Filosofinen tiedekunta, 2010
Julkisjohtaminen: European Civil Servants - kansainvälisen hallinnon ohjelma
There has been a growing tendency towards formulation of strategies in many sectors of the society. The aim of strategies is to deal with the environment, to be successful, to develop activities and to coordinate them. Thus strategy and strategic approach has been on the agenda of public management as well. According to governance approach the societal actors, both public and private, jointly participate in development of activities. In this sense, collaboration and capacity for combining actors’ resources in regional activities is necessary in creating a wealthy region. The common aims and measures are vital in developing tourism activities. The context of tourism is dependent on national and regional emphases.
The aim of this study is to examine regional tourism strategy processes of certain regions in Austria, in Finland and in Sweden from comparative perspective. The focus of this thesis is in collaboration and knowledge use in regional tourism strategy processes. Both differences and similarities between the empirical research objects are examined through comparative perspective. The research questions are related to the purpose of cooperation in tourism strategy processes, role of interaction and the use of knowledge resource in processes.
The theoretical framework of this thesis is based on theoretical discussion on strategy, governance and inter-organizational approaches. Additionally, comparative method is described. The theoretical part of this thesis consists of domestic and international literature on administrative sciences and on inter-organizational theory. The literature includes both books and articles.
This study is qualitative in nature. The research data is based on interviews, which include respondents from each country. In addition to the interviews, also electronic sources and other web publications are used in this thesis.
In this research both similarities and differences are examined. The central findings and results are related to creating and maintaining of collaboration related to regional tourism strategy process. The emphases on collaborative structures and the starting points for collaboration differ among the empirical research objects, but similarities can still be recognized. The bases for strategic measures arise from the needs of the regions and thus the natures of the goals differ. Interaction is an important factor in creating and maintaining cooperation. On the basis of this research, knowledge can be divided into actors’ knowledge and into knowledge based on facts, which both are significant in the processes. A great number of actors, for example municipalities, companies, entrepreneurs and development organizations have interests on development of tourism activities.
The first conclusion of this study is that tourism is a field of different actors and organizations with differing resources. This affects participation and interaction in joint arrangements. However, actors need to have willingness to collaborate with each other so that constant interaction can occur. The actors have knowledge as a resource, which is important in formulation of common goals. Additionally, knowledge based on facts is needed to achieve information from the environment. As a general conclusion it can be presented that collaboration can create more collaboration and that collaboration is needed in order to develop tourism activities.
collaboration, cooperation, strategy, comparison, knowledge, tourism