Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches
Edited by Larry Dwyer, Alison Gill and Neelu Seetaram
Chapter 25: Network Analysis
Ehsan Ahmed INTRODUCTION We live in a social world, where, to some extent, every social object (living and nonliving) is connected with, or dependent on others. In principle, the span of this generalized connectedness or dependency is without limit, can integrate multiple forms and objects, and can span over several attributes (e.g., age, race, species) and contents such as friendship, kinship, resource, information and so on. A tourism firm, for instance, has connections not only with its suppliers and customers but also with its surrounding community and extended environment. Moreover, the multifaceted connections of the tourism firm with its suppliers, customers, surrounding community, and/or environment can be of various levels (e.g., local, regional, global), forms (e.g., informal, formal) and interest (e.g., economic, philanthropic) (Scott, 2000). The notion of connectedness or dependency therefore implies existence of an aggregated structure of infinite relationships that extends beyond the conventional view of relationships between two objects in isolation. Studies on networks aim to capture these aggregated views of relationships and offer analytical insights to understand the role of relationships on the objects embedded within these relationships. The importance of collaboration, alliance, partnership, business clusters and similar other concepts to better understand aggregated tourism relationships have been frequently noted by a number of writers in the tourism literature. Nevertheless, to date, little has been undertaken to examine these widely discussed tourism topics through the lens of network analysis. On the contrary, numerous business studies in the wider field of discipline identify the importance of networks...
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