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Innovation typology in tourism

sectors and organizations of production and use influences the distinction between product and process innovations.

Next, the typology of organizational innovations refers to changes in organizational forms and structures. Besides, innovative organizational methods can guide innovation processes in other areas of the organization as well. Drejer (2004), for example, points out that organizational innovation is closely related to process innovation. Although each innovation typology can influence innovation performance in other areas, organizational innovations have a special relevance on the innovation activity of the whole organization. Moreover, Drejer includes in this typology the processes that concern the internal organization of firms as well as firms’ external organization of linkages. Consequently, the results of organizational innovations can influence the organization as well as the environment.

Finally, marketing innovations are incorporated in the classification, since they are fundamental innovations in the tourism sector. The tourism industry sells experiences. In this matter, the marketing strategy plays a major role to reach new users and broaden the sales market. This innovation type is also necessary to improve commercial linkages with other organizations and institutions.

To sum up, the classification between innovation types has traditionally focused in product and process innovations. Consequently, other relevant types of innovations in relation with the area of the firm have been disregarded. Organizational and marketing innovations, though, contribute to economic development as well. Furthermore, these are fundamental innovation types in the tourism industry. Consequently, the classification between product, process, organizational and marketing innovations appears to be the most adequate to study innovation performance in tourism. The four typologies may overlap. In the service industry, for instance, the distinction between product and process innovations is especially complex. These innovation types may emerge in different degrees, topic that is introduced in the following section.

2.3. Degree of Innovativeness

A characteristic of innovations is that they emerge in different degrees. Schumpeter (1939/1989) emphasizes the role of the entrepreneur in the production of radical innovations. However, he also indicates that innovation processes are cumulative. Schumpeter’s approach thus created the foundations to distinguish between radical and incremental innovations.

Radical innovations are major changes in relation with the current technology. They can generate a disruption in the path followed. Besides, radical innovations can lead to many smaller innovations (Sundbo 2001). They can also emerge as technological revolutions, which consist on a group of innovations that together have a greater impact (Fagerberg 2005). Nevertheless, radical innovations are usually first identified long after they have emerged (OECD 2005). This is mainly due to the fact that the impact of radical innovations can be first measured after they have been implemented. Examples of radical innovations in tourism are the creation of a specific quality management system for tourism organizations, the reorganization of a hotel chain, or


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