Developing Innovation Capability in the Hotel Industry, Who and What is Important? A Mixed Methods Approach

VGR Chandran, Tariq Ahmed, Fedwa Jebli, Alexander Josiassen*, Eva Lang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This study employs a sequential mixed methods design to examine the dynamic roles of leadership, customer orientation, and customer collaboration on the innovation capability and performance of Malaysian hotels. An exploratory qualitative assessment based on semi-structured interviews was conducted to provide a comprehensive understanding of the contextual environment and establish a robust conceptual framework. A confirmatory survey among Malaysian hotel managers allowed for the empirical testing of the hypotheses. The results suggest that customer orientation is a key element that directly promotes hotels' innovation capabilities. The results further show that the influence of customer collaboration on innovation can be enhanced by a transformational leader. Improvements in innovation capabilities have lasting effects on hotel performance, underscoring their strategic importance in the dynamic hospitality sector. These findings offer important implications for top management and decision-making personnel seeking to leverage innovation as a means of improving performance and gaining a competitive edge.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTourism Economics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)728-748
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

Bibliographical note

Published online: 01 June 2023.


  • Innovation capability
  • Transformational leadership
  • Customer orientation
  • Customer collaboration
  • Hotel performance

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