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The SOMOAR operationalization: a holistic concept to travel decision modelling

Christian Laesser (Research Center of Tourism and Transport, Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance, University of St Gallen , St Gallen, Switzerland)
Jieqing Luo (Research Center of Tourism and Transport, Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance, University of St Gallen , St Gallen, Switzerland)
Pietro Beritelli (Research Center of Tourism and Transport, Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance, University of St Gallen , St Gallen, Switzerland)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 26 April 2019

Issue publication date: 19 June 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

Most state-of-the-art approaches for the analysis of the process of travel decision-making follow Woodworth’s neo-behaviouristic S–R (stimulus–response) or S–O–R (stimulus–organism–response) model. However, within this model, scholars primarily focus on the S–R relationship, investigating specific decisions by describing or explaining an outcome as the result of an input of several stimuli. There is a lack of investigation into the “O” dimension of the S–O–R model. This paper aims to contribute towards closing of this gap by conceptually and holistically expanding existing models with new perspectives and components.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors base the conceptual process on a subjective/interpretative research paradigm, by combining outcomes from different theories and concepts into a new, more holistic approach; and challenging this approach by seeking counterarguments as well as supportive arguments at three conferences and workshops.

Findings

The paper expands the body of literature by positing a generic conceptual operationalization model focusing on the organism (“O”) domain of decision-making. To achieve this, and further to operationalize the S–O–R model, the paper proposes to integrate an M–O–A (motivation–opportunity–ability) approach.

Originality/value

The analysis of the body literature reveals that there is still a lack of analytical and especially workable models/approaches for the analysis of the process of tourist decision-making. The paper contributes to that discussion by offering an alternative and generic operationalization of the tourist decision-making process by inducing a theoretical framework from the deductions gleaned from a number of existing theories.

Keywords

Citation

Laesser, C., Luo, J. and Beritelli, P. (2019), "The SOMOAR operationalization: a holistic concept to travel decision modelling", Tourism Review, Vol. 74 No. 3, pp. 613-631. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-06-2018-0069

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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