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İşletmelerde Yeniliklerin Kaynağı Olarak Paydaş Diyalogları: Seyahat Acentaları Üzerine Nitel Bir Araştırma

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Author(s): Dilek DÖNMEZ | İlknur ÇEVİK

Journal: Selcuk Universitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitusu Dergisi
ISSN 1302-1796

Issue: 24;
Start page: 189;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Stakeholders | stakeholder dialogues | innovation | travel agencies.

ABSTRACT
Companies are today faced with increasing demand for detailed information regarding the social and environmental impactsof their business activities. In seeking to improve the level of public trust and understanding of corporate activity, manyorganizations have participated in stakeholder dialogue (Burchell and Cook, 2006). Dialogue with stakeholders has been studiedmost prominently from the stakeholder theory approach. However, as Hart and Sharma (2004) recently pointed out, currentapproaches do not consider ‘‘the potential for engaging stakeholders to understand ‘future change’ or to resolve the radicaluncertainty of constantly evolving knowledge. Businesses obtain information they need through stakeholder dialogues. Differentactors lead to different kinds of dialogue such as an investor’s dialogue, a consumer’s dialogue or a multi-stakeholder dialogue.Different objectives and strategies lead to different forms of dialogue such as explorative dialogue, learning dialogue,confrontational dialogue or a dialogue which aims at common action. (Stückelberger, 2009). The first step in achieving aneffective stakeholder dialogue is to determine who are the stakeholders that their business (Starik vd., 1996). The call forstakeholder communication is nothing new. The bestseller In Search of Excellence, by Tom Peters and Bob Waterman,popularized "management by walking around" as early as 1988, and management approaches too numerous to list have promotedthis theme (Phillips, 2004:1-4). Literature about stakeholder dialogue has emphasized the value creation of dialogue withstakeholders. A proactive dialogue will provide creativity and innovation in business (Flick, 1998; Isaacs, 1993). In additiondialogue provide information about market conditions and business environment. Dialogue is not in their business but alsoprovides access to information. Later sustainable business policies and activities of this information will be used as input (Collinsve Usher, 2004). Through a participatory approach and stakeholder dialogue barriers to innovation of enterprises will beeliminated. Accordingly, stakeholder dialogue is seen as an opportunity for businesses in their innovation process (Zoubi vd.,2006). Innovation are also important in the tourism sector. Innovation is required to ensure sustainability in the tourism sector(Hjalager, 1997). One of the companies need to innovation is travel agencies. Travel agents have one of the basic product:information. Today, travel agents sell their customers something more than a travel or holiday. Travel agencies sell informationand receive feedback about their service (Abbey, 1993:545). Because of their work with the travel agencies are in need ofinformation from stakeholders. Travel agents contribute to their development process (new products and services) with theinformation they obtained from stakeholders.Based on these literature, the purpose of this paper was to shed some light on the under-researched issue of linkingstakeholder dialogue and innovation in businesses. The review of the literature showed that there is a need for theoretical andempirical research on this important issue. Stakeholder theory proposes a perspective of the firm that essentially incorporates thewider environment, i.e. the firm must learn to understand the needs, expectations and values of groups previously perceived to beexternal to the company: stakeholders. Within the scope of the work, qualitative research method has been used in collecting thedata from travel agents . Therefore, questions draft has been prepared in conformity with the objectives of the work and takinginto consideration the respective literature and previous works on this subject. Later, it is requested from the two managers oftravel agents to share their opinions regarding the questions. So, at the end of the process, some questions and explanations wererearranged and the questionnaire was finalized. We selected 15 travel agents which has been in İstanbul. The data were collectedbetween 1st February and 30th May 2010 in-depth semi-structured interviews with relevant managers in their office. While thequestions were left as open as possible, the interviewees were asked about how the taravel agent was managing the dialogues with stakeholders generally, and in the case of employees, customers, hotels specifically, and how stakeholder dialogues adapt toorganizational innovation processes. The findings of this study are as follows: Participants have generally stated stakeholderswhich directly affect their activities as employees, customers, business hotels and tour operators. Through the findings, travelagents are largely establishing a dialogue at the local level with employees, a dialogue at the all level with hotel business andcustomers. All travel agencies stated that they had established dialogue with employees frequently. travel agents have expressedrarely or not at all dialogue with tour operators.While travel agents have informal dialogues with employees, tour operator, hotelbusinesses, airline companies, competitors and non-governmental organizations and associations, they have formal dialogues withcustomers, universities car rental companies, restaurants, bus companies, embassies and public authorities. Method of establishinga dialogue with employees are regular meetings and a direct dialogue; with hotel businesses, airline companies and restaurants are adirect dialogue, e-mail and web site; with tour operators, competitors and non-governmental organizations and associations are adirect dialogue; with customer are a direct dialogue, e-mail, web site, customer survey. Travel agents stated that they had benefitedfrom the dialogues of employees, customers, hotel businesses and competitors about topics of quality, customer satisfaction,technology, human resources, innovation, leadership. According to the results of the study it appears that stakeholder dialogue isnothing new to the tourism industry, hotel businesses, travel agents and etc. Stakeholder dialogue involves all stakeholder with aoncern in a two-way communication and all types of stakeholders in decision making and implementation efforts in travel agents.Travel agents must understant like any other businesses stakeholder dialogue is generative-discourages blaming for the past andcreates a shared future. Because active and constructive dialogue with stakeholders improves how the travel agents formulate andimplement their business strategy. This study doesn’t represent all travel agents in Turkey. This study was based on a smallsample- 15 travel agents in İstanbul. But, it can serve a path to the potential researchers to test the theoretical approach of thisstudy with qualitative studies in different service and product industries. On the other hand further research should be performedto determine the underlying reasons for many of results of this study
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