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The strategic management of regional airports in the UK: a case study approach

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posted on 07.12.2010, 09:24 authored by Laura Lopez Villarreal
The aim of the research reported in this thesis is to investigate and understand the strategic management of airports. More specifically, the research focuses on regional airports in the UK; it charts the ways in which their strategic management capacities have changed in recent decades with regard to external pressures associated with increasing commercialisation and government policy on the ownership and control of airports. The significance of those external pressures is discussed, especially in the light of privatisation. Within this context, key concepts of strategic management are presented and the application of the cultural web model is discussed, in order to explore the links between strategic management, organisational behaviour and the external operating environment of regional airports. Using a case study approach and qualitative research methods, two regional airports have been selected for an in-depth comparative investigation: Inverness (which remains in public ownership) and East Midlands (which is in private ownership). The conclusions which emerge from the case study evidence suggests that there are significant differences in the strategic management capacities of regional airports in the UK, and these differences reflect their ownership and control. Although there is much evidence that differences between public and private airports are reducing - mainly due to the heightened commercial awareness of the former - it is clear that, unlike publicly owned airports, the transfer of ownership from public to private does indicate a transformation in organisational culture. Unlike their publicly owned counterparts, strategic objectives are clear and well established; minimising costs is a well focused strategic priority; and the pursuit of efficiency is a key strategic driver of change. The thesis concludes with sorne critical. reflections on the research undertaken and suggests areas for future investigation.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© Laura López Villarreal

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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