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Reflections on the Evolving Terrorist Threat to Luxury Hotels: A Case Study on Marriott International


  • David A. Wernick,

    Corresponding author
    1. College of Business Administration, Florida International University
    • Department of Management and International Business, College of Business Administration, Florida International University, 12000 SW 8th St., Miami, Florida 33199, 305-348-7050 (phone), 305-348-6146 (fax)
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  • Mary Ann Von Glinow

    1. Florida International University
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The advent of global terrorist networks represents a challenge to international business (IB) theory. Traditionally conceptualized as a type of political risk experienced by multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in conflictive areas, terrorism has evolved in recent years. The global terrorist networks that dominate the international scene today have different motivations, strategies, tactics, and organizational structures than their secular and ethnic-separatist predecessors and these differences matter for IB theory and practice. Moreover, these groups have shown themselves adaptive, resilient, and capable of striking targets of strategic and symbolic importance in global business and financial centers. This paper examines the changing nature of the terrorist threat to MNEs and the implications for a sector that has been a target of recent attacks: the luxury hotel industry. Structured as a case study of Marriott International, a leading global hospitality provider, the paper analyzes ways the firm is adapting to the evolving threat and the measures it has introduced to safeguard guests, staff, property, and brand. Implications for IB theory and practice are drawn. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.