From destination governance to destination leadership – defining and exploring the significance with the help of a systemic perspective
Article publication date: 14 April 2014
Starting from the tenet that destination management deserves a systemic approach the authors first explain the meaning of systemic leadership and then discuss its relevance for tourist destinations. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it develops a concept of destination leadership based on a systemic perspective and therefore prevents a common misunderstanding, namely that destination leadership may simply generate from organizational leadership. Second, the concept builds on extant literature on destination governance and in so doing it stretches the vector of this research stream (governance) into a supplemental field (leadership).
Based on recent empirical research in the field of systemic research in destinations, the concept of destination leadership is elaborated in a wider context of destination management.
As a result, a set of dimensions and mechanisms which drive the systemic development of destinations can be distilled. A framework for further research is proposed and tested with the help of an empirical study with a set of influential actors from four destinations in Switzerland, Austria, and Italy.
The results reveal that influence as a proxy for systemic leadership is supported by trust and effective communication. Other leadership dimensions derived from traditional leadership literature such as mutual understanding, accessibility (non-significant) or likeability (negatively affecting influence) prove to be irrelevant to systemic leadership. The implications underline the need to differentiate between leadership in inter-organizational arrangements and leadership in destinations, understood as communities and complex social systems.
Received 23 July 2013 Revised 1 September 2013 Accepted 2 September 2013
Beritelli, P. and Bieger, T. (2014), "From destination governance to destination leadership – defining and exploring the significance with the help of a systemic perspective", Tourism Review, Vol. 69 No. 1, pp. 25-46. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-07-2013-0043
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