Innovation Within SMEs in Touristic Districts: A Study of Successful Implementation of Linked Open Data Strategies: A Field Research on the Implementation of an Open Interorganizational Information System

Guendalina Falanga

Student thesis: Master thesis


The usage of inter-organizational information systems within touristic networks has been proved to foster collaborative practices and behaviors, supporting the competitiveness of tourism destination. However, the body of knowledge on IOIS empowered by open data policies and the consequential successful outcomes impacting small and medium touristic enterprises are yet to be substantially developed, given the novelty of ODP integration within touristic information systems and the scarcity of holistic measurement metrics. The present study approaches the implementation of an open inter-organizational system within a specific touristic destination, Zell am See/Kaprun, part of the SalzburgerLand touristic district, where open data strategies represent a cornerstone of the agenda for sustainable tourism development. The final aim of the research consists in the assessment of the benefits engendered by this peculiar system to the small local actors involved in order to provide practical insights informing the existent body of knowledge and further research. The study approach concerns the analysis of the technological implementation as a direct component on collaborative production. Moreover, the structural and relational dimensions of social capital have been analyzed to unfold the set of indirect impacts generated by the IOIS implementation. Videlicet, the research approach is based on the socio-technical environment surrounding SMEs within a touristic network. In order to answer the prefixed research question, a qualitative method has been applied to data gathering. Six open-ended interviews were conducted among SMEs representatives. The main insights are grouped under two overall categories: firstly, universal access illustrates direct benefits of the IOIS. The research unfold the importance of data quality, update and integration, and of the IOIS infrastructure in order to overcome technology-related constraints typical of SMEs and to sustain operational and strategic outcomes. The second category, universal participation, depicts indirect benefits molded by the social relationships. The practical implications present some major findings regarding the enhancement of collaborative production practices, as the role of prior ties, the degree of shared goals and the governance’s influence, that enrich the existent body of knowledge. Moreover, the research identifies several barriers to a successful IOIS implementation that may hamper the ODP effectivity in the long-term. Managerial implications highlight practices to overcome these issues in order to ensure network competitiveness. Given the specificity of the technological choice and the subjectivity of the social context proper of touristic network, results are specific to the particular case and caution is required when generalizing the main findings to other typologies of IOIS/contexts.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages95
SupervisorsMads Bødker