A communicative model for stakeholder consultation: towards a framework for action inquiry in tourism I.T.
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AbstractThis thesis focuses on an under-researched area of tourism -the multi stakeholder, inter organisational business to business Tourism IT domain which exhibits a marked rate of failure. A critical review of B2B case studies reveals that this failure is in large part due to the primacy afforded to technical problem solving approaches over human centred ones. The main purpose of the research is therefore stated as: "how do we ensure that, as technological solutions are implemented within this domain, due consideration is given to human-centred issues?" In order to tackle this research problem an interdisciplinary approach is taken and a communicative model for stakeholder consultation is developed. At the centre of the model lies an innovative method for deconstructing and reconstructing stakeholder discourse. A Co-operative Inquiry research methodology was used and a significant number of stakeholders were engaged in an Open Space event sponsored by two major Tourism IT companies who wanted to investigate the issues and opportunities connected with travel distribution and technology. This was followed up with face to face interviews and live discussions over the internet. In addition stakeholder discourse was captured via the Travelmole tourism discussion site. The discourse between stakeholders was reconstructed and the normative and objective claims analysed in depth. The presentation of these reconstructions in textual, tabular and diagrammatic formats captures the complexity of stakeholder interactions, revealing that although IT is an important tool, what really lies at the core of multi stakeholder projects are the normative positions to which participants subscribe. The model provided a practical means for critiquing stakeholder discourse, helping to identify stakeholders both involved and affected by the issue; juxtaposing the 'is' against the 'ought'; and enabling critical reflection on the coercive use of power. The review of the tourism literature revealed that these issues are as important in general B2B tourism partnerships as in Tourism IT and in this respect the model provides a practical tool for critique and for enabling the formation of a shared normative infrastructure on which multi stakeholder projects can proceed. In addition, while borrowing from Management Science, this thesis also makes a contribution to it, specifically in the area of boundary critique, through the way in which Habermas' ideal speech criteria arc practically implemented.
CitationAlford, P. (2007) 'A communicative model for stakeholder consultation: towards a framework for action inquiry in tourism I.T.'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Bedfordshire
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