The internet of things
: developing a sustainable competitive advantage in the hotel industry

  • Diogo André Gomes Guerra (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The Internet of Things (IoT) is a technology that allows objects to be connected to the internet, enabling them with communication capabilities (with other objects and with people). By 2020 there will be over 50 billion things/objects connected to the internet, meaning this technology will completely revolutionize the world as we know it. This dissertation´s goal, is to analyze the strategic potential of the IoT in the hotel industry. In this view, the research problem this dissertation faces is to ascertain if a hotel may create value through the IoT, and if that value creation may lead to the development of a sustainable competitive advantage. In order to achieve this dissertation´s goal, a set of IoT´s functionalities are proposed and linked to a value activity, in a Hotel´s Value Chain. Then, through a survey, answered by 418 respondents from 44 nationalities, it is ascertained that IoT creates value and increases guest loyalty, and also, the most attractive IoT´s functionalities are identified. Then, through an analysis conducted to the most attractive IoT´s functionalities (identified in the survey), it is ascertained that these functionalities allow a hotel to develop two resources: 1) High Quality Customer Service, and 2) Guests´ Tacit Knowledge. Further on, by applying the RBV model, it is ascertained that Guests´ Tacit Knowledge is a resource that has value, it´s rare, imperfectly imitable and non-substitutable, which means that it may help a hotel developing and implementing value-creating strategies, that may last in time. It is concluded, then, that IoT has potential to help a hotel creating value, through the resource Guests´ Tacit Knowledge, and it may use that value creation to develop a sustainable competitive advantage.
Date of AwardJun 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPaulo Amaral (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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