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562

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to examine how small- and medium-sized hospitality organisations engage with social media and how social media data are used by their managers to inform business decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was used in this research in which interviews were conducted with top management, comprising the owners/directors and other key managers from small- and medium-sized organisations based in Penang, Malaysia. Fan and Gordon's (2014) categorisation of the social media data analysis process and Simon's (1995) concept of the interactive and diagnostic usage of data were used in the analysis of data.

Findings

The managers of small- and medium-sized hospitality organisations engage with social media for customer relationship management and the understanding of key main competitors. Social media is used to understand, build and manage relationships with current and potential customers; these activities are also linked to actions taken to protect a company's reputation. Even though, for the companies concerned, data gathering is still at the capture stage with no formal procedures and processes in place, the data are utilised in an interactive way to inform two areas’ major business decisions-making, i.e. those related to pricing and promotion and the strategic formulation and reorientation of the business.

Research limitations/implications

The respondents of this study were mainly from smaller hospitality organisations. Hence, the insights gained are limited to the context of smaller hotels.

Originality/value

A significant number of social media studies within the hospitality sector have focussed on marketing aspects. This study explored the wider use of social media in the case of smaller hospitality organisations and how they compete and position themselves in the competitive hospitality industry.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers of this journal for their insightful comments and constructive suggestions, which helped to improve the quality of the paper.

Citation

Siti-Nabiha, A.K., Nordin, N. and Poh, B.K. (2021), "Social media usage in business decision-making: the case of Malaysian small hospitality organisations", Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 272-289. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJBA-08-2020-0276

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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