Internationalization of the business nowadays apparently became a trend for the organizations to expand their market position and gain the competitive advantage among their contemporaries. The extent and nature of business activities are almost as diverse and comprehensive as the totality of the social and economic interest of a man. Various business activities acknowledged the opportunities that the internationalization may deliver. Through their ability and capacity to expand their business operations, internationalization is highly possible. For most of the time, the high degree of the competition under the umbrella of an industry and the number of competitors that are engaged in the creating the same product and/or services or often referred as the competitors that are closely related can cause market stiffening and will tend to saturate the resources. This idea is one of the reasons on why the businesses are moving into foreign markets.
Background of the Study
There are businesses that in the start of the operation had a great investment and one of which is the airline industry which can perform in either local and/or international markets. This kind of service is one of the broad classifications of the business services. Part of the business operation should cater to personal needs of people or with rendering of a personal service. In this industry, the passengers or the travellers needs the efficiency in travelling in form of safe and friendly services. One of the organizations is Virgin Atlantic Airways that is considered as one of the leading airlines. Like the other companies that play actively in the international market, there are challenges and experience different changes in their operation.
But unlike the other business’s ideas, the VAA believed in the option that it is more positive and much less risky to invest in a long-term change program to satisfy the need to grow in the future (Blue Sky, 2009). Apparently, the airport dominance has grown competitive in the hospitality industry. In the accommodation of this competitive growth, the aviation or airline industry plays an essential role in helping the economy to survive although this type of business is a huge investment. The strategies applied in this kind of industry can help the entire organization in finding the dominant position (Bilotkatch, 2007). The connection of the Virgin Airline is outrageous because of the media that serves as a huge market competency advantage. Their strategy is using the media such as television, radio, internet, and even newspaper gave the business an opportunity for promotion.
Virgin Atlantic started back in 1984 with a single 747-200 and flying in route of London to New York. Aside from the gasoline, the business was fuelled with two ideas – to offer low price and have a better service. Passengers are the treated as visitors and the business thought of the things to serve better meals, offer more entertainment, create fun, and acquire smiling and enthusiastic flight crews. For over the years, the airlines shook the industry with the project for innovation to provide the quality of service and entertainment. The airline is the first to offer two choices of meals, even in economy class, and spa-services. Thus, they became the industry most favourite in airlines and second largest long-haul carrier on the route of London to New York (Rifkin, 2004).
Statement of the Problems
Based on the background of the study, it is highlighted that Virgin Atlantic Airlines (VAA) gained the expertise through the market and operational experiences that they performed. In addition, the organization’s openness in the innovation and technology and implementing various marketing strategies to acquire their unique position in the market. But despite of the benefits that the VAA may receive in performing in the competition, the local market knowledge is missing in the marketing formula of the organization. In association to this observation, there are three interrelated problems identified which can be the centre of the study:
· What is the importance of the local market knowledge in performing even in the international settings?
· In what ways do the local market knowledge affects the business operations of VAA?
· What are the key drivers of local market knowledge in determining the success of VAA?
Research Aim and Objectives
The main aim of the study is to investigate the importance of the local market knowledge towards the success of the Virgin Airlines. The local market knowledge is very broad which can definitely affect the current and even the future performance of an organization. In order to facilitate the investigation of the study there are objectives that needs to be considered. First is to determine the factors that need to be considered that are related in recognizing the components of local market knowledge. Second is to assess the applicability of the local market knowledge in the VAA strategies and business operations. Third is to measure the extent of applying the local market knowledge towards the VAA business performance. And fourth is to recognize the impact of the local market knowledge in formulating the desirable business operations. These objectives are used as the guidelines in the study in order to answer what was the paper needed.
Significance of the Study
The significance of the study is not only to simply consider the importance of the local market knowledge and its components but to apply the local market knowledge in the business settings. It is such a challenge to consider the application of the local market knowledge in international settings because of the characteristics of the business, the business environment, the diversification of markets, the involvement of changes, possibilities, and other expectations. Local market knowledge is a basic concept that is usually applied in the local businesses or in the small and medium enterprises. It is also a part of the business objectives because the creation of business mirrored the present situation of the market.
However, when the local market knowledge and concept is applied in the international setting will raise various uncertainties, criticisms, and questions that falls particularly in the effectiveness of the local market knowledge in contributing to their success. Through the assessment of the study, there is an opportunity to answer these queries and can be part of the academic context in promoting the strategic business management and operation. In addition, the study can also serve as another output within which the organization can use as reference in their action in determining the local market knowledge.
The proposed method in the study is through the use of quantitative method. The appropriate approach is through the help of the survey process that is also considered as the primary source of information. This is promoted in the study because of the contribution that can be provided by the participants, making it appropriate in the study. Furthermore, the conduction of survey is facilitated by consulting the related theories that might be addressed in the study. Through the means and reviewing the related theories, there is an assurance that the result of the survey will explain and interpret the views of the participants regarding the topic presented before them. The objective of the method is to determine the attitudes of the respondents through the quantifiable measurement.
Once the target participants are identified, the appropriate method should be applied. Since the participants are the primary source of data, their perception will treat seriously and manifested in the results of the survey. Quantitative research method is possible in many ways and the use of surveys or interviews are common. The most important objective of the methodological section is perhaps to make a comprehensive data which can be analyzed and aligned with the aims and objectives of their entire study.
The collected information can be analyzed through the use of factor analysis. With the help of the theoretical basis or background, the result can be posted well. Therefore, there is a need for factoring the result on to two aspects (a) correlation of the results and (b) consideration of the factors, elements, or structure on designing good local market knowledge. In presenting the results, the study will review the theories consulted and determine in which among those theory/ies manifested in the study. At the end of the study, the research can definitely give the strong points that centers in the aims and objectives of the study.