Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 16 Number 2 1999 pp. 9-27

Rosenbluth International: Strategic Transformation of a Successful Enterprise

Clemons, Eric K and Hann, Il-Horn

ABSTRACT: Successful companies find it exceedingly difficult to change their business strategy radically in response to impending changes in their competitive environment. Here, the authors analyze how Rosenbluth International, one of the largest travel agencies, was able to accomplish that. Threatened with disintemediation during the period of drastic restructuring of travel brokerage, the company strategically revised its value proposition. It has divested itself of its leisure travel segment and offered a range of its services on a fee basis to its customers, rather than rely on commissions by the suppliers of travel services, as it had done previously. This strategic change was enabled by information systems, several of them highly innovative, which Rosenbluth had used strategically in its prior business initiatives. The paper analyzes the management of strategic transition at Rosenbluth International in the light of general theory of organizational resistance to change.

Key words and phrases: competitive information systems, organizational change, strategic transformation, travel industry