Exploring Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scenarios in a Portuguese Hospitality Group

Exploring Entrepreneurship and Innovation Scenarios in a Portuguese Hospitality Group

Luísa Cagica Carvalho
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8216-0.ch009
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Innovation and entrepreneurship are important topics associated with management studies. Research into the hospitality companies, especially within the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation, continue little studied mainly with respect to the development of empirical studies applied to these companies. The aim of this study is to understand the innovation and entrepreneurship process in hospitality companies using a theoretical model proposed by Timmons. To achieve the objective of this study, the empirical part uses a case study methodology applied to hospitality Portuguese group. The intent of the present study is to give some solid contributions to literature on this subject, and provide some contributions to support future studies about innovation and entrepreneurship process in hospitality companies. The theoretical model used considers different dimensions to study entrepreneurship and innovation, such as, search and identification of opportunities, people and resources, and their influence on entrepreneurial activity. This chapter provides important clues about the importance of human resources and financial resources to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in hospitality companies.
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Innovation in the service sector assumes some particularities (Carvalho, 2010, Pires, Sarkar & Carvalho, 2008) emerged in recent years some studies applied to the hospitality services subsector (Carvalho, 2011, 2014, Carvalho & Fernandes, 2013).

The concept of innovation evolved due to the influence and growth of service economy. And, also driven from the boom of technology, information and communication companies since the eighties. The assumption of intangibility in the definition of innovation is reflected in the fact that industries become gradually being recognized for their innovative potential (Miles, 2001; OECD & Eurostat, 2005). According Weiermair (2001) and Keller (2006a), although the services sector and subsector of tourism in particular, have become mature, and require innovation and new tourist attractions.

Tourism services reveal some particularities, are essentially personal and their creation involves internal factors (employees) and external factors (customers) (Smith, 1994). According to Heskett (1986), a successful innovation, i.e. innovation that is profitable for the tourism business in a competitive market, should increase the value of the product or the tourist experience.

Tourist activity is deeply rooted spatially (by engaging heritage, attractions and accommodation facilities). Tourism also involves activities that have proximity to recreation services (cultural, sports and recreational facilities). Since both approaches are affected by industrialization, the development of practical short-term influence of innovations in urban tourism on the provision of leisure activities (casinos, museums, special events, etc.). Stresses the convergence and becomes difficult to establish a clear boundary between them (Decelle, 2004).

This chapter aims to study innovation and entrepreneurship in hospitality companies. To achieve the objectives this chapter is divided in two main parts. The first part presents a literature review about innovation particularities of service sector, innovation in tourism and typologies and innovation in hospitality sector. And the second part present the theoretical model provided by Timmons (1994) and the case study applied to Portuguese hospitality group.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Entrepreneurship: The act of setting out on your own and starting a business or a type of entrepreneurial activity carried out in already established organizations (intra entrepreneurship).

Service Sector: An industry made up of companies that primarily earn revenue through providing intangible products and services. Service industry companies are involved in retail, transport, distribution, food services, as well as other service-dominated businesses. Also called service sector, tertiary sector of industry.

Hospitality Sector: A broad category of fields within the service industry that includes, accommodation, lodging, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line, etc. and additional fields within the tourism industry.

Case Study: A form of qualitative descriptive research that is used to look at individuals, a small group of participants, or a group as a whole. Researchers collect data about participants using participant and direct observations, interviews, protocols, tests, examinations of records, and collections of writing samples. Starting with a definition of the case study, the guide moves to a brief history of this research method.

Innovation: A new way of doing something and can be understand as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, in-articulated needs, or existing market needs.

Tourism: The business of providing services for people on holiday, for example hotels, restaurants, and trips.

Entrepreneurial Resource: A resource would be anything that would help entrepreneurs to develop their business.

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