This report should be 1,500 words (excluding the references and appendices). To complete this report, you should conduct research on Airbnb and its competitiveness. Your task is to understand Airbnb’s investments in information and IT for business value returns. You also need to assess its key resources and capabilities to assess its competitiveness in a turbulent disruptive market. More specifically, you should find answers to the following two questions:
1. Focus on the various IT assets that Airbnb has invested in the last 5 years. Using the IT Portfolio theory, provide an example of each type of IT asset classes (i.e. transactional, informational, infrastructural and strategic) with reference to Airbnb. Your chosen examples should be key IT assets for gaining real business value for Airbnb for competitive advantage. Indicate if the business returns are tangible or intangible.
2. In general, firms cannot expect to obtain sustained competitive advantage when strategic resources are evenly distributed across all competing firms and highly mobile. Hence, competitive advantage does not occur unless heterogeneity and immobility are present. Based on the arguments around imperfectly imitable and the concept of resources and capabilities, discuss each of the four factors of the VRIO framework with respect to the key resources and capabilities to explain Airbnb’s current position in the competitive landscape.
Below you can find a detailed description of the required sections for this report:
• Executive Summary (~150 words): In this section, you need to briefly summarise key IT assets, resources and capabilities of Airbnb that you have selected for this report. You should also briefly mention how these capabilities helped Airbnb to gain competitive advantage.
• Introduction and Organisational background (~250 words): In thissection, you need to briefly explain the information-based competitive environment of Airbnb and its business model in terms of its market, strategy, operations and overall industry. You should use the business model canvas(see useful resources) to structure the arguments in this section.
• IT Portfolio theory view (~350 words): In thissection, you should write yourresponse to Question number 1 above. Your arguments should be supported by references from the literature (both practitioner/academic).
• RBV theory and VRIO analysis (~650 words): In this section, you should write your response to Question number 2 above. Your arguments should be supported by references from the literature (both practitioner/academic).
• Conclusion (~100 words): In this section, you should conclude by stating your key conclusions about the competitiveness of Airbnb. You should also include a brief discussion on factors or threats that may affect sustainability of its competitive advantage in future.
• References: References and citations showing the source of all the information in the report need to be provided (Harvard referencing style). The references used must demonstrate thorough research using quality references such as journal articles, book sections, conference papers, and industry reports with good evidence to support your arguments in the sections above.
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