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Innovation in Swedish hotels

Journal article
Authors Wajda Wikhamn
John Armbrecht
Björn Remneland Wikhamn
Published in International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Volume 30
Issue 6
Pages 2481-2498
ISSN 0959-6119
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Business Administration
Department of Business Administration, Marketing Group
Pages 2481-2498
Language en
Keywords Innovation, Hotels, Hospitality, Sweden, research-and-development, service innovation, incremental innovation, tourism, performance, industry, firms, strategy, product, organizations, Social Sciences - Other Topics, Business & Economics, phee c, 2015, technol innov ma feb, p3
Subject categories Economics and Business


Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess innovation in the hotel sector in Sweden and to investigate how structural and organizational factors influence hotel's likelihood of producing service/product, process, organizational and marketing innovations. Design/methodology/approach This paper is based on responses from 174 hotels with membership in the Swedish hotel association. Responses were collected via a web-based survey. Findings This paper provides insights about the nature and extent of innovations in the hotel sector. Although traditionally considered rigid and non-innovative, around half of the responding hotels produced at least one type of innovation. Most common are service/product and marketing innovations. A hotel's likelihood of innovating depends largely on structural independence (non-chain), having an explicit innovation strategy and investing in non-traditional R&D. Research limitations/implications Because of the chosen design (convenience sampling), the results of this paper may lack generalizability. Therefore, future research is encouraged to test the hypotheses further. Practical implications Managers in the hospitality industry can influence the production of innovations in the hotel sector. By promoting flexibility, defining and communicating an innovation strategy, and engaging in non-traditional R&D activities, practitioners can better respond to the changing business environment. Originality/value This paper presents a systematic, and internationally recognized, method for assessing four types of innovation in the hotel sector. Its originality stems also from its approach to investigating how key structural and organizational factors, when considered in the same analysis, predict service/product, process, organizational and marketing innovations.

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