Contemporary Research Methods in Hospitality and Tourism

Cover of Contemporary Research Methods in Hospitality and Tourism
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(21 chapters)

Prelims

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Abstract

This first chapter provides an overview of all the chapters included in this book. This book focuses on contemporary research methods in hospitality and tourism. Revisiting the traditional research methods is necessary for academia and practitioners in the hospitality and tourism field. New understandings and interpretations of traditional research paradigms such as positivism and interpretivism as well as more recent paradigms such as realism and pragmatism in the context of hospitality and tourism are vital to strengthen the research practices. We hope that the edited book can help researchers and practitioners in our field in their research journeys and applications.

Abstract

Understanding the most appropriate research philosophy to underpin any piece of scholarly inquiry is crucial if one hopes to address research problems in a manner distinct from those already evidenced across extant literature. Distinct philosophical ideas and positions are often associated with specific research designs, therefore influencing the research approach adopted in any given study. Identifying an appropriate philosophical approach requires robust comprehension of how philosophical positions differ, alongside a reflective understanding of one's own perceptions and beliefs regarding what knowledge and reality “are” and how new knowledge is discovered, developed, and/or confirmed. This chapter therefore discusses different research paradigms and philosophies in order to identify core distinctions therein, highlighting the advantages and the challenges associated with different philosophical approaches to research along the way.

Abstract

Tourism researchers, like those in other fields, are subject to multiple ethical dilemmas. Consequently, scholars in the field have called for researcher reflectivity, and specifically ethical reflexivity. Based on this it is recognized that when conducting research merely meeting procedural ethics requirements may not be sufficient. Rather, there is a need to move beyond procedural ethics to capture ethics in practice and to critically recognize what it takes to be ethical when undertaking research. This reflective chapter contributes to the discussion on research ethics in tourism by sharing critical reflections on the ethical journeys of the chapter authors, all of who, in differing ways, study sensitive topics. As such, the chapter draws on work looking at sensitive content on social media, disabled children, sex, and bestiality. The chapter highlights the ongoing and responsive approach to being ethical adopted by these researchers. The chapter reveals how ethical issues and challenges unique to the individual researcher were navigated in practice. Overall, the chapter challenges researchers to be ethical in their research rather than simply conform to research ethics procedural requirements. It calls on researchers to engage in critical and adaptive thinking while balancing radical and traditional approaches to ethics.

Abstract

This chapter provides a roadmap for a systematic literature review built around the guiding questions of basic research design. First, we highlight the relevance and development of systematic literature reviews in tourism research. Second, we put the systematic review into perspective by outlining its characteristics and by clarifying the methodological assumptions. Third, we bring together recommendations based on previous research and review guidelines and present a step-by-step tutorial for a systematic literature review. From this chapter, readers will understand the foundations of systematic literature reviews, will be able to apply the methodology to their review projects and are introduced to further readings and best practice examples.

Abstract

Bibliometrics is an instrument that allows the analysis of evolution, current state, and future trends in a scientific field. Many disciplines, such as hospitality and tourism, have undertaken bibliometric studies. Based on a review of the leading bibliometric methods used in the main bibliometric documents published in the hospitality and tourism field between 2010 and 2019, this chapter aims to propose a bibliometric guide to help researchers undertake studies based on bibliometric techniques, both evaluative and relational. Any bibliometric research comprises five phases: setting the research questions, selecting the appropriate database, establishing the criteria to follow, filtering the data, applying the proper methods, and analyzing the results. This chapter elaborates on these stages, highlighting the most important evaluative and relational techniques to study the structure of a scientific field from a bibliometric approach. Bibliometric studies provide valuable knowledge for academia, governments, and research centers. It also helps journals' editors evaluate publications and make editorial decisions.

Abstract

Extended research efforts have been dedicated to understanding how different aspects of online surveys impact the response rate and quality of collected data. With the hope to yield higher response rates, leading survey software solutions (e.g., SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics, QuestionPro) introduced a new technique of embedding a question from an online survey into invitation emails sent to the respondents. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the impact of embedded questions on survey response rate and quality. The results of two experimental studies show that respondents are more likely to respond to a survey with an embedded question compared to an email without one. No statistically significant differences were discovered regarding data quality that was assessed via survey completion rate, respondent bias, and attention check questions. The chapter provides suggestions and guidelines for increasing online surveys' response rate and quality.

Abstract

The aim of any research is to create knowledge and to generate new insights. For insights from empirical research to be valid, the data from which insights are derived must be valid. Empirical data in tourism and hospitality research is predominantly collected by means of surveys. The chapter discusses a range of dangers to data validity associated with survey research; explains under which circumstances surveys represent a suitable or unsuitable method of data collection; and offers practical recommendations that can easily be adopted by survey researchers to ensure maximum validity of their data.

Abstract

Experimental design has long been used by psychology and consumer behavior researchers to examine causal effects of interventions on human responses. However, it remains underutilized in hospitality and tourism research. Furthermore, problems in design, implementation, and report of results were identified in previous hospitality and tourism publications. It is imperative to equip hospitality and tourism experimenters with sophisticated and state-of-the-art knowledge about experimental design, and to draw their attention to some crucial, but easily neglected, issues in designing the experiment and writing the experimental research paper. Given these reasons, this book chapter discusses some key issues in experimental design and provides corresponding insights related to the sections of introduction, literature review, hypothesis, method, analysis, and results in an experimental research paper, while the uniqueness of hospitality and tourism is considered. It is expected that the chapter will be useful for hospitality and tourism researchers to plan, conduct, and report their experimental studies in the future.

Abstract

Considering the significant increase of studies in the hospitality and tourism field that use content analysis as a research method, this chapter aims to describe the research process when the methodology of qualitative content analysis is utilized. Particular attention is placed on the operational procedures of this method—from the initial planning and preparation to presentation of findings and evaluation of the process, as this is often omitted by hospitality and tourism researchers. Four distinct stages are described in this chapter: preparation, data collection and analysis, reporting findings, and evaluation of the process. The discussion in this chapter helps to clarify how qualitative content analysis should be undertaken in a systematic manner, which would be of particular benefit to hospitality and tourism researchers. Advantages and disadvantages of the qualitative content analysis and its contribution to hospitality and tourism studies are also discussed.

Abstract

This chapter discusses the use of qualitative content analysis in the field of hospitality and tourism. The primary objective of this chapter is to draw attention to the use of a content analysis approach for the treatment of data. As a further objective, the chapter contributes to current knowledge by underscoring a qualitative content analysis approach that would be of benefit to hospitality and tourism scholars. Overall, the chapter serves to inform hospitality and tourism scholars of how to increase the trustworthiness of qualitative content analysis approaches, which is seen as one of the most crucial impediments to its use.

Abstract

Selecting the methodological approach is a critical decision as it largely determines the effectiveness of the research. Encapsulating the research approach as a chapter in a thesis is often a challenge to many young researchers, despite the abundance of guides on PhD thesis writing and on the various approaches to research methodologies. However, most guides are descriptive and fail to provide appropriate illustrations of a methodology chapter especially in qualitative research. In a qualitative methodology chapter, key factors are the assumptions, theoretical lens, and worldviews on the topic, making qualitative methodology chapter less definite, more subjective and lacks a conventional model. This chapter addresses the need for qualitative research samples and aims to advance the understanding of writing a qualitative research methodology chapter by providing essential guidelines. The guidelines are drawn from an actual qualitative research methodology chapter of a PhD thesis in the field of tourism and social cohesion.

Abstract

This chapter explores the use of experience sampling method (ESM) in a qualitative research design, departing from reflections on ontological and epistemological aspects of the tourist experience. It suggests that the tourist experience can be studied in its ordinary moments and proposes the use of ESM to capture such experience of “everydayness.” The chapter illustrates how the method can be used and provides some guidelines for its implementation, drawing examples from a qualitative study on tourists' smartphone use that combines ESM questionnaires with semi-structured interviews. ESM consists of sending participants several micro-questionnaires at random times during their trip, asking questions about their experience and perceptions. Thanks to modern mobile technologies, the method can be used on participants' own smartphones, through various programmable applications. The method allows to inquire into aspects of experience that the participants themselves may not be aware of, or may fail to recollect after the trip, thus increasing ecological validity and reducing recall bias.

Abstract

Throughout this chapter you will be exposed to the meaning and types of ethnographic research. An emphasis will be made on the use of ethnography in hospitality and tourism settings. Variations of ethnography such as netnography, chrono ethnography, and ethnographic interviews are explained along with their benefits and drawbacks. This chapter includes guidance on how to conduct an ethnography including the scope and context, length of the project, access to and selection of informants, position of the researcher, issues of concealment or disclosure, and the language used to write the ethnographic narrative. Furthermore, you will be exposed to some of the principal forms of analysis in ethnography including thematic, domain, taxonomic, componential, sociograms, and typologies. Finally, this chapter provides examples of some of the main decisions involved by a researcher engaged in ethnographic inquiry.

Abstract

The chapter discusses abductive thematic analysis as an innovative qualitative methodology in hospitality and tourism research. The novelty of the abductive approach is to combine the power of both deductive and inductive reasoning: it is possible to initiate the research starting from an existing theoretical, without renouncing to a creative phase where the researcher interprets the phenomenon beyond the words utilized and theorizes dependencies between concepts. The chapter further presents a case study to illustrate how abductive thematic analysis can be applied to study small hospitality and tourism businesses. The chapter further highlights the benefits of adapting thematic analysis to abductive reasoning, which is a paradigmatic position thus adding rigor to hospitality and tourism. The chapter finally highlights future avenues for development of methodology research toward adding further rigor to this novel methodology.

Abstract

This chapter provides a detailed account of the comparison-based case study approach and argues that traditional case study approaches should adopt the comparison-based case study model. This study outlines the benefits and drawbacks of the comparative case study design. The penultimate section provides an example of a comparison-based case study to illustrate the virtues and the shortcomings of this mode of research. The chapter concludes with suggestions to aid novice tourism researchers and postgraduate students.

Abstract

In the context of tourism and hospitality studies, the potential of action research for generating robust actionable knowledge has not been yet realized. This chapter provides an account of the theory and practice of action research, demonstrates how it may be designed and implemented, and how it may generate actionable knowledge. It provides illustrative examples and shows how this research approach aligns effectively with some of the themes that currently engage the attention of researchers in the fields of tourism and hospitality such as process improvement, sustainability, and community-based tourism development. Thus, it makes a case for more widespread use of action research in the field.

Abstract

Grounded theory (GT) is an inductive paradigm-based research method that focuses more on data depth and quality than the generalizability of results to a broader population and is substantially different from conventional hypothetico-deductive research approaches. GT has become a popular research approach in several social science fields including tourism and hospitality. By reviewing the development of GT and its associated philosophical underpinning, this chapter compares three widely used GT approaches advocated by Glaser (Classical GT), Strauss and Corbin (Straussian GT), and Charmaz (Constructivist GT). Given the various interpretations and approaches to GT, this chapter therefore offers an overview of the key distinguishing characteristics of these approaches to GT so as to facilitate more thoughtful approach selection in keeping with philosophical positions, research questions, and research objectives. This chapter then proposes a step-by-step guideline of the application of this method through an illustrative example in tourism. The chapter concludes with a critical reflection on this widely used qualitative research method and considers possible future developments.

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to explain and celebrate the benefits of oral history for tourism and hospitality research. Oral history is accessible and interdisciplinary, often used in local projects and community groups which creates some disdain from traditional academics. Despite this, there is an accepted call for the depth and detail in tourism and hospitality research that oral history can bring. The opinion of the authors is that many researchers are not as transparent as they could be about their research method and this is a disappointment for those that wish to gain a full understanding of what has taken place and why. So, this chapter will (1) elaborate on the reasons for and development of oral history technique; (2) illustrate how this method can be used by researchers; (3) provide examples from the extant literature; and (4) conclude with suggestions of how this type of research may be taken further. A variety of references have been used to encourage wider reading and the aim is to be thought provoking and encouraging. Tourism and hospitality from any angle are all about the human experience and oral history interviews bring depth and richness to both present and future interpretations.

Index

Pages 291-297
Content available
Cover of Contemporary Research Methods in Hospitality and Tourism
DOI
10.1108/9781801175463
Publication date
2022-04-13
Editors
ISBN
978-1-80117-547-0
eISBN
978-1-80117-546-3