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 14: Proximity of practice: student-practitioner collaboration in tourism

Carina Ren, Szilvia Gyimóthy, Martin Trandberg Jensen, Dejan Križaj and Miha Bratec

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


Several tourism scholars note (see for instance, Hjalager, 2002; Stamboulis & Skyannis, 2003; Cooper, 2006; Thomas et al., 2011) that the backbone constituting the tourism industry, namely small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) suffer from a systematic lack of knowledge transfer from research development institutions. Frechtling (2004: 107) notes: ërelatively little knowledge transfer . . . is taking place between the knowledge generators in the academic community on one side, and managers and operators in the private and public sectors responsible for tourism and hospitality development on the otherí. This may be a problem as knowledge exchange and the collaboration across different knowledge fields has been identified to be crucial in stimulating innovation processes, both within and outside of tourism research (Hjalager, 2002; 2010a, Denicolai et al., 2010; CamisÛn & Monfort-Mir, 2012; Santoro & Gopalakrishnan, 2000). A number of authors provide a structural explanation for the sluggishness of knowledge transfer, suggesting that the innovation system of tourism is not well established in most countries (Hall & Williams, 2008; Sorensen, 2007; Bieger & Weinert, 2006; Aldebert et al., 2011). An emerging innovation system may be characterized by few distantly located operators, weak inter-sectoral links and low research capabilities of universities and firms, where educational programs are specialized in the supply of vocationally skilled workforce rather than developing innovative solutions (cf. Chaminade et al., 2009).

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