Honors Program


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Bechtel, M., Zlatic, A., Eschenbrenner, B., Collins, B., Straley, C., and Gubbels, G. Marriott International: A Managerial Strategic Audit. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2023.


Copyright Madison Bechtel, Brooke Eschenbrenner, Alex Zlatic, Brandon Collins, Charlotte Straley, and Grant Gubbels 2023


A strategic management audit of the public firm, Marriott International, was conducted to identify various factors and managerial strategies that affect Marriott and the global hotels and tourism industry. At the industry level, we conducted a PESTEL and Five Forces analysis, researched the competitive landscape, and assessed the total value potential. We found that the industry experienced a major decline during the COVID-19 pandemic but saw recovery as international travel opened up again. On the company level, we conducted an internal analysis, identified Marriott’s management structure, and identified the firm’s structure and strategies through a SWOT analysis and other relevant research. We assessed the makeup leadership team and Board of Directors and how it has influenced the corporate governance, organizational structures, and controls of the firm. Finally, we analyzed firm structure by looking at Marriott’s business-level, corporate-level, and merger and acquisition strategies.

Marriott’s successful mergers and acquisitions have allowed it to grow to be the largest firm in the industry. By employing a broad differentiation strategy with its 30-brand portfolio, it has been able to occupy nearly every segment of the market and maintain its competitive position through its consistent customer service, brand recognition, and customer loyalty through its Marriott Bonvoy program. The Marriott family has maintained influence through their presence on the Board and Executive team, which can be seen through recent voting decisions and compensation.