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Organizational innovation and the role of strategic planning: the case of the Dubai hotel industry

Said Elbanna (Center for Entrepreneurship and Organizational Excellence, CBE, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar)
Ahmed Abdel-Maksoud (Zayed University–Abu Dhabi Campus, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Management & Sustainability: An Arab Review

ISSN: 2752-9819

Article publication date: 7 December 2022




In today's dynamic and competitive environment, innovation is a key requirement for hotels to survive, be profitable and sustain their competitive advantages. However, because the study of innovation in the hospitality industry has only developed recently, little is still known about its determining factors. Given this, this study aims to theorize and test with empirical data the effects of two key dimensions of strategic planning (i.e. participation and flexibility) on innovation.


Using a fully standardized questionnaire, data were gathered from a sample of 150 hotels in Dubai, by a professional market research firm, through face-to-face interviews. The study hypotheses are tested with partial least squares structural equation models. The study has three limitations: first, its data are cross-sectional and the analyses are post hoc; second, it uses single informants; and third, the sample was primarily from a single setting, i.e. Dubai.


The study argues that participation and flexibility in strategic planning are positively related. It also argues that flexibility is positively related to innovation and that flexibility mediates the effects of participation in strategic planning on innovation. Empirical support is found for all the examined relationships.


The study takes place in a unique setting (i.e. Dubai, United Arab Emirates) where research on organizational innovation has been rather limited to date. The findings have important implications for the stream of literature in this field and for practitioners and sustaining competitive advantages of hotels.



The authors are grateful for the two years research grant received from the United Arab Emirates University-National Research Foundation, United Arab Emirates (UAEU-NRF#: 31B010) which enabled this research study to be carried out. The authors acknowledge the valuable input provided by Ioannis Thanos and Mokter Hossain to earlier versions of this paper.


Elbanna, S. and Abdel-Maksoud, A. (2022), "Organizational innovation and the role of strategic planning: the case of the Dubai hotel industry", Management & Sustainability: An Arab Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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