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Innovation typology in tourism

medium organizations, however, may enhance diversification at the macro level through collaboration.

Organization’s structure and innovation strategy. Given that innovation in tourism is mainly based on the interaction between individuals, flexible and dynamic structures tend to increase innovation performance in organizations. Adaptation to demand needs is easier in dynamic structures. They also motivate learning processes within organizations, through the development of bottom-up processes. Besides, dynamic and flexible structures adapt better to changing conditions within the organization and in the environment. Nevertheless, some managerial elements might be necessary in tourism organizations. For instance, formalization of innovation may reduce uncertainty. Consequently, the most appropriate structure for tourism organizations is the flexible and dynamic one that also includes some managerial components.

Collaboration with the environment. Innovation is related to the collaboration with other organizations and institutions of the environment. At the level of the organization, collaboration with the environment is seen as an endogenous factor. Accordingly, the innovation strategy in organizations must take the acquisition of external knowledge into account. Given that the tourism product is a combination of different types of services, collaboration with the environment is especially relevant in tourism. Organizations may participate in local as well as in non-local networks. Furthermore, organizations may develop linkages within the sector or external linkages.

Sources of external knowledge. This determinant is related to the former one. However, in this case the source determines the type of knowledge that is acquired. For instance, tourism firms that adopt knowledge from KIBS may develop more professionalized processes. In contrast, organizations that rely on producer-user interaction, i.e. tourists as suppliers of knowledge, may enhance personalization in services. Accordingly, the source of knowledge also influences the possibilities to develop different types of innovations. As a result, organizations that acquire knowledge from different sources may be more innovative.

Knowledge and competences inside the organization. Innovation performance is also determined by the production of internal knowledge and the improvement of competences within organizations. Consequently, professional tourism organizations tend to be more innovative. In this regard, knowledge and competences within organizations might be improved by investing in training or employing qualified personnel. Furthermore, knowledge within organizations may be also produced through development processes. Although tourism organizations seldom perform R&D, they carry out development activities, such as improving quality, modifying processes or restructuring the organization. In this context, the participation of employees in development processes enhances the production of internal tacit knowledge as well as codified.

Absorptive capacity. This factor is related to the capacity of tourism organizations to absorb knowledge. Absorptive capacity is influenced by innovation performance within organizations. Organizations that regularly acquire, produce and transfer


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