Tourism has become one of the world's major industries measured in terms of turnover, the number of employees and foreign currency earnings, having at the same time a huge impact on the environment. However, the future development of tourism depends on today's decisions that often do not take into account the positive and the negative impact on the tourism destinations' environment with long-term consequences that are not easily undone. System archetypes are generic structures that are responsible for generic patterns of behavior over time, especially behavior that is counterintuitive. The article aims to explore the possible use of system archetypes in order to increase socially responsible (SR), i.e. systemic thinking and behavior of tourism business organizations, based on the requisite holism theory.
The experimental design methodology has been used in order to test the assumption that individuals familiar with the system archetypes will be more likely to believe that tourism business organizations that operate in tourism destinations should be involved in attaining SR goals. Participants included managers, public authorities and community representatives and were divided into an experiment and a control group. The experiment group was exposed to a workshop on system archetypes, while the control group had no treatment. Structured quantitative interviews were used in order to test differences in attitudes and beliefs on SR of tourism business organizations among the experiment and the control group members.
Natural environment of tourism destinations as tourism's essential resource is often destroyed due to the lack of SR. The research results indicate that the exposure of individuals to system archetypes increased the understanding of importance of SR behavior of tourism business organizations. System archetypes increased individuals' comprehension of the fact that the non-linear causal relationship, time delay and hidden structures of the systems generate complex behavior resulting in damage to the natural environment of tourism destinations.
The survey research on a restricted number of subjects was applied. In order to overcome limitations of such an approach, the rigor procedure for data collection and analysis was used.
Managers of tourism business organizations could use system archetypes to analyse the impact of their activities on tourism destinations environment and thus improve the social responsibility of their decisions. The authors propose the formation of system archetypes and their applications repository in an organized environment to enhance understanding of SR behavior of tourism business organizations.
The authors used experimental design in order to test whether exposure of stakeholders' to system archetypes changes their attitudes regarding SR, with the goal to increase the understanding of various conflicts that emerge from the fact that tourism depends on unspoiled environment and at the same time tourism is a potential polluter. Available literature offers no similar applications of the system archetype approach to systemic behavior via SR in tourism.
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