Innovation in Swedish hotels

Wajda Wikhamn (School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
John Armbrecht (School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Björn Remneland Wikhamn (School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Publication date: 11 June 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess innovation in the hotel sector in Sweden and to investigate how structural and organizational factors influence hotel’s likelihood of producing service/product, process, organizational and marketing innovations.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on responses from 174 hotels with membership in the Swedish hotel association. Responses were collected via a web-based survey.

Findings

This paper provides insights about the nature and extent of innovations in the hotel sector. Although traditionally considered rigid and non-innovative, around half of the responding hotels produced at least one type of innovation. Most common are service/product and marketing innovations. A hotel’s likelihood of innovating depends largely on structural independence (non-chain), having an explicit innovation strategy and investing in non-traditional R&D.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the chosen design (convenience sampling), the results of this paper may lack generalizability. Therefore, future research is encouraged to test the hypotheses further.

Practical implications

Managers in the hospitality industry can influence the production of innovations in the hotel sector. By promoting flexibility, defining and communicating an innovation strategy, and engaging in non-traditional R&D activities, practitioners can better respond to the changing business environment.

Originality/value

This paper presents a systematic, and internationally recognized, method for assessing four types of innovation in the hotel sector. Its originality stems also from its approach to investigating how key structural and organizational factors, when considered in the same analysis, predict service/product, process, organizational and marketing innovations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors extend their thanks to the R&D Fund of the Swedish Tourism & Hospitality Industry (BFUF, Research Grant 2013-120). This study would not have materialized without financial support from this organization. They also would like to thank Professor Tommy Andersson (School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg) for his constructive feedback.

Citation

Wikhamn, W., Armbrecht, J. and Remneland Wikhamn, B. (2018), "Innovation in Swedish hotels", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 2481-2498. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-06-2017-0323

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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