My research project
A realist evaluation on SMEs in sustainable tourism: how can the socialization of learning re-shape institutional frameworks?
This study aims to investigate local SMEs’ engagement with sustainability practices from the point of view of organisational learning and behaviour change as a result of government interventions. Specific research objectives are: 1 – to understand the motivations and/or barriers for SMEs to engage in sustainability practices, and develop an institutional theory framework to shed light on the value of the socialisation of sustainability learning 2 – to design and conduct experiments by making changes in the current programme in order to develop mid-range theories that will be tested 3.1 – to monitor the implementation of the subsequent sustainability practices by these firms and their impact in the destination, so as to identify causality paths between specific and individual sustainability behaviours and changes in a global frame 3.2 – to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the government intervention, by means of using a realist evaluation approach as a theoretical framework Improve organisational learning and tourism SMEs commitment to sustainability practices can facilitate the development of effective training from policy-makers. We need strategies that help organisations and destinations achieve sustainability efficiently, and foster collaborative work in a way that tourism sustainability becomes the norm rather than an out-of-reach goal.
Linear logic models are insufficient to understand how interventions work in complex areas such as sustainable tourism. We present Participatory Systems Mapping (PSM), a novel method to develop shared understandings and collective management of complex policy issues among stakeholders. We use PSM with stakeholders in Barcelona to support the design of an upcoming evaluation of an existing sustainability programme. Discussion during workshops, and analysis of the PSM map produced, suggest sharing best practices and improving peer-to-peer learning are pivotal to improving sustainability. We show how a complex systems approach, implemented via PSM, can provide a more holistic understanding of the contexts and interactions of tourism policy. We offer learning and guidance on how the method can be used by others.
Rackauskaite, N., Al Kindi, F., Rabess, N., Sidorova, V., Suno Wu, J., & Ebanks, S. (2016). Services Industry: An Assessment of Social Media Campaigns and the Importance of Consumer Engagement. Iscontour 2016 Tourism Research Perspectives: Tourism Research Perspectives, 43.