Managerial capability for innovation in tourism micro firms

Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Managerial capability for innovation is posited to provide firms with new and sustainable sources of competitive advantage. Micro firm innovation is argued to exist at various levels, for example product, process and marketing innovation. It is unclear how managers of micro firms perceive innovation. While considerable research has been undertaken on the nature and effectiveness of management in a micro firm context, there is limited understanding of how micro firm innovation is managed. The research question investigates the nature of managerial capability for innovation in the tourism micro firm hotel context. A critical review of literature underpins the development of a theoretical model of managerial capability for innovation in the context of the tourism micro hotel. Taking an interpretivist philosophical position, twenty in-depth interviews with owner/ managers of tourism hotel micro firms investigate the nature of managerial capability in context. Data analysis using thematic analysis results in the emergence of key themes. A synthesis of the key themes and the academic literature emerges through a theoretical base framed by resource based and dynamic capabilities literature into a contextual model of managerial capability for innovation. The theoretical contribution of the research takes the form of a model of managerial capability in the tourism hotel micro firm context which posits key dimensions of leadership, strategic thinking, operational capability and a people relationships capability. A methodological contribution based on the use of the in-depth interview method to surface managerial perceptions of managerial capability is made. The model contributes to managerial practice in offering owner/ managers and educators an interactive tool for managerial capability development for innovation. From a policy perspective the research challenges the nature of existing policy interventions in the micro hotel sector. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Harrington, Denis, Supervisor
  • Kelliher, Felicity, Supervisor
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015


  • Tourism, Micro firms


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