Edited by Gry Agnete Alsos, Dorthe Eide and Einar Lier Madsen
Chapter 14: Proximity of practice: student-practitioner collaboration in 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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