AbstractThis study explains the organisation of tourism providers on remote touring tracks (RTT) as geographically distributed teams (GDTs). The GDT framework adopted comprised seven elements: geographic dispersion, information and communication technologies (ICTs), team membership, cultural diversity, shared mindset, collaboration, and leadership. An inputs-processes-outcomes (I-P-O) model was adopted to configure the elements of the GDT framework and to highlight their dynamic and interdependent nature.
A case study research design was adopted. Two similar cases, the Gunbarrel Highway and the Oodnadatta Track were chosen. Data were collected using internet mediated research (IMR) and a field study involving interviews, on-site observations and documentation collation. The elements of the GDT framework were used as codes for classifying data. A cross case analysis provided an integrated picture of both sites.
The results present a rich description of the organisation of tourism providers on RTTs, characterised by remoteness, disconnectedness, and significant degrees of geographic dispersion. The results also indicated a nucleus of capability associated with each element of the GDT framework. This capability was underdeveloped but offered latent potential. Leadership emerged as a pivotal element. The utility of the GDT lens as a diagnostic framework and as a prognostic tool was affirmed.
This study makes important contributions to both theory and practice. The use of GDTs as a theoretical lens to better understand RTTs adds a fresh dimension to the analysis of remote tourism destinations. By conceptualising tourism providers as a team, the focus expands to encompass the synergy produced by the collective of tourism providers in addition to individual contributions. The study is of practical significance to tourism providers on RTTs, as it provides insight into the practical functioning of these destinations. It also identifies and classifies tourism providers, their locations and how they interact. These insights have the potential to assist tourism providers reflect on current practice and consider future possibilities.
|Date of Award
|Dean Carson (Supervisor)