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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Metin Kozak, Michael Volgger and Harald Pechlaner

This paper aims to provide an original body of work that presents and discusses the theory that destination leadership is about proactively shaping the future development…

860

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an original body of work that presents and discusses the theory that destination leadership is about proactively shaping the future development of destinations and territories. This is the second part of the special issue of Tourism Review on destination leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

This editorial introduces the papers included and highlights a few general thoughts about the interplay between destination leadership and territorial development.

Findings

This introduction summarizes how the papers in this special issue contribute to two streams of research: first, the papers reflect on the necessity of adapting the specific form and style of destination leadership to the development status of a destination. Second, papers highlight that local stakeholders, local knowledge and the local context, in general, have a high impact on destination leadership.

Originality/value

By summarizing and condensing the various contributions to this special issue, the editorial introduction highlights that destination leadership is about proactively shaping the future of tourist destinations. Furthermore, it argues that this development needs to respect local networks, territorial characteristics, histories and contexts. Therefore, tailoring destination leadership to their own territories seems to be an essential success factor, and in the future, we may want to define Alpine destination leadership, island destination leadership, city destination leadership, etc.

Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Pietro Beritelli and Thomas Bieger

Starting from the tenet that destination management deserves a systemic approach the authors first explain the meaning of systemic leadership and then discuss its…

1879

Abstract

Purpose

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).

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 69 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 June 2015

Dean Hristov and Anita Zehrer

This paper aims to serve as an introduction to a rather under-researched field. It aims to provide a conceptual definition of destination management organisations (DMOs…

1326

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to serve as an introduction to a rather under-researched field. It aims to provide a conceptual definition of destination management organisations (DMOs) serving as leadership networks in destinations drawing on what is to be called the DMO Leadership Cycle – a guiding framework integrating the perspectives of management, governance and leadership to influence destination development trajectories.

Design/methodology/approach

A synthesis of the extant literature on destination management and governance, coupled with the latest academic contributions in destination leadership serves to uncover the existence of a gap in the way leadership is seen in the underpinned domain. DMOs are conceptualised and their role in serving as leadership networks in destinations is then critically discussed.

Findings

Perspectives of destination management, governance and leadership and their interaction with one another is fundamental to DMOs serving as leadership networks. The paper provides justification for and indicative definition of contemporary DMOs serving as leadership networks in destinations.

Research limitations/implications

The conceptual nature of this paper calls for empirical evidence where DMOs serving as leadership networks are further investigated in practice and across diverse political and economic contexts.

Practical implications

This paper aims to shape destination leadership practice by introducing an alternative, yet inclusive approach to leadership focussing on collective orchestration in destinations undertaken by DMO networks.

Social implications

The paper aims to trigger a discussion on the importance of all-encompassing and integrative leadership as a means for widening participation across diverse destination groups; to serve as an input into and ultimately – shape policy development.

Originality/value

This discussion provides an alternative perspective to the way we see leadership in destinations. The paper argues that “impactful” leadership is rather embedded in a formal structure and distributed in nature.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 70 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Anita Zehrer, Frieda Raich, Hubert Siller and Franz Tschiderer

Co-operation activities play a central role for the development of a tourism destination, and require a co-operative approach among numerous different actors to manage and…

2165

Abstract

Purpose

Co-operation activities play a central role for the development of a tourism destination, and require a co-operative approach among numerous different actors to manage and market a tourism destination. This paper aims to describe the characteristics of leadership networks in tourism destinations and their impact on destination development.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses network relationships of destination leaders, as in their collectivity, leaders shape and influence the destination's core services, strategic orientation and innovation capability. The research is based on the examination of relevant literature and a quantitative survey conducted in five selected tourism destinations in the Tirol, Austria.

Findings

The article discusses leadership networks in community-structured destinations, providing insights into its organizational structure and dynamic behaviour. Moreover, the paper illustrates the network characteristics and its influence on the development of the tourism destination. Thus, implications for destination management can be derived.

Originality/value

Discussions on leadership have usually been limited to firms and have not yet fully embraced the network and destination level. The originality of the paper is to provide insights in destination leadership and networking activities of leaders within destinations by means of a quantitative approach and thus adds to the growing body of literature on the functionalities of destination leadership networks, their structures and mechanisms.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 69 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Harald Pechlaner, Metin Kozak and Michael Volgger

This special issue of Tourism Review provides an original body of work that complements existing research on tourist destinations, and offers an opportunity for tourism…

3320

Abstract

Purpose

This special issue of Tourism Review provides an original body of work that complements existing research on tourist destinations, and offers an opportunity for tourism research to contribute to broader leadership theorizing.

Design/methodology/approach

This editorial introduction embeds the included papers into general reflections about destination leadership.

Findings

This introduction summarizes how the papers in this special issue contribute to two streams of research: First, the papers use and advance leadership theories that are particularly suited to inter-organizational contexts, such as distributed and systemic leadership. Second, they illustrate that destination leadership needs to be treated and understood in relationship to governance arrangements, power structures, and social networks among leaders.

Originality/value

Sustainable destination competitiveness greatly depends on effective strategies as well as efficient and inclusive processes and structures. Existing research on destination management and destination governance clearly illustrates the relevance of these requirements. However, the human factor in the form of motivation, inspiration, and role modeling – i.e. destination leadership – is also crucial. Yet, so far leadership has not received the necessary attention in both tourist destinations and networked environments in general. This is all the more remarkable since social networks pose particular challenges for leadership.

Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Ulrike Pröbstl-Haider, Verena Melzer and Alexandra Jiricka

This paper aims to address lack in destination leadership and to propose a new typology of approaches. Frequently, rural tourism is suggested as a remedy that should…

2036

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address lack in destination leadership and to propose a new typology of approaches. Frequently, rural tourism is suggested as a remedy that should enhance the local economy, create new jobs, strengthen the regional identity and finance the infrastructure.

Design/methodology/approach

Case study analysis shows that regions, communities, tourism organizations and managers use different strategies to strengthen their tourism offers or to develop new ones. The paper analyzes different development approaches among destinations and discusses their respective leadership structure.

Findings

The typology of tourism development models makes the different development options transparent and easy to understand. This may aid a community to support tourism development with spatial planning and avoid conflicts with other forms of land uses. Overall, leadership for rural tourism development should lead to a strategic cooperation between tourism businesses and other organizations based on a commitment to destination coherence.

Research limitations/implications

The chosen research approach is based on the analysis of Central European case studies. Therefore, researchers of other geographical backgrounds are encouraged to test the proposed propositions further.

Practical implications

The presented typology illustrated four distinct options of coherent development strategies, which can support communities/regions to find a long-term decision frame.

Originality/value

The presented typology facilitates collaborative planning, helps operationalize rural tourism development policies and provides the foundation for spatial planning, all of which furthers the linkages between tourism and other sectors in the rural economy.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 69 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Piotr Zmys̀lony

The paper aims to propose a method of identifying and evaluating leadership potential of stakeholders in emerging tourist destinations and to verify this method in three…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to propose a method of identifying and evaluating leadership potential of stakeholders in emerging tourist destinations and to verify this method in three Polish destinations. Developing destinations miss well-established networking structures and management experiences. The greatest impact on their success is made by the most active stakeholders who are able to pool and mobilise partners and coordinate their efforts to realise common goals.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a stakeholders’ potential analysis and the network approach. To identify destination leadership, the method – adapted from an axiological analysis of regional development participants – is used and verified in rural, coastal and mountain destinations in Poland. An in-depth analysis of stakeholders representing the public, private and non-profit sectors is conducted to assess their leadership potential. Ultimately, 183 interviews were conducted.

Findings

Based on literature review, five dimensions of destination leadership were identified, namely, networking capability, analytical abilities, impact capability, economic potential and legitimacy. In emerging destinations, the most influential stakeholders are characterised by strong impact, analytical leadership capabilities and legitimacy.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides insights into destination leadership discussion and research. The limited number of verification cases and limited qualitative data analysis could be seen as its limitation.

Practical implications

Emerging destinations have incomplete leadership. An imbalanced structure of destination leadership may have serious consequences on stability and development of destinations; it also affects the process of identification of potential leaders.

Originality/value

The paper is original because it proposes an innovative method of identifying destination leadership, especially in emerging destinations.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 69 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Bodil Stilling Blichfeldt, John Hird and Peter Kvistgaard

Studies of destination management and leadership may over-emphasize unity and collaboration, thus producing romanticized accounts for such processes. This paper discusses…

2705

Abstract

Purpose

Studies of destination management and leadership may over-emphasize unity and collaboration, thus producing romanticized accounts for such processes. This paper discusses destination leadership from a less romanticized perspective – pointing to the various ways in which it intertwines with power.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors focus on the relationship between destination leadership and power networks offering a fresh look at the reality of collaborative processes in destinations. By exposing the latent or manifest networks of complex power relations in destinations, the authors disentangle the analysis of destination management and leadership from romanticized perspectives. A non-conventional vignettes approach is applied.

Findings

The concept of power offers more realistic descriptions and “thick” conceptualizations of destination leadership. Moreover, the predominance of more inclusive and bottom-up approaches to destination development necessitates advances in understandings of power relations at work at the destination. Furthermore, if DMOs are to successfully establish themselves as destination leaders, they need to position themselves in the midst of the power networks entailing relationships and interactions with and between destination stakeholders.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that power is not a characteristic of individual actors, but is instead a characteristic of relations. Moreover, power is defined as a potential and might therefore be latent and only occasionally be activated. Furthermore, in a destination multiple power-relations co-exist, effecting attempts to lead the destination. Therefore, the paper points to the existence of a series of bases of power and effects hereof on destination leadership.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 69 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 April 2016

Raija Komppula

This paper aims to highlight the crucial role of individual people, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in the development of a tourist destination during its life cycle…

2656

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to highlight the crucial role of individual people, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in the development of a tourist destination during its life cycle. The purpose is to increase our understanding of individual actors as contributors to leadership and development of tourism destinations.

Design/methodology/approach

An intrinsic case study of a Finnish ski resort, Ruka, is presented. The primary data consist of 16 narrative interviews. Secondary sources of information such as a history book and a historical review, reports and Web pages have been used as well.

Findings

The study suggests that the leadership in a destination is attributed to individuals. It is the charismatic entrepreneurs, business managers, municipality and influential politicians that may take control of the leadership at the destination. Being local enhances the sense of identity with the place and facilitates a cooperative atmosphere between actors. Finally, the roles of stakeholders and aspects of the leadership of a destination may vary along the destination life cycle.

Research limitations/implications

As this paper presents a single case study in a Finnish context, the findings cannot be, and are not meant to be, generalized. Rather, the findings present an example of an exception to the mainstream destination management and governance literature.

Originality/value

The paper fills the research gap noted by Kennedy (2014) and presents an in-depth study analysing the role of different stakeholders in destination leadership.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 71 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Victoria Kennedy and Marcjanna M. Augustyn

The purpose of this paper is to examine stakeholder power and engagement within an increasingly competitive English seaside resort setting. It aims to adopt a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine stakeholder power and engagement within an increasingly competitive English seaside resort setting. It aims to adopt a structuralist and functionalist perspective and develop an enabling conceptualisation of power that incorporates structural and agency components in stakeholders’ reasons for engaging. Based on the conceptual interdependencies between stakeholder power and engagement, this study aims to present the limitations of previous studies on destination leadership in this area, and this paper also seeks to discuss implications for destination leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

As a qualitative and exploratory study, mixed-method research was adopted using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with destination stakeholders from a prominent tourism action group. The primary research was carried out in an English seaside resort between 2010 and 2011. Data are used to draw a stakeholder map as a visual tool.

Findings

Eight elements of enabling power are confirmed to be of importance in identifying stakeholder power and engagement. The level of power varies depending on stakeholders’ position within a network. These findings direct attention towards adopting a complexity leadership approach in an increasingly competitive destination environment.

Research limitations/implications

The paper focuses on an English seaside resort, although results can be transferred to other similar-sized destinations where the focus is on local tourism policy development.

Originality/value

The paper provides an innovative conceptualisation of power in stakeholder theory by drawing primarily on a sociological understanding of power as an enabler and not as an inhibitor for development, leadership and change in seaside resorts. This paper uses leadership theories to interpret data and infer implications for destination leadership.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 69 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

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