Volunteer tourism is a relatively new but growing phenomenon within the U.S. and abroad as tourists increasingly seek to incorporate volunteer activities into their vacations. Within the volunteer tourism domain, a plethora of collaborative relationships exists between the organizations that organize the volunteers and those that host the volunteers or Volunteer Management Organizations. Unlike traditional tourism, public and private sector organizations all operate within the volunteer tourism domain. This represents a shift in the traditional tourism model. This research seeks to better understand the collaborative relationships that develop across two or more of the three institutional structures of society: civil society, government, and business.
Research has shown that collaboration between government, business, and civil society has expanded in focus and role in recent years (Googins & Rochlin, 2000). As the practice of “cross-sector partnership” has grown, so has the research attempting to explain these relationships (e.g. Butterfield, Reed, & Lemak, 2004; Gray, 1989, 2006; Huxham & Vangen, 2000; Klitgaard & Treverton, 2003; Lasker, Weiss, & Miller, 2001; Parker & Selsky, 2004).
Building upon this literature, the present study focuses specifically on cross-sector partnerships made up of governmental and non-governmental organizations involved with the management of volunteer tourism. The growing body of knowledge involving collaboration and cross-sector partnerships serves as a foundation for better understanding this emerging and rapidly growing area.
What determines the success of a partnership is the subject of significant research (Mohr & Spekman, 1994). Scholars have argued that aspects such as partner behavior, communication strategies, and conflict management techniques may have some bearing on the ultimate success of partnerships.
Within the tourism literature and specifically, volunteer tourism, the factors that contribute to partnership success have not been fully evaluated. Existing research suggests that intangible factors, such as the existence of trust, may be predictors of success.
This research takes a cross-disciplinary approach by exploring key factors of partnership success through the adaptation of factors previously identified within other relevant bodies of literature including social science and management literature. Partner behavioral attitudes, communication methods, and conflict resolution techniques were empirically tested to explore any relationship between these factors and the success of partnerships involving volunteer tourism management organizations.
The findings suggest that intangible aspects of partner behavior including trust, commitment, and management involvement may contribute to successful partnerships. Additionally, the research suggests that the quality of communication among partners and the willingness to share information among partners may lead to greater collaboration.
As volunteer tourism continues to grow, understanding the factors that contribute to partnership success will help managers and policy makers implement strategies and structures to support the evolution and growth of these partnerships.
|Advisor:||Hawkins, Donald E.|
|Commitee:||Rivera, Jorge, Yu, Larry (Liang)|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/07, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Management, Public administration, Recreation|
|Keywords:||Cross-sector partnerships, Federal lands, Tourism, Volunteer tourism, Volunteerism, Voluntourism|
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