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Title: Marketing, innovation and business relations in Scotland's rural hotel industry : a regional development perspective
Author: Edmond, Helen
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 3914
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2009
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The research examines strategic marketing practices involved in knowledge development and innovation in Scotland’s rural hotels, as well as the business relations which potentially support this.  The research draws on regional development  literature – especially that concerned with innovation and flows of knowledge between small businesses.  Rural development, tourism and hotel industry literatures are used to ground the research within a rural and wider tourism industry context.  Referring to the critique of regional development literature, the role of different forms of proximity and the influence of competition in business relations are assessed.  In doing so, the wider applicability of regional development concepts is tested and considered.  Implications for public sector policy and support are assessed, with reference to tensions between rural development approaches and those adopted in Scottish tourism policy.  The research uses a multi-method approach involving quantitative postal survey data, supplemented by qualitative interview data.  Both marketing and relational activities were found to be limited in scope, focusing on short term, sales-oriented activities.  Attitudes to co-operation varied depending on competitive considerations and the stage of the marketing process involved: trust-based issues, sectoral characteristics and internal business factors being influential.  Geographical and organisational proximity were both found to be insufficient in supporting co-operation, geographical proximity even being detrimental in certain sets of relations.  Public sector policy does not sufficiently address the constraints and opportunities facing smaller tourism businesses in their marketing and innovation activities.  In both policy and theoretical terms there may be scope to avoid unnecessary polarisation between local and wider development, recognising a role for local or regional resources and development processes in achieving national objectives – simultaneously taking advantage of both competitive and co-operative approaches to relations and making use of local and extra-local inputs and networks.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Tourism ; Hotels ; Marketing ; Small business