Project management versus Change management: Exploring the most effective change technique to implement a sustainable strategic change in the hotel industry

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Implementing environmental sustainable strategic changes is increasingly becoming a prominent factor for hotels to succeed in a highly competitive business environment. The purpose of this study was to explore which change technique, project management or change management, is the most effective to implement a sustainable strategic change in the hotel industry. An exploratory multiple case study was conducted, in which a comparison was made between the two change techniques based on five characteristics: goalsetting, tasks, standardization, stage-gate approach and employee involvement. These traits’ use and effectiveness were explored in four hotels, two of which used a PM technique and two of which used a CM technique. The results showed that employee involvement was the most important characteristic to effectively implement a sustainable strategic change in a hotel. As this is the strongest feature of change management, this change technique is concluded to be the most effective change technique. However, hard goalsetting (clear, expressed in numbers and with a deadline) and use of standardization, two project management traits, also showed to be noteworthy contributing factors. Nevertheless, in this study it is recommended to use change management when a hotel wants to make sustainable strategic changes.
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