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The role of technology and institutions in tourism service ecosystems: Findings from a case study

Sergio Barile (Department of Management, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy)
Maria Vincenza Ciasullo (University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)
Orlando Troisi (University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)
Debora Sarno (University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 9 October 2017




Given the growing attention on service ecosystem and the role played by technology and institutions in shaping of actors’ relations and interactions, the purpose of this paper is to examine a tourism environment with the lens of service ecosystem in order to derive a deeper understanding on the underlying mechanisms.


A mixed methodology was used. First, literature review based on service ecosystems framework was conducted to critically analyze the roles of technology and institutions to shape a tourism service ecosystem. Then a case study was conducted.


Two main findings are described: the role and the characteristics of physical and virtual engagement touchpoints in the emergence of a tourism service ecosystems; and the relationship between technology and institutions in the resource integration. In particular, the authors conclude that institutions can shape the usage of technology which, in turn, can enable and imply the emergence of new institutions, continually adjusting the system of the tourism service ecosystem.

Practical implications

The analysis contributes to deepening the knowledge about value co-creation processes and engagement expedients in tourism destination, explaining the role of institutions and technology in helping actors to integrate resources and exchange services. The study can also be useful for practitioners in search for powerful tool to increase the competitiveness of a tourism destination.


The study is one of the first attempts to conceptualize and operationalize a tourism destination in a service ecosystem framework. In this way it contribute to enhance scientific knowledge in a tourism management literature.



Barile, S., Ciasullo, M.V., Troisi, O. and Sarno, D. (2017), "The role of technology and institutions in tourism service ecosystems: Findings from a case study", The TQM Journal, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 811-833.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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