Inter-Organisational Relationships for Events Tourism Strategy Making in Australian States and Territories

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Jago, Leo

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This research examines the impact of inter-organisational relationships of public sector events agencies on events tourism strategy making within Australian state/territories. The global expansion of events tourism and sustained interest in networks and relationships as conduits to strategy underpin this topic. Although public sector institutional arrangements exist in many countries including Australia to develop events tourism, there is no known empirical research of inter-organisational relationships for strategy making in this domain. Against this background, the research problem of the thesis is: How and why do inter-organisational relationships of public sector events agencies impact upon events tourism strategy making within Australian states and territories? Based on a review of themes and issues within the two parent theories of tourism strategy and inter-organisational relationships, a theoretical framework and four research issues are developed. These issues are: RI 1: How does the public sector institutional environment impact upon events tourism strategies and the inter-organisational relationships that shape them, and why? RI 2: How do events tourism strategy forms and processes reflect and influence events agencies' inter-organisational relationships, and why? RI 3: What are the forms and characteristics of events agencies' inter- organisational relationships for shaping events tourism strategies, and why? RI 4: What are the incentives and disincentives for events agencies to engage in inter-organisational relationships for events tourism strategy making, and why? Because this research explores a new field within events tourism, it adopts a realism paradigm to uncover the 'realities' of events agencies' inter-organisational relationships and strategies. Two qualitative methodologies are adopted: the convergent interview technique (Carson, Gilmore, Perry, and Gronhaug 2001b; Dick 1990) and multiple case research (Perry 1998, 2001; Yin 1994). The convergent interviews serve to explore and refine the theoretical framework and the four research issues investigated in the multiple case research. These cases are represented by the inter-organisational relationships of events agencies in six Australian states/territories. Findings about the public sector institutional environment (research issue 1) show that events tourism strategies are influenced by different public sector policies and influences, the organisational arrangements for events tourism, the roles of events agencies and the lifecycle phase of events tourism in each state/territory. In relation to events tourism strategy forms (research issue 2), reactive/proactive strategies that respond to or address arising events or opportunities are common with a limited application of formal planning strategies. However, events agencies' strategy processes do reflect a range of strategic activities of importance. Inter-organisational relationships of events agencies (research issue 3) are typified by informal, government-led networks that influence, rather than develop, events tourism strategies. Finally, the importance of a number of incentives and disincentives for agencies to engage in inter-organisational relationships for events tourism strategy making is established. The final conceptual model depicts the themes within all four research issues and links between them to address the research problem. The conclusions of this research make a major contribution to events tourism theory and build upon theories in tourism strategy and inter-organisational relationships. Further research opportunities are presented by these conclusions and the conceptual model which may be explored using other methodologies or alternative research contexts. Practical implications of the research for policy makers and agency executives relate to policy-strategy linkages, public sector organisational arrangements for events tourism, strategy forms and processes and frameworks to engage stakeholders in inter-organisational relationships for strategy making. Knowledge of incentives and disincentives for these inter-organisational relationships also provides a platform for events agencies to reflect upon and revise their modes of governance for events tourism strategy making.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Tourism and Hotel Management

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event management

event marketing

events management

events marketing

events tourism


public sector agencies


strategic planning

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