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Hotel performance and research streams: a network cluster analysis

Ruggero Sainaghi (Department of Business, Law, Economics, and Consumer Behaviour, Università IULM, Milan, Italy)
Rodolfo Baggio (Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy, and National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, Tomsk, Russian Federation)
Paul Phillips (Kent Business School, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)
Aurelio G. Mauri (Department of Business, Law, Economics, and Consumer Behaviour, Università IULM, Milan, Italy)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 11 October 2018

Issue publication date: 10 February 2020



This paper aims to provide a review of hotel performance within the hospitality and tourism research domain. The authors use network analysis to examine two research questions. The first relates to ascertaining general trends within the hotel performance literature, and the second focuses on identifying the salient streams and sub-topics.


Articles were selected according to three criteria: keywords, journals and year of publication. The analysis embraces 20 years (1996-2015). These choices assure a wide coverage of the literature. Using these three criteria, the sample includes 1,155 papers. For the analysis, the authors created a network of papers designated as nodes, and the citations among the papers as links. A network approach recognizes the internal structure of the network by identifying groups of nodes (papers) that are more densely connected between themselves than to other nodes within the network (modules, clusters or communities).


The authors found 761 papers that were “connected” studies within the network. By contrast, 34 per cent of the sample (394 papers) consists of “unconnected” studies. Excluding outliers, the net sample was 734 articles. The authors identify 14 clusters, which they break down into several sub-topics. The authors conclude by providing some conclusions regarding trends and future research directions. With regards to salient topics, cross-citation and network analysis provide a detailed picture of where the literature comes from and where it currently stands. Conclusions are articulated at the theoretical and empirical levels.


Compared with previous hotel performance reviews, the approach followed by this study enables the discovery of an analytical research map, which is able to identify both clusters and sub-topics populating each segment. Researchers are able to position their work and identify issues that are in growth and decline.



Sainaghi, R., Baggio, R., Phillips, P. and Mauri, A.G. (2020), "Hotel performance and research streams: a network cluster analysis", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 425-462.



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