Handbook of Research on Innovation in Tourism Industries

Handbook of Research on Innovation in Tourism Industries

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Gry Agnete Alsos, Dorthe Eide and Einar Lier Madsen

The tourism sector – already one of the fastest growing industries in the world – is currently undergoing extensive change thanks to strong market growth and a transition to more experience-based products. The capacity for firms to innovate and adapt to market developments is crucial to their success, but research-based knowledge on innovation strategies in tourism remains scarce. This pioneering Handbook offers timely, original research on innovation within the tourism industry from a number of interdisciplinary and global perspectives.

Chapter 4: Towards a framework for studying gendering processes of innovation

Dorthe Eide and Elisabet Ljunggren

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, organisational innovation, development studies, tourism, environment, research methods in the environment, geography, human geography, tourism


It is maintained that innovation provides businesses with competitive advantages, and that innovation is crucial for experience based tourism which is highly global, competitive and changing (Hall & Williams, 2008). Innovations in the experience based sectors are often driven by customers who seek new experiences (Sundbo, 2009). Innovations therefore need to be understood and facilitated by businesses, policy-makers and scholars. While it is a problem if innovations are not taking place, it is also a problem if innovations in the experience sectors are not understood, recognized and valued, since lack of understanding will hamper legitimacy, financing, self-identity and the facilitation of innovations. Knowledge of innovation in these sectors is underdeveloped, and further context sensitive studies are needed. Our point of departure is that humans are crucial in innovation, just as they are key in the production and consumption of experiences. Further, as all humans have gender, the ëgender issueí has to be included when the aim is to gain an understanding of innovation. However, our knowledge of how gender actually impacts the innovation processes is limited as it has been neglected in innovation research and policy (Andersson et al., 2012; Lindberg, 2010; Ljunggren & Alsos, 2010). General observations show that women constitute a substantial part of the experience based tourism sectors as stakeholders in the form of customers, employees, business owners, managers and co-operators; although variations exist between subsectors.

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