chapter  1
8 Pages

Introduction

ByMICHELLE MCLEOD, ROGER VAUGHAN

Background The main purpose of this book is to consider the topic of knowledge networks in the tourism sector, and in that regard tourism network characteristics, the dynamics of knowledge and methodological considerations are outlined. This topic is important to the tourism sector as the fragmentation of businesses within the sector largely as a result of the sector being comprised of small and medium sized businesses, makes understanding knowledge management challenging (Cooper 2006). A contribution is made to the forming of a knowledge network perspective which can add value to the understanding of the knowledge dynamics across business and organizational boundaries within the tourism and hospitality industries. The inter-business and inter-organizational contexts are important as these have received limited attention in the knowledge management literature (Santoro, Borges and Rezende 2006). Knowledge aids in transforming the tourism sector as businesses within the sector adjust and adapt their business operations to changes in the dynamic tourism system. It has long been recognized that application of relevant knowledge is an element of competitiveness but there are challenges with understanding the workings of knowledge in an industry such as tourism (Cooper 2006). In this regard, this book seeks to integrate knowledge management and social network theories to the understanding of knowledge dynamics in the tourism sector. The main themes within this book are: tourism networks, knowledge and knowledge sharing, and application of social network theory and analysis. The book therefore aims to bring to the forefront an emerging field in the tourism literature.