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Innovation typology in tourism

interaction between individuals. Accordingly, dynamic organizations with groups of employees that habitually exchange information tend to innovate more regularly. In this context, when individual experiences are shared between employees in organizations, individual knowledge is transformed into collective knowledge. Therefore, information must be stored in a form that makes able its further use. However, service firms often lack on procedures for storing information. Moreover, employees habitually do not see the benefits of codifying knowledge for its future use (Sundbo 2007).

Knowledge is created, transferred and organized according to the culture of the organization. Firm's behaviour is closely related to the process of accumulation of knowledge (Nelson and Winter 1982). Knowledge can be stored in skills, competences and routines.

Nelson and Winter (1982) relate skills to individuals. They state that, while routines are more relevant at the organizational level, skills are the embedded routines of individuals. Skills are related to tacit knowledge (Nelson and Winter 1982). In contrast, competences are connected with the ability of organizations to activate knowledge and transform it in processes. Competences can be based on tacit as well as codified knowledge. In this regard, organizations develop organizational efficiency by improving the use of competences (Meeus and Oerlemans 2005). Both skills and competences improve when they are used (Lundvall 2004).

Knowledge is not only embodied in skills and competences. It is also accumulated in routines, procedures, norms, etc. Among them, several scholars identify routines as one of the major determinants of innovation (see e.g. Nelson and Winter 1982, Lundvall 2004).


The consideration of routines within the innovation theory is related to the development of the evolutionary approach in economics. In the evolutionary theory, innovation includes long-term processes (Nelson and Winter 1982, Pavitt 2003) based on cumulative learning, gradual change and adaptation to the environment. The evolutionary theory emerges in contrast to mainstream economics, which claim that firms can be steered according to market and internal conditions in order to maximize benefits.

Routines are modes of doing things in organizations. Organizational memory is embedded in routines (Nelson and Winter 1982). Routinization implies the repetition of certain activities. Nevertheless, their merely repetition would not enhance innovation. Nelson and Winter (1982) emphasize the idea of search and evaluation of current routines. Through these processes, routines are examined in order to maintain, modify or replace them.

The notion of continuity expressed by routines is connected with the subject of incremental changes. The implementation of routines can enhance learning processes and produce new knowledge, which may result in the introduction of small changes. Apart from the continuity expressed by routines, it is also important to notice that


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