IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/touman/v45y2014icp39-48.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Innovation in tourism: Re-conceptualising and measuring the absorptive capacity of the hotel sector

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas, Rhodri
  • Wood, Emma

Abstract

Recent reviews of research on innovation in tourism have highlighted a number of weaknesses in the literature. Among these is the limited theorising and empirical investigation of innovative practices by tourism organisations. This paper responds to these concerns by examining one important dimension of innovation within commercial tourism organisations, namely their ability to acquire, assimilate and utilise external knowledge (absorptive capacity) for competitive advantage. The topic is pertinent because there is evidence to suggest that tourism organisations are particularly dependent on external sources of knowledge when compared with businesses in other sectors. Following a discussion of the conceptual antecedents of absorptive capacity and its dimensions, a validated instrument for its measurement is developed and used to measure the absorptive capacity of the British hotel sector. The results suggest that current conceptions of absorptive capacity have limitations when applied to tourism enterprises. Absorptive capacity is re-conceptualised to overcome these deficiencies. The research and policy implications of the findings are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas, Rhodri & Wood, Emma, 2014. "Innovation in tourism: Re-conceptualising and measuring the absorptive capacity of the hotel sector," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 39-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:touman:v:45:y:2014:i:c:p:39-48
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2014.03.012
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261517714000673
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:eee:touman:v:35:y:2013:i:c:p:59-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:touman:v:31:y:2010:i:1:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Pilar Tejada & Pilar Moreno, 2013. "Patterns of innovation in tourism ‘Small and Medium-size Enterprises’," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(7-8), pages 749-758, May.
    4. Gersick, Connie J. G. & Hackman, J. Richard, 1990. "Habitual routines in task-performing groups," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 65-97, October.
    5. repec:eee:touman:v:33:y:2012:i:3:p:553-561 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Morten T. Hansen, 2002. "Knowledge Networks: Explaining Effective Knowledge Sharing in Multiunit Companies," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(3), pages 232-248, June.
    7. Jansen, J.J.P. & van den Bosch, F.A.J. & Volberda, H.W., 2005. "Managing Potential and Realized Absorptive Capacity: How do Organizational Antecedents matter?," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-025-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    8. Escribano, Alvaro & Fosfuri, Andrea & Tribó, Josep A., 2009. "Managing external knowledge flows: The moderating role of absorptive capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 96-105, February.
    9. Flatten, Tessa C. & Engelen, Andreas & Zahra, Shaker A. & Brettel, Malte, 2011. "A measure of absorptive capacity: Scale development and validation," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 98-116, April.
    10. Valery S. Katkalo & Christos N. Pitelis & David J. Teece, 2010. "Introduction: On the nature and scope of dynamic capabilities," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 1175-1186, August.
    11. Martha S. Feldman, 2000. "Organizational Routines as a Source of Continuous Change," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 11(6), pages 611-629, December.
    12. Ulrich Lichtenthaler & Eckhard Lichtenthaler, 2009. "A Capability-Based Framework for Open Innovation: Complementing Absorptive Capacity," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(8), pages 1315-1338, December.
    13. Mats Alvesson & André Spicer, 2012. "A Stupidity-Based Theory of Organizations," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(7), pages 1194-1220, November.
    14. Fosfuri, Andrea & Tribø, Josep A., 2008. "Exploring the antecedents of potential absorptive capacity and its impact on innovation performance," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 173-187, April.
    15. Kostopoulos, Konstantinos & Papalexandris, Alexandros & Papachroni, Margarita & Ioannou, George, 2011. "Absorptive capacity, innovation, and financial performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(12), pages 1335-1343.
    16. Gebauer, Heiko & Worch, Hagen & Truffer, Bernhard, 2012. "Absorptive capacity, learning processes and combinative capabilities as determinants of strategic innovation," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 57-73.
    17. repec:eee:touman:v:40:y:2014:i:c:p:224-232 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Armstrong, J. Scott & Overton, Terry S., 1977. "Estimating Nonresponse Bias in Mail Surveys," MPRA Paper 81694, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Gallego, Jorge & Rubalcaba, Luis & Suárez, Cristina, 2013. "Knowledge for innovation in Europe: The role of external knowledge on firms' cooperation strategies," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 2034-2041.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:touman:v:62:y:2017:i:c:p:379-389 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Thomas, Rhodri & Wood, Emma, 2015. "The absorptive capacity of tourism organisations," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 84-99.
    3. repec:eee:touman:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:418-429 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:touman:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:258-270 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Booyens Irma & Rogerson Christian M., 2016. "Unpacking the geography of tourism innovation in Western Cape Province, South Africa," Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series, De Gruyter Open, vol. 31(31), pages 19-36, March.
    6. repec:eee:touman:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:87-99 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Martínez-Román, Juan A. & Tamayo, Juan A. & Gamero, Javier & Romero, José E., 2015. "Innovativeness and business performances in tourism SMEs," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 118-135.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:touman:v:45:y:2014:i:c:p:39-48. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: https://www.journals.elsevier.com/tourism-management .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.