Embracing and Managing Change in Tourism: International Case Studies

Embracing and Managing Change in Tourism: International Case Studies

Embracing and Managing Change in Tourism: International Case Studies

Embracing and Managing Change in Tourism: International Case Studies

Synopsis

Compiling 22 detailed case studies from around the world, this volume examines management responses to the major changes taking place in international tourism and considers tourism itself as an agent of change.

Excerpt

Eric Laws, Bill Faulkner and Gianna Moscardo

Change contexts to tourism management

Change, and the effective management of change, are fundamental to contemporary management thinking. The one certainty in modern societies is that, whatever we do and experience today, the near future will be different. We live in a changing world, where individuals and organisations are constantly endeavouring to anticipate, respond to and influence events that impact on their existence in one way or another. Regardless of how much control we have over these events there will always be surprises that throw established systems into disarray until a new configuration of adaptive responses is established.

Not only do we live in a changing world, but also it has been suggested that the pace of change is accelerating. Thus, social commentators such as Toffler (1970) emphasised how the serendipitous effect of technology-driven change, and the consequent destabilisation of social, economic and political relationships has resulted in mounting pressure on the adaptive capabilities at both the individual and institutional levels. If anything, this process has intensified since the 1970s. Disequilibrium, instability and change are therefore as much a part of the modern economic, social and political landscape as the stable systems that we identify as organisational frameworks which structure relationships in these domains.

In tourism, change constantly challenges public sector planners and policy makers, but also provides opportunities for the development and expansion of operators' businesses. Without change there would be few opportunities for the creativeness of successful entrepreneurs, while for tourists, the opportunity to enjoy and experience a temporary change of place, culture or the pace of daily life is a prime motive for travel. Yet change can also be stressful and difficult to deal with, although it is clear from research in psychology that the more people avoid change the less they are able to cope with it (Langer, 1989). Langer distinguished mindful and mindless ways of dealing with change. Mindfulness is about actively seeking change and creating new conceptualisations of situations

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