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Innovation typology in tourism

Empirical studies have confirmed that innovation in services is based on the acquisition of technology from other sectors. For instance, in the Community Innovation Survey carried out in 1992 in the Netherlands investment in fixed assets represented a 65% of the total innovation expenditure in service firms (Brouwer and Kleinknecht 1997). The results of these studies, however, have been influenced by the approach applied in the surveys. Since innovation surveys have usually linked technology with artefacts, other relevant determinants of innovation in services have been disregarded. However, innovation trajectories in services are also related to the production of innovations within the sector.

To sum up, technological trajectories are based on cumulative processes of change. Industries as well as organizations may follow specific trajectories. Heterogeneity within a specific industry, however, enhances interactive learning. Trajectories do not only develop through cumulative processes, but they are complemented by periods of radical change. Technological trajectories in services have been usually related to the acquisition of technology from other sectors. Nevertheless, further research on the production of innovation within the sector should be carried out in services. Technological trajectories are also influenced by innovation performance inside organizations. In the following section, several concepts in relation with the management of innovation within organizations are studied in detail.

3.3. Organizational Structure and Innovation Management

Organizational changes are at the core of the innovation process since they influence other instances of innovation, such as production processes, development of products or coordination of competences. Regarding organizational theories, there is a strand that examines the relationship between organizational structures and innovation performance (Lamm 2005). In this regard, two different structures are habitually identified: one more formalized and hierarchical and another more flexible and dynamic.

The aim of this section is to study the characteristics of each of these organizational structures and their influence on innovation performance. Thus, the contributions of several authors are reviewed in order to develop this topic.

Sundbo (2001) points out that innovation is related to top-down as well as to bottom- up processes. As a result, two important actors can be identified in organizations: employees and management. Their interaction plays a major role in complex innovation processes (Meeus and Oerlemans 2005).

Regarding Sundbo’s approach, organizations with a structure based on managerial characteristics are closely connected with the coordination of innovation activities and the implementation of the strategy that suits more the conditions of the environment. In contrast, interactive structures are more flexible and dynamic, which influences the enhancement of individual characteristics, such as entrepreneurship, creativity or learning (Sundbo 2001).

Similarly, Jensen et al. (2007) take into consideration two different types of production of innovations. Nevertheless, they do not focus on the structure of the organization,


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