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Network approach to public-private organizing of destinations

Jörgen Elbe (Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden)
Sabine Gebert Persson (Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden)
Fredrik Sjöstrand (Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden)
Karin Ågren (Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden)

IMP Journal

ISSN: 0809-7259

Article publication date: 17 May 2018

Issue publication date: 13 August 2018



This paper explores a type of organizing that can be found in tourist destinations that are administratively bound to a specific geographic area in the intersection of public and private context. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the organizing of activities within destinations and also to contribute theoretically and conceptually to how place dependency and public/private can be understood from an industrial marketing and purchasing (IMP) network perspective.


The research approach has its origin in an ongoing multi-disciplinary and longitudinal case study.


By applying a network approach to the organizing of destinations, where interaction of relationships, resources, actors and activities play an essential role, a number of propositions have been put forth so as to provide for a better understanding of place-specific organizing, in the intersection between public and private interests.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is conceptual and more empirical studies are needed to test the findings. One implication to consider in future empirical studies is the tensions between created and organic networks that exist in public and private place partnerships.

Practical implications

The paper provides insights into factors affecting destination management.

Social implications

With an emphasis on a socio-political context, the opportunities and limitations that exist between public and private sectors are discussed.


The paper sheds light on a neglected aspect of a contemporary phenomenon where the IMP network approach could contribute to the understanding of destination marketing or management organization that are bound to a specific place in the intersection between the public and private context. The area of public-private organizing is a topic that may also add new aspects to the IMP community.



Elbe, J., Gebert Persson, S., Sjöstrand, F. and Ågren, K. (2018), "Network approach to public-private organizing of destinations", IMP Journal, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 313-332.



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