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Title: Distributed leadership : lessons from destination management organisations
Author: Hristov, Dean
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 2194
Awarding Body: Bournemouth University
Current Institution: Bournemouth University
Date of Award: 2017
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Within a new funding and governance landscape, pooling knowledge and resources has become a fundamental prerequisite to ensuring the long-term sustainability of reshaped, yet financially-constrained Destination Management Organisations (DMOs), which face challenges to deliver value to their destinations and member organisations. Leadership and its distributed dimension, namely Distributed Leadership (DL) is a recent paradigm, which is gaining momentum in the domain of DMOs and destinations as a promising response to these challenges. The overarching aim of this study is to investigate how DMOs enact and practice DL and as such, serve as leadership networks in destinations following the organisational transformation of these DMOs within a new funding and governance landscape for DMOs and destinations in England. Three prominent domains from the broad organisational literature, namely DMOs and destinations, leadership and its distributed dimension, and Network theory and its practitioner tool SNA, both underpin and inform the cross-disciplinary approach embedded in this study. By adopting and adapting a recent organisational leadership framework (Hoppe & Reinelt, 2010), the underpinned study develops and puts into practice mixed- and multi-method- driven, three-phase methodological framework aimed at identifying the enactment and practice of DL in Destination Milton Keynes (DMK). The methodological framework fuses two strategic organisational literature domains, namely DL and SNA. Five core objectives contribute to addressing the overarching aim of this study, where the study first deconstructs and contextualises the shifting DMO concept, before defining the political and economic dimensions of its organisational context that influence change on a DMO level. The study then identifies an initial evidence of organisational change within the DMO in focus influenced by shifts in its organisational context, where the development and implementation of Destination Management Plans (DMPs) provide insights into the enactment of DL on a DMO level. The adopted Abductive approach to knowledge accumulation, which is founded on the continuous interplay between existing theoretical contributions and new empirical data, also supports the development of the DMO Leadership Cycle. Thirdly, after providing evidence of the enactment of DL through DMPs, the study investigates processes related to the practice of DL in DMK by adapting Hoppe and Reinelt’s (2010) framework for the evaluation of leadership development along with a number of structural and relational network properties. This results in the identification of six contrasting yet interconnected leader types within the organisation in focus. Building on this evidence of the enactment and practice of DL in DMK, the study formulates a response to key challenges to and opportunities for the enactment and practice of DL in DMK and reshaped DMOs in England through the perspective of both senior leaders representing DMO member organisations and policy-makers representing lead figures at Visit England. At last, driven by findings derived throughout the three phases of data collection, the study constructs a set of practitioner outputs, which may provide implications for DL practice in reshaped DMOs. Amongst these are guidelines for good leadership practice for reshaped DMOs to inform future leadership practice on a DMO level in the UK and the development of a methodological framework for the identification of DL in DMOs. Findings from this study build on the existing state of the literature on DMOs and destinations by constructing the DMO Leadership Cycle and its theoretical dimensions, the introduction of definitions of DMOs serving as leadership and DL networks in destinations, and building upon the leadership dimension of the DMO Leadership Cycle. Findings also build on the existing state of the DMO and destination leadership practice and the application of the DL paradigm in the context of DMOs and destinations in particular by shifting the focus from marketing and management to leadership and DL, the introduction of guidelines on good leadership practice for DMOs, constructing the DMO Leadership Cycle and its practitioner dimensions. Findings from this study build on the existing state of the literature on leadership and DL by introducing advances in the measurement of DL and the identification of DL behaviours and roles within networks. Findings also build on the existing state of leadership practice and the application of the DL paradigm in particular by providing practitioner insights on how leadership is distributed through an investigation in situ beyond traditional fields of application and across diverse organisations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available