Tourism Product and Service Innovation to Avoid 'Strategic Drift'

Publisher:
John Wiley & Sons
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Journal of Tourism Research, 2009, 11 (4), pp. 321 - 335
Issue Date:
2009-01
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Dealing with change in the external environment creates substantial challenges for tourism managers. Given the complexity of strategy formulation it is difficult for managers to analyse all aspects of their environment or establish precise objectives, consequently business strategies tend to be characterised by small strategic adjustments or incrementalism. However, these marginal adjustments of strategy within an organisation's existing culture may lead to strategic drift reflecting strategies that are inconsistent with changes taking place in the external environment. The paper begins with a brief overview of the global trends that comprise the remote environment of tourism organisations. It argues that the standard response of tourism organisations to changes in the remote environment can be characterised as strategic incrementalism. The paper also addresses the concern that strategic incrementalism can give rise to strategic drift. In the face of changing global trends the paper explores some of the barriers that must be overcome, discussing seven areas of importance on which managers can focus to assist them to avoid strategic drift.
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