Imitation strategies and interfirm networks in the tourism industry: A structure–agency approach
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Destination Marketing & Management 10.1016/j.jdmm.2018.01.003
The paper investigates the association between tourism firms’ imitation strategies and the interfirm network structure in which they are embedded. In particular, it analyzes how imitation contributes to (1) tie formation and (2) clustered structures. It also tests reverse relationships; i.e. how tie formation and clustered structures cause imitation. The paper combines network and survey data within and across nine Norwegian destinations. Estimations with instrumental variables show that imitation is an effect, and probably also a cause, of the network structure. More specifically, clustered structures increase imitation, which increases firms’ involvement and tie formation activities with other firms in the interfirm network. The study illustrates how the structure-agency duality can be addressed in a tourism destination context.