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Vern Biaett

An empirical and theoretical research gap on the real-time on-site behavior of attendees at community festivals was investigated using a relativistic ontology and a social constructivist epistemology combined with a mixed research strategy of hermeneutic phenomenology, ethnographic participant observation technique and grounded theory method.

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Nicholas Wise

Tourism and hospitality involve participation, involvement and interaction. More inductive research using ethnographic and participatory approaches, where researchers critically reflect on interactions, attitudes and behaviours, is needed in the fields of tourism and hospitality. Ethnographies and participatory approaches bring the researcher into a study. These approaches portray how people interact with their environment and surroundings, encounter socio-political situations, or add meaning to the very places they reside in, with each establishing meaningful insight on a destination, its community and a place’s identity. Tourism as a leisure activity involves participation, involvement and interaction. For researchers, better understanding how people interact in different destinations is assessed though interrelationships among the visitors and those delivering the service. This chapter outlines ethnography and participatory approaches as a research method linked to destinations, communities and place identity.

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Ann Hindley and Xavier Font

Projective techniques have considerable potential to study consumer behaviour and are widely used in commercial market research and psychology, but not in tourism and hospitality research. This chapter demonstrates that tourism and hospitality researchers can collect richer data from smaller samples by using projective techniques, which provide more flexibility and allow the combination of multiple projective methods to triangulate findings. Projective techniques are qualitative methods that reach the subconscious of respondents by asking them to interpret information or complete tasks, which circumvent normative responses that create social desirability bias. Five techniques are outlined: collage, choice ordering, word association, photo elicitation and a scenario expressive technique. The study found that the most successful instrument for reducing social desirability bias was word association, while the least successful was photo-expression. The limitations are the highly resource intensive nature of rigorous analysis, ambiguous stimuli impacting on the complexity of data elicitation and codification, and variations in interpretation of the meaning of the results.

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Ekaterina Sorokina and Youcheng Wang

Tourism lacks its own unique theoretical knowledge and most would agree that it is yet to become a discipline. Generally, theoretical knowledge of the tourism field has been ‘borrowed’ from other related disciplines and then ‘stretched’ to give it a tourism dimension. Consequently, most of the concepts and theoretical frameworks that are available in the tourism field are not unique because they have been developed elsewhere. The interdisciplinary nature of tourism has resulted in a highly fragmented, fragile and sometimes weak knowledge about the real-world phenomena. However, the tourism field has recently begun to show promising signs, and now strives to develop its own theoretical knowledge and to integrate this knowledge in one general theoretical framework. In order to facilitate development of tourism-specific knowledge, researchers need to understand what constitutes a theory and a theoretical contribution. Unfortunately, many are mistaken in their view of a theory. Therefore, this chapter is designed to introduce tourism and hospitality researchers to the subject of theory and to various approaches that researchers may apply to make a theoretical contribution. Most academic journals offer no specific guidelines on how to make an original and significant theoretical contribution to the tourism field. Thus, the chapter provides information that is necessary to educate researchers on this subject.

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Lisa Ruhanen and Chris Cooper

This chapter provides an overview of the knowledge concept and how knowledge transfer occurs between universities and industry. The inhibitors to successful knowledge transfer in a tourism context are then examined, along with those elements of knowledge transfer that have been successful between researchers and end-users in the tourism industry.

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Ekaterina Sorokina and Youcheng Wang

Tourism research is often critiqued for the ‘stretching’ and ‘contextualizing’ of concepts from other related disciplines and fields. This chapter, therefore, offers theory building and theory evaluation tools that may facilitate the development of knowledge unique to tourism and hospitality. The chapter begins with a review of two dominant paradigms that have greatly influenced all social science research; it then explores methodologies that represent each of the paradigms and provides examples of methods that are relevant to them. Specifically, the chapter provides a snapshot of the methods, and highlights their application in practice, as well as their benefits and disadvantages. Description of the methods is followed by a discussion of two theory building strategies that researchers may apply. The chapter additionally explores an ongoing process of theory building to demonstrate a general process of its development. Lastly, the chapter examines various theory evaluation criteria, and develops a framework that integrates them. Each of the criteria is discussed in detail to facilitate researchers’ understanding of how they may be applied to evaluate an existing theory.

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Robin Nunkoo

The tourism and hospitality research landscape is constantly evolving and the field is growing in maturity. One of the distinguishing features that dominates this evolution is the proliferation of academic journals. The number of tourism and hospitality journals has increased from less than ten before the 1980s to around 300 in 2017. Within the various articles published in these journals, feature fervent debates on research methodologies and related aspects. Areas of discussion relates to the use of statistical techniques, specific methods related to qualitative, qualitative, and mixed method research and other design aspects of a study. This chapter succinctly summarizes these debates and situates the various contributions that define this handbook within the broader literature in the field.

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Sheree-Ann Adams, Davina Stanford and Xavier Font

The study of ethical consumer behaviour decision making (CBDM) is difficult to research, due to social desirability response bias (SDRB) when respondents give responses they consider as socially acceptable, rather than realistic responses. This chapter discusses conjoint analysis (CA) as a method which may overcome these challenges

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Alfred Ogle

The service product is conceptually abstractand highly subjective. Service quality has been likened to an attitude, thereby making it an epiphenomenon. The phenomenological nature of service necessitates innovative qualitative research tools and approaches to complement mainstream methods. The Sensual Quasi-Q-Sort (SQQS) offer new insights into customer perception of service products.

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Boopen Seetanah

Analysis of hypothesis and other forms of relationship testing are often performed using secondary (or desk) data sets which are nowadays widely available. These data sets are fed into specifications or models derived from sound theoretical underpinnings, and these are then subjected to regression analysis. This chapter aims at introducing a simple model specification and regression analysis using a tourism data set. The chapter dwells deeper into time series, cross-section and panel data analysis.