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The contribution of human capital and resource‐based view to small‐ and medium‐sized tourism venture performance in Ghana

Kojo Saffu (Brock University, Catharines, Ontario, Canada)
Samuel Obeng Apori (Takoradi Polytechnic, Takoradi, Ghana)
Angela Elijah‐Mensah (Takoradi Polytechnic, Takoradi, Ghana)
Jonathan Ahumatah (Takoradi Polytechnic, Takoradi, Ghana)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 2 July 2008




Grounded in human capital theory and resource‐based view, this paper aims to examine the effect of the entrepreneur's human capital and the venture's resources on the performance of small‐ and medium‐sized tourism ventures (SMTVs) in Ghana.


The data were collected from 247 SMTVs, defined as tourism establishments employing less than 100 employees in the Western and Central regions of Ghana. Hypotheses derived from human capital and resource‐based theories were tested to assess the relationship between the theories and SMTV performance.


The study found a significant positive relationship between education, experience and performance. However, the hypothesised positive relationship between entrepreneurial family background and SMTV performance was inconsistent with prior studies. The findings with respect to the hypothesised relationship between venture resources and SMTV performance were mixed.

Research limitations/implications

The study suffers from industry‐specific, size‐specific and region‐specific limitations. Another limitation is the focus on human capital and venture resources as the determinants of tourism venture performance.

Practical implications

Knowing that education and experience per se impact on tourism venture performance, it behoves entrepreneurs in the tourism industry to endeavour to acquire the requisite education and experience. The finding has policy implications in the provision of tailor‐made training and incubation programs for SMTV entrepreneurs.


The study adds to the understanding of the unique nature of entrepreneurship in tourism by identifying the significance of human capital factors and venture resources on the performance of tourism ventures.



Saffu, K., Obeng Apori, S., Elijah‐Mensah, A. and Ahumatah, J. (2008), "The contribution of human capital and resource‐based view to small‐ and medium‐sized tourism venture performance in Ghana", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 268-284.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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