The Role of Individuals in the Knowledge Absorptive Capacity of New Zealand’s Regional Tourism Organisations

Singh, Paul (2014). The Role of Individuals in the Knowledge Absorptive Capacity of New Zealand’s Regional Tourism Organisations PhD Thesis, School of Business, The University of Queensland.

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Author Singh, Paul
Thesis Title The Role of Individuals in the Knowledge Absorptive Capacity of New Zealand’s Regional Tourism Organisations
School, Centre or Institute School of Business
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Brent Ritchie
Lisa Ruhanen
Total pages 302
Subjects 150310 Organisation and Management Theory
150603 Tourism Management
Abstract/Summary The present thesis, through the reported results, explores the role of fourteen key individuals in the knowledge absorptive capacity (ACAP) processes of five of New Zealand’s Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) as they undertake their destination marketing activities. ACAP is the ability of an organisation to “recognize the value, acquire, transform or assimilate, and exploit knowledge” (Todorova & Durisin, 2007, p. 774). The thesis focuses on the individual-level micro-foundations of organisational-level ACAP in a multi-level study investigating the dynamic processes, socially constructed events, multiple time periods, and physical objects within each RTO. Individual, Organisational, and Inter-Organisational ACAP are investigated by utilising two qualitative methodologies of process research and multiple-case research within a processual case study strategy. The RTO’s key individuals provide and utilize the organisation’s knowledge-based capabilities to create services that contribute towards the RTO’s primary objectives of destination marketing of their region. The research found that RTOs respond to changes in their operational and external environment, through these key individuals adequately performing ACAP roles such as individual agents, gatekeepers and boundary spanners to acquire, create and adapt destination marketing knowledge and capabilities. Essentially, these key RTO individuals adequately performing their ACAP roles effectively, efficiently, and creatively enable the ACAP processes to take place, allowing an RTO and the destinations stakeholders to do something different in response to a change in their operating and external environments environment. In some cases an RTO created dynamic capabilities to potentially respond to future change in their environments. However, internal or external disruptive events can prevent individuals and RTOs from exploiting the knowledge they require to respond to these changes. A key contribution of this research was finding adequately performing individual agents, when effectively combined with adequately performing boundary spanners and gatekeepers’ roles can have a transformative effective on the destination marketing capabilities of the RTO and the destination’s tourism operators and other stakeholders. Three new process models of individual, organisational, and inter-organisational ACAP were created from this research and recommendations for future research and practice are provided.
Keyword Absorptive capacity
Organisational knowledge creation
Destination marketing organisation
Destination management

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Created: Mon, 26 May 2014, 12:46:15 EST by Mr Paul Singh on behalf of University of Queensland Graduate School