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Innovation typology in tourism

Besides, the interaction with external organizations and institutions influences innovation processes within organizations as well as the macro level. In this subject, Asheim and Isaksen (2003) accentuate that cooperating in clusters and networks provides competitive advantage to organizations as well as to regions. In this regard, collective learning requires the combination of tacit knowledge, i.e. knowledge embodied in individuals, and explicit, i.e. codified knowledge.

In this work, both levels are considered. Innovation processes are regarded as both exogenous, because the environment influences technological change in organizations, and endogenous, given that innovative performance in organizations enhances the production of innovations at the macro level.

Another characteristic of the research carried out on the field of innovation is its multidisciplinarity. Researchers from economic disciplines have been traditionally concerned with innovation determinants and its economic results. Recently, however, scholars have considered the social aspects of innovation as well. As a result, numerous contributions on innovation as a social process have been made. For instance, Asheim and Isaksen (2003) point out that innovation is a sociological process based on interactive learning. Furthermore, multiple approaches such as sociological, economical, managerial or organizational have been lately combined in order to understand better innovation dynamics. Thus, cross-disciplinarity characterizes much of the recently scholar work made in the area (Fagerberg 2005).

In spite of the variety of topics and the multidisciplinarity of contributions that exist on the field of innovation, there is a need to broaden the theory of innovation in the tourism sector. Given that research on innovation in tourism has started later than in the service industry in general, the number of contributions is smaller than in other sectors. Several of the topics that need to be researched in the field of tourism innovation are: types of innovation and degree of innovativeness, interactive learning and knowledge transfer, the role of provider-customer interaction, production and acquisition of innovations, the organization of innovation processes, determinants of innovation, the measurement of innovation, and the types of innovative organizations

within the tourism industry.

The structure of the






Nevertheless, several innovation theories can be applied to the tourism sector. In this regard, the majority of approaches on innovation are based on manufacturing. Lately, however, the contributions to the service sector have increased (see e.g. Sundbo 2001, 2007, Sundbo et al. 2007, Gallouj 2002, Schianetz et al. 2007, Miles 2005, Hjalager 2002). In this context, while several authors indicate that innovation in services and in manufacturing are closely related, other authors establish a difference between them (Sundbo 2007).

In this matter, Drejer (2004) emphasizes that service innovation can be understood in different forms. First, the assimilation approach, which considers innovation in services to be equivalent to innovation in manufacturing. Next, the demarcation approach, which differentiates the processes of innovation in services from those in the manufacturing sector. Finally, a synthesis approach, which indicates that although


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