chapter  11
7 Pages

Conclusion

ByMICHELLE MCLEOD, ROGER VAUGHAN

The research position to date future research opportunities Social networks in tourism have been described as being socialization spheres through which knowledge can be shared (Morrison, Lynch and Johns 2004; Pavlovich 2003, 2014; Saxena 2005). Thus social networks are mechanisms for knowledge transfer and sharing as they act as conduits through which knowledge resources flow. The nature of networks in tourism and the related knowledge diffusion processes, and the influences on those processes, have been addressed in this volume. Developing such understanding is important because, according to Liebowitz (2007), social networking is essential for innovation and that is essential because tourism businesses operate in a competitive arena (Novelli, Schmitz and Spencer 2006). Increasing competitiveness means that individuals seek to stay ahead and increasing their personal knowledge stock can assist in achieving this. However, this competitive advantage may not only encourage knowledge networking but also discourage it as there can be some reluctance to share knowledge when sharing knowledge might give a competitor a competitive advantage (Chakravarthy, McEvily, Doz and Rau 2003). This book has focused on different aspects of the application of the network paradigm to identify and understand the underlying factors in the dynamics of knowledge diffusion and the management of knowledge within the tourism industry. As such it illustrates the foci of research activity to date and the nature of the understanding of knowledge networks. Despite knowledge networking having been a focus for research as illustrated in this book, and the competitive advantages offered to businesses by networking, research into knowledge networks is still in the early stages. As such there is a wealth of opportunity for future research. Six broad groupings of opportunity are set out in the following paragraphs.