Identification of inhibitors and facilitators to research adoption in the tourism sector

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Cooper, Chris, Jago, Leo Kenneth, Carlsen, Jack and Ruhanen, Lisa (2006) Identification of inhibitors and facilitators to research adoption in the tourism sector. Technical Report. Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism, Queensland.


There is a growing acknowledgement that economies of the 21st century need to be knowledge-based rather than commodity-based and driven by knowledge development, innovation and commercialisation. In the future, national prosperity will be driven by a nation’s intellectual capabilities and the ability to expertly transfer, deploy and capitalise on that knowledge base. Therefore, knowledge will become the fundamental factor underpinning successful organisations in the 21st century. As a consequence, the diffusion and commercialisation of research has emerged as a key issue for governments, higher education institutions, research centres and private enterprise. These are recent developments that represent the recognition of knowledge as a key competitive tool for the private sectors and a determinant of economic growth for governments. An enhanced tourism research capacity has been identified as an important issue in a number of tourism strategy documents at both national and state levels, as well as by a number of countries around the world including Canada, New Zealand and the State of Hawaii. Tourism research is currently under-utilised by the tourism sector and as a consequence; the sector is not as competitive as it could be. One possible reason for this is the dissemination of new knowledge generated by research does not currently reach the users of the information. It has been suggested that a likely reason for this problem is the lack of communication and understanding between the research community and the tourism sector. For research organisations such as the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) to successfully diffuse their research outcomes into the Australian tourism sector it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the adoption environment. Therefore the aim of this project is to investigate both the tourism sector’s use of research and preferred mode of receiving research, to inform the development of appropriate diffusion and communication processes for STCRC research. The first section of this report, the literature review, outlines the major components of research diffusion and diffusion theory including innovation development, decision-making processes and adopter categories. Diffusion theory aims to explain the rates and patterns of innovation adoption among individuals and firms and to identify those factors and mechanisms that shape this diffusion process. Essentially, the ‘emphasis in diffusion research is on understanding what influences individuals’ decisions to adopt new ideas and on the communication networks that facilitate their spread’. The literature review will also overview some of the methods used by organisations to disseminate their research to industry bodies and other stakeholders. The second and third sections of the report will outline the research methods and survey results. The results of the survey will be presented according to the five sections of the interview questionnaire: organisational structure; current information sources; receipt of current information; benefits / barriers of current information; other information and future information requirements. The final section of the report will provide an analysis and discussion of the survey results and the implications these have for the STCRC. A range of possible scenarios for diffusing STCRC research to the tourism industry will also be outlined.

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Item type Monograph (Technical Report)
DOI 1920704582
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Tourism and Services Research (CTSR)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Keywords ResPubID: 11569, tourism research, Australia
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