From Facilitated to Independent Tourism Learning Networks Connecting the Dots

Kelliher, Felicity and Reinl, Leana (2010) From Facilitated to Independent Tourism Learning Networks Connecting the Dots. In: International Tourism Entrepreneurship Conference, Apr 26th -27th 2010, Wilfrid Laurier University.

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Facilitated networks are regularly cited in tourism literature as a means to promote sustainable competitive advantage in small tourism firms. These networks function for a variety of reasons including marketing, innovation and research and development; however learning networks specifically seek to encourage learning among tourism entrepreneurs. Once established, the question remains whether such networks can transition from facilitated cooperative learning strategies to become independent learning communities in the longer term. Little is known about the formation, maintenance or success of these types of learning relationships after facilitated learning structures and supports reach a conclusion. What is known is that these networks, labeled ‘Evolving Learning Communities’ (ELCs) by the authors, are devoid of formal structures, thus autonomy in their structural and relational reasoning is required. In this paper, the authors explore a facilitated tourism learning network (TLN) environment operating in Ireland, and discuss the potential to transition from a facilitated TLN to an independent learning network environment. Following a comprehensive literature review, the authors propose an ELC model for the purposes of mapping the tourism entrepreneur’s learning development, from the autonomous business setting to the facilitated learning network environment and on to the independent learning network arena, illustrating the evolution of a learning community. The overriding research objective is: to explore the elements and relationships that influence entrepreneurial learning in tourism learning networks. Future research will inform and validate the proposed model through the completion of a longitudinal interpretive case study incorporating sub-studies for the purposes of cross-validation. Key Words: Tourism, Facilitated Learning Networks, Evolving Learning Communities

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments or Groups: RIKON (Research in Inovation, Knowledge & Organisational Networks)
Divisions: School of Business
School of Business > Department of Management and Organization
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2010 16:13
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2016 10:26

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