Knowledge and Technology Transfer in Tourism SMEs

Knowledge and Technology Transfer in Tourism SMEs

João Lopes (ISAG - European Business School, Portugal & NECE, Research Centre in Business Science, University of Beira Interior, Portugal) and Luis Farinha (Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco (IPCB), Portugal & NECE, University of Beira interior, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0365-2.ch012


This chapter analyzes the dynamics underlying the mechanisms of transfer of knowledge and technology between academia and the tourism industry. Two interviews and research were applied to managers of SMEs. SMEs consider highly educated employees central to the knowledge transfer process, but do not give any incentive to their employees to graduate. It is not always possible to recruit young talents from higher education, as they prefer to go to work for large metropolises. The main barriers for collaboration in R&D academia-industry in the tourism sector are the cost, lack of interest on the part of higher education institutions, and the bureaucratic and time-consuming process. Regarding networking, SMEs agree that they create value, but also consider incorporating a regional innovation ecosystem. SMEs should use a competitive differentiation strategy.
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Theoretical Background Of Knowledge Transfer In Tourism

The transfer of knowledge in the tourism sector is a relatively recent issue. In this sense it is important to have some general notions before we approach the subject in the tourism sector. For this it is important to know what is meant by knowledge and transfer of knowledge.

Knowledge can be defined as a fluid combination of framed experiences, values, contextual information, and expert insights that provide a framework for assessing and incorporating new experiences and information (Davenport & Prusak, 1998). The knowledge transfer can be understood as an act of transferring knowledge from one entity to another. The transfer can be carried out within and between companies, between public and private sector organizations, between producers and clients (tourists), local community and between this community and tourist organizations. In the literature, many channels are identified through which knowledge can flow, such as seminars, observations, trade press and trade associations, labor mobility and networks (Czernek, 2017; Shaw & Williams, 2009; Weidenfeld, Williams, & Butler, 2010).

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