Innovation typology in tourism
Two main reasons have motivated the research on these topics. First, a personal motivation to study the dynamics of development and change that are based on learning and knowledge transfer. Second, a professional motivation to understand the processes of innovation that enhance technological development in organizations and destinations in the tourism sector.
Given the complexity of the topic of innovation, this master thesis is based on the review of the literature. In this regard, generic literature on innovation as well as specific contributions for the tourism industry have been studied. Consequently, the identified innovation determinants and the developed innovation typology are explained by the review of several sources in the literature, which contribute to the topic of innovation.
In order to accomplish the objectives described before this work is structured in seven chapters, including this introduction.
In the second chapter I analyze the topic of innovation types. In this regard, I mainly focus on types of innovations in relation with the different areas of the organization. In order to know which types of innovation are more common in the tourism sector, I review the literature on innovation typologies. Besides, I study the subject of degree of innovativeness, in which two main categories are included: incremental and radical innovations. Finally, I also emphasize several characteristics of the innovation types in the tourism sector, such as the tangibility and intangibility of innovations, the relevance of personalization, or the simultaneous production and use of services. This chapter thus aims to introduce several fundamental concepts for the study of innovation processes in tourism.
The third chapter deals with the subject of sources of innovation. In order to establish a theoretical framework for the development of the following chapters, I study the processes of learning and knowledge transfer at organizational and macro level. Moreover, I analyze competences, skills and routines as forms of embodied knowledge. A further section of this chapter is dedicated to innovation trajectories, since they influence current innovation performance in organizations and destinations. Finally, the processes of innovation within organizations as well as collaboration at the macro level are analyzed in detail. This theoretical framework may set the basis for the following chapter, in which an approach for the tourism sector is developed.
The determinants of innovation in the tourism sector are introduced in the fourth chapter. In order to identify them, I analyse the characteristics of the tourism sector as well as its advantages and disadvantages to innovate. I also study the different actors that participate in the process of innovation in the tourism sector. At the end of this chapter I suggest a classification of the determinants of innovation in tourism at organizational as well as at the macro level, taking into consideration the theory introduced in the former chapters and the characteristics of the tourism sector.
In the fifth chapter, the subject of innovation measurement is developed. Therefore, I review the principal approaches to this topic. In this matter, input and output indicators and innovation surveys are the two main methods of gathering information about innovation performance. Besides, it is emphasized that innovation in tourism should be measured in terms of innovation activities rather than only by the difference