chapter  2
19 Pages

Tourism- planning network knowledge dynamics

ByDIANNE DREDGE

Introduction The competitive advantage of regions is closely tied to the availability of information, the dynamics of knowledge creation and the capacity of actors and groups within that region to convert knowledge into strategic action (Castells 2005; Gibbons et al. 1994; Henriksen and Halkier 2009). This view tends to focus attention on private firms and their capacity to disassemble and reassemble new hybrid knowledge resources that can in turn generate competitive advantage. While this line of research provides useful insights into how firms can build and leverage new knowledge, an important but often overlooked dimension of knowledge dynamics, innovation and competitiveness is that the implementation of actions are often constrained by complex policy environments (OECD 2012). For example, in tourism, tightly bound sector-specific policy networks or silos have frequently been identified as factors that stymie industry innovation or progress towards sustainability (OECD 2010). The focus of this chapter is to critically explore the characteristics of planning and tourism policy networks to better understand inter-sectoral knowledge dynamics. Improved understandings of policy network knowledge dynamics will highlight the opportunities and limitations of current dialogic practices, uncover entrenched and bounded ways of thinking and can assist reflexive learning. An analytic auto-ethnographic case study of the development of Next Generation Tourism Planning: A Guide for Planners in Queensland (Queensland Government 2013), a policy initiative that sought to ‘increase awareness and understanding of tourism, sustainable tourism development and tourism planning’ amongst land use planners, is used to explore knowledge dynamics spanning tourism and planning policy sectors.