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Using educational community engagement to understand the archipelago tourist
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Tourism Studies.
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background of the study While tourism in Stockholm is booming the little statistics that might serve as proxy indicates a standstill for the archipelago (Tillväxtverket 2016). Over the years, there has been some projects, e.g. Scandinavian Islands, Skärgårdssmak, and recently Hållbar Destinationsutveckling to get the businesses in the archipelago going. These seem not to have lasting impact and have preconceived solutions of the problems. The Central Baltic project Archipelago Business Development intends instead to inductively assess and address what problems entrepreneurs identify, systematising these in terms of business model development implications. A central feature of the project is also student participation, where university students om Finland and Sweden work with the problems in courses. Purpose of the study In terms of business strategy discussions, the infrastructural situation of the islanders, e.g. logistics, transportation and internet infrastructure, a configurational approach can be deepened, embellishing on the works like Wiklund & Shepherd (2005) assessing business performance based on the onstructs entrepreneurial orientation (Covin & Slevin, 1991), environmental dynamism (Miller, 1987a,b; Ketchen et al., 1993) and access to financial capital (Bourgeois, 1981; Zahra, 1991; Cooper et al., 1994, ). Also, the specific characteristics of the customers to the archipelago need to be addressed. The purpose of the study is to understand the entrepreneurs’ conception of tourist behaviour and its consequences for strategy. Methodology In an initial step, entrepreneurs are being tapped on their perceptions of customer behaviour through interviews and register data on actual tourist behaviour. For example in a course on business intelligence, students interview entrepreneurs, and then use the customers’ utilization of web based resources of one of the destinations is being used as base for students’ suggestions on destination approach to development issues. The project thus generates behavioural data, that can be assessed directly as well as indirectly through the entrepreneurs’ understanding. Results The project is not finished, so conclusive results are not at hand as of yet. Indications so far point in the direction that the rather large share of second home tourists are sceptical towards costly or peace- disturbing projects, which is in line with earlier findings (e.g. Löfgren, 1999), whereas occasional events have substantial attraction value. So far there has been limited data on occasional tourists, du to that high season has not been covered by the project yet. Expectations are here that it is more relevant to understand consumer behaviour from Belk’s (1988) idea that consumption patterns are best understood as identity building processes. Here preference for well-being is a hypothesised top candidate of travel motivation, based in preliminary interview data with entrepreneurs. The approach will also enable considering the geographical aspects of localisation and destination scale, which is not properly taken into consideration in the aforementioned model, as well as customer characteristics. The concept of environmental dynamics can be deeper understood, since many of the archipelago actors experience both high and low dynamism in different seasons. Since tourism generally is consumed as complex products, value architecture (Spieth & Schneider, 2016) and its implications for Coopetition (Bouncken & Fredrick, 2016a) and Business model innovation Bouncken & Fredrick, 2016b) will be further explored in other areas than ICT and Biotech SMEs. Conclusions, research implications and limitations As the project is not finished, there is not really grounds for drawing conclusions, and implications and limitations should also await the increased robustness available when the whole project is finished before evaluation. Of course, the shortcomings of idiosyncratic studies, like unclear representativeness of case studies, and volatility of values as well as memory problems affect on interview trustworthiness. References References Belk R.W. (1988). Possessions and the Extended Self. Journal of Consumer Research. 15(2), 139-168. Bouncken R.B., & Fredrick V. (2016a). Learning in coopetition: Alliance orientation, network size, and firm types. Journal of Business Research. 69(5), 1753–1758. Bouncken R.B., & Fredrick V. (2016b). Business model innovation in alliances: Successful configurations. Journal of Business Research, 69, 3584-3590. Bourgeois, L.J. (1981). On the measurement of organizational slack. Academy of Management Review. 6(1), 29–39. Cooper, A.C., Gimeno-Gascon, F.J., & Woo, C.Y. (1994). Initial human and financial capital as predictors of new venture performance. Journal of Business Venturing. 9, 371-395. Covin, J.G., & Slevin, D.P. (1991). A Conceptual Model of Entrepreneurship as Firm Behavior. Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice, Fall, 7-25. Ketchen, D.J.Jr., Thomas, J.B., & Snow, C.C. (1993) Organizational configurations and performance: a comparison of theoretical approaches. Academy of Managent Journal. 36(6), 1278–1313. Löfgren, O. (1999). On holiday: A history of vacationing, California studies in critical human geography, 6. Berkeley, Ca.: University of California Press Miller, D. (1987a). Strategy making and structure: analysis and implication for performance. Academy of Managent Journal. 30 (1), 7–32. Miller, D. (1987b). The structural and environmental correlates of business strategy. Strategic Management. Journal. 8(1), 55–76. Spieth, P., & Schneider, S. (2016). Business model innovativeness: Designing a formative measure for business model innovation. Journal of Business Economics. Special Issue Business Model Innovation and Transformation, 86(6), 671–696. Tillväxtverket (2016). Fakta om Svensk Turism 2015. Stockholm: Tillväxtverket. Wiklund, J. & Shepherd, D. (2005). Entrepreneurial orientation and small business performance: a configurational approach. Journal of Business Venturing. 20, 71–91.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
Educational Community Engagement; Archipelago tourism; Behavioural assessment
National Category
Economics and Business Educational Sciences
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34264OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-34264DiVA, id: diva2:1175151
Conference
Consumer Behavior in Tourism Symposium 2017 (CBTS 2017), December, 13-16, 2017, Bruneck/Brunico, South Tyrol, Italy
Available from: 2018-01-17 Created: 2018-01-17 Last updated: 2018-01-17Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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