Strategic Success and Organisational Structure in Winter Sport Destinations : a multiple stakeholder approach to measuring organisational performance in Scandinavian and Swiss case studies

University dissertation from Östersund : ETOUR

Abstract: Winter sports destinations are on the one hand suffering from stagnating markets while on the other hand investments in capacity and continuous upgrading are taking place in many destinations. This situation creates challenges for the industry with respect to international competition. In addition, within the destinations the industry is facing tests of responsibility in managing the natural, social and cultural environment. Within this context the organisational structure of the destination may play a significant role in achieving success. This thesis aims to contribute to knowledge on the effect of organisational structures on success in winter sports destinations. The theoretical foundation for this thesis is borrowed from the strategic management literature supplemented with the literature on destinations. From this basis the framework for the research is built and propositions on performance of organisational structures developed. Basically the research is founded on a qualitative approach.Comparative case studies of Scandinavian and Swiss destinations form the empirical platform where the performance of two generic destination models are compared. These two models are labelled the "community model" and the "corporate model". The "community model" is characterised by a fragmented structure of small players with relatively strong local government influence. The "corporate model", on the other hand, is dominated by a "ski corporation" in which a strategic mass of the destination service providers is consolidated . Exploratory studies are carried out in order to identify performance dimensions of winter sports destinations. With the intention of applying a multiple stakeholder approach for measuring performance, a study is made to identify and prioritise stakeholders in winter sports destinations. A key conclusion after discussion of the results in this thesis is that the "corporate model" may outperform the community model although not all indicators support this conclusion. Implications for management and an agenda for further research are offered at the end of the thesis.  

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