Special issue of The Journal of Management Development on Air wars and globalization: developing strategy in the airline business

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



Kouzmin, A. (2000), "Special issue of The Journal of Management Development on Air wars and globalization: developing strategy in the airline business", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 19 No. 6. https://doi.org/10.1108/jmd.2000.02619faa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Special issue of The Journal of Management Development on Air wars and globalization: developing strategy in the airline business

Special issue of The Journal of Management Development on Air wars and globalization: developing strategy in the airline business

About the Guest EditorAlexander Kouzmin is Foundation Chair in Management, University of Western Sydney-Nepean, Kingswood, Australia.

About the authorDaniel Chan is a recipient of prestigious Government of Singapore scholarships for both undergraduate and postgraduate studies. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering (Good Honours) from the National University of Singapore; an MBA Degree and Graduate Diploma in Management from Imperial College, London; and a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration from the University of Western Sydney. Educated and trained professionally both in Singapore and overseas, including in the USA and the UK, he currently holds a senior executive position overseeing a wide range of portfolios. His professional portfolios as well as academic interests include those of strategy and management, principally in the fields of aviation, telecommunications, information technology and other hi-tech enterprises. Since 1994, he has been teaching MBA courses. His teaching portfolios include the subjects of strategy, strategic management, operations management and, more recently, the management of innovation and technopreneurship. Special issue of The Journal of Management Development on Air wars and globalization: developing strategy in the airline business

This special issue of The Journal of Management Development is of considerable interest, at least for two reasons. First, it reports on a very much under-studied aspect of globalization - strategic alliances and marketing strategies within the highly competitive and increasingly dynamic global airline industry. Second, it brings such research work by one person together - Daniel Chan, a very senior Government official in Singapore working at the cutting edge of such strategy and policy-sensitive issues. The opportunity to bring research work of this kind together within the pages of The Journal of Management Development is a unique opportunity offered by the editors of the journal in recognition that a great deal of research material in contemporary management goes unnoticed given a long-standing tendency to by-pass senior executive-level action research material in favour of the more academically-restrained and produced research efforts, often untouched by the complexities of executive-level responsibilities or significant experience within industry.

Daniel Chan argues the case that air wars, particularly out of the Northern hemisphere context, are misunderstood and, certainly, the strategic lessons that might be drawn from such developments are by-passed. Beginning with the remarkable success of the "Singapore Girl" marketing strategy, focusing on differentiation strategies and a customer focus, many years before such "excellence" became part of the benchmarks for many industries around the world, Chan tracks through his research to the emergence of collaborative strategies, with very much an emphasis on "tactics in action" - again, with an Asian-Pacific focus and tracking further through to the development of strategic hubs in the airline industry.

The airline industry is a unique and fascinating one and the industry figures involved, as Daniel Chan indicates, are staggering - they speak for themselves. In part, the airline industry is inextricably associated with the global explosion in tourism but a systematic analysis of deregulation, the extent of competition and the remarkable alliance developments are conspicuous in their importance in the analysis provided by Daniel Chan. It is a view of globalization, competition and collaboration very much unheralded in the "new economy" speak of the "new information" age.

A futures perspective provides a fascinating discussion on what lies beyond "Singapore Girl". Much of Daniel Chan's anticipations have already come to pass with Titanic-like mergers foreshadowed in the Asian region with the entry of Virgin Airlines into the Australian domestic market and, yet again, newer alliances apparently evolving between Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand - very contemporary confirmation of some of the more predictive discussions/outcomes in Daniel Chan's work. Finally, his summary distils and consolidates key insights for management development - individually as well as collectively.

This guest editor is especially pleased to have the opportunity to put forward to a global audience the outcomes of DBA research, especially from an Asian-Pacific region and with strong transfer implications from the conventionally seen "peripheral" to the North American/European "core". Much may need to be re-written in management development issues from a re-visit to core-periphery assumptions central to much of the globalizing debate about new economies, new millennia and who actually constitute strategic players in rapidly changing global configurations.

Much management research is overly functionalized, restricted to so-called core disciplinary assumptions and very much misaligned from the complexities and inter-dependencies of the organizational, let alone, inter-organizational features of the problem ostensibly being researched. The tourist industry is one of the major engines of economic growth across the core-periphery divide and, like the multi-faceted tourism industry, global transportation is complex, multi-faceted and ever changing. This special issue helps a "tired" reader of much management research to appreciate again the inter-disciplinary nuances, the cross-functional inevitabilities and the rapidly dynamic aspects of an industry that can only be better understood through an interplay of brand marketing, service excellence, acute sensitivities to corporate strategy and an appreciation of the strategic implementation of corporate visions and corporate cultures - all culminating in what might be regarded as a genuine benchmark in world class positioning of an Asian airline.

Alexander Kouzmin (Guest Editor)Graduate School of Management, University of Western Sydney-Nepean, Kingswood, Australia

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