Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Ecotourism and environmental sustainability knowledge: An open knowledge sharing approach among stakeholders

  • Jean Marie Ip-Soo-Ching (a1), Suzanne Zyngier (a2) and Tahmid Nayeem (a3)
Abstract

The discipline of knowledge management (KM) considers knowledge as potentially the most valuable organisational asset that must be shared among staff and stakeholders and even communities in order to yield considerable returns and benefits. However, in a real-world context, managers in industries such as high technology, manufacturing and finance jealously guard their valuable knowledge and prevent other entities from gaining access to this resource. Open cases of knowledge sharing among stakeholders such as staff, customers, business partners, competitors and the public are rare. Therefore, the philosophical premise of KM — knowledge must be openly shared — is often unrealised. Knowledge of environmental sustainability is a valuable resource for ecotourism operators because they operate in natural environments such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Sipadan Marine Park in Malaysia, and depend on the quality of these environments for their ongoing success. This research provides evidence that knowledge dissemination in the form of environmental sustainability knowledge can be openly shared among staff, customers, competitors and the public, thereby linking KM and environmental education. This article provides an interpretivist analysis of knowledge sharing by innovative ecotourism operators in Australia and South East Asia (Malaysia and Thailand). Data were collected through in-depth interviews with 14 executives, field observations and analysis of company documents. Results from this research found that ecotourism managers are passionate believers of environmental sustainability and benevolently share their valuable organisational knowledge and beliefs with all stakeholders.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Email: jeanmarieip@hotmail.com
References
Hide All
Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water Pollution and Communities. (2010). National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development. Retrieved from http://www.environment.gov.au/about/esd/publications/strategy/intro.html
Bock, G., Zmud, R., Kim, Y., & Lee, J. (2005). Behavioral intention formation in knowledge sharing: Examining the Roles of extrinsic motivators, social-psychological forces, and organizational climate. MIS Quarterly, 29, 87111.
Bos, L., McCabe, S., & Johnson, S. (2015). Learning never goes on holiday: An exploration of social tourism as a context for experiential learning. Current Issues in Tourism, 18, 859875.
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77101.
Brookes, A. (1999). Nature-based tourism as education for sustainability: Possibilities, limitations, contradictions. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 15, 2330.
Bryant, N. (2011). Australia’s Great Barrier Reef ‘at risk from pesticide’. Retrieved October 13, 2011, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14516253
Casimir, G., Lee, K., & Loon, M. (2012). Knowledge sharing: Influences of trust, commitment and cost. Journal of Knowledge Management, 16, 740753.
Cater, E., & Lowman, G. (1994). Ecotourism: A sustainable option? Chichester, NY: John Wiley and Sons.
Cavaleri, S. A. (2004). Principles for designing pragmatic knowledge management systems. The Learning Organization, 11, 312321.
Cousteau, J. Y. [Director]. (1991). Borneo: The ghost of the sea turtle [Documentary]. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Video.
Davenport, T. H., & Prusak, L. (1998). Working knowledge. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Deshpande, R. (1983). ‘Paradigms lost’: On theory and method in research in marketing. The Journal of Marketing, 47, 101110.
Eisenhardt, K. M., & Graebner, M. E. (2007). Theory building from cases: Opportunities and challenges. Academy of Management Journal, 50, 2532.
Foss, N. J., Husted, K., & Michailova, S. (2010). Governing knowledge sharing in organizations: Levels of analysis, governance mechanisms, and research directions. Journal of Management Studies, 47, 455482.
Glesne, C., & Peshkin, A. (1992). Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction. New York, NY: Longman Publishing Group.
Grant, R. M., & Baden-Fuller, C. (1995). A knowledge-based theory of inter-firm collaboration. Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, 1995, 1721.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). (2009). Great barrier reef outlook report 2009: In brief. Townsville, Australia: Author.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). (2011). www.gbrmpa.gov.au/zoning-permits-and-plans/permits.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). (2014). Great Barrier Reef Region Strategic Assessment: Strategic assessment report. Townsville, Australia: Author.
Green, R. (2005). Community perceptions of environmental and social change and tourism development on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 25, 756.
Guggenheim, D. (Director). (2006). An inconvenient truth: A global warning [DVD]. Hollywood, CA: Paramount.
Haas, M. R., & Cummings, J. M. (2015) Barriers to knowledge seeking within MNC teams: Which differences matter most? Journal of International Business Studies, 46, 3662.
Hall, C. M., & Page, S. (2011). Tourism in South and South East Asia: Issues and cases. New York, NY: Routledge.
Hau, Y. S., Kim, B., Lee, H., & Kim, Y. G. (2013). The effects of individual motivations and social capital on employees’ tacit and explicit knowledge sharing intentions. International Journal of Information Management, 33, 356366.
Heizmann, H., & Olsson, M. R. (2015). Power matters: The importance of Foucault’s power/knowledge as a conceptual lens in KM research and practice. Journal of Knowledge Management, 19, 756769.
Husted, K., & Michailova, S. (2002). Diagnosing and fighting knowledge-sharing hostility. Organizational Dynamics, 31, 6073.
Ip-Soo-Ching, J.-M. & Veerapa, N. (2015). Permaculture: An insight into kitchen gardens operated by an environmental and eco-tourism operator in the Maldives and Thailand. Acta Horticulturae, 1088, 633636.
Ip-Soo-Ching, J.-M., & Zyngier, S. (2014). The rise of ‘Environmental Sustainability Knowledge’ in business strategy and entrepreneurship: An IT enabled knowledge-based view of tourism operators. In Ordóñez de Pablos, P. (Ed.), International business strategy and entrepreneurship and information technology perspective (pp. 2340). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Karagiannis, S., & Apostolou, A. (2004). Knowledge management in eco-tourism: A case study. Practical Aspects of Knowledge Management, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 336, 508521.
Kennedy, D. (2012). Half of Great Barrier Reef ‘disappeared’ in past 27 years. Retrieved October 2, 2010, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19796890.
Leonard-Barton, D. (1992). Core capabilities and core rigidities: A paradox in managing new product development. Strategic Management Journal, 13, 111125.
Lundberg, C., Fredman, P., & Wall-Reinius, S. (2014). Going for the green? The role of money among nature-based tourism entrepreneurs. Current Issues in Tourism, 17, 373380.
Maher, M. (1986). Environmental stewardship: ‘Where there’s a will, is there a way?’. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 2, 710.
Marshall, M. (1996). Sampling for qualitative research. Family Practice, 13, 522526.
Mills, A. M., & Smith, T. A. (2011). Knowledge management and organizational performance: A decomposed view. Journal of Knowledge Management, 15, 156171.
Murphy, M., Watson, R., & Moore, S. (1991). Encouraging water saving: The role of knowledge, attitudes, and intention. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 7, 7178.
Musa, G. (2002). Sipadan: A scuba-diving paradise: An analysis of tourism impact, diver satisfaction and tourism management. Tourism Geographies: An International Journal of Tourism Space, Place and Environment, 4, 195209.
Newsome, D., Moore, S. A., & Dowling, R. K. (2013). Natural area tourism: Ecology, impacts and management. Bristol, UK: Channel View Publications.
Nonaka, I., & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge creating company: How Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovations. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Nonaka, I., Toyama, R., & Hirata, T. (2008). Managing flow: A process theory of the knowledge-based firm. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
North, C., & Hutson, G. (2011). Environmental myopia: The case for bifocals. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 2, 229237.
O’Gorman, K. D., MacLaren, A. C., & Bryce, D. (2014). A call for renewal in tourism ethnographic research: The researcher as both the subject and object of knowledge. Current Issues in Tourism, 17, 4659.
Patterson, T. M., Bastianoni, S., & Simpson, M. (2006). Tourism and climate change: Two-way street, or vicious/virtuous circle? Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 14, 339348.
Prahalad, C. K., & Hamel, G. (1990). The core competence of the corporation. Harvard Business Review, 68(3), 7991.
Rabinow, P., & Sullivan, W. M. (1988). Interpretive social science: A second look (2nd ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Rakić, T., & Chambers, D. (2010). Innovative techniques in tourism research: An exploration of visual methods and academic filmmaking. International Journal of Tourism Research, 12, 379389.
Sabah Parks. (2017). US tech to beat fish bombing. Retrieved September 12, 2018, from http://www.sabahparks.org.my/index.php/sabah-parks-latest-news/242-us-tech-to-beat-fish-bombing
Schofield, J. W. (2002). Increasing the generalizability of qualitative research. In Huberman, A. M. & Miles, M. B. (Eds.), The qualitative researcher’s companion. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Sokhanvar, S., Matthews, J., & Yarlagadda, P. (2014). Importance of knowledge management processes in a project-based organization: A case study of research enterprise. Procedia Engineering, 97, 18251830.
Spender, J. (1993). Competitive advantage from tacit knowledge? Unpacking the concept and its strategic implications. Management Annual Meeting Proceedings, 8, 3741.
Thomas, C., Jennings, P., & Lloyd, B. (2008). Issues in renewable energy education. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 24, 6773.
Thompson, C. J., Locander, W. B., & Pollio, H. R. (1989). Putting consumer experience back into consumer research: The philosophy and method of existential-phenomenology. Journal of Consumer Research, 16, 133146.
Walker, B., & Redmond, J. (2014). Changing the environmental behaviour of small business owners: The business case. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 30, 254268.
Wiig, K. M. (1997). Knowledge management: Where did it come from and where will it go? Expert Systems with Applications, 13, 114.
Wong, P. (1998). Coastal tourism development in Southeast Asia: Relevance and lessons for coastal zone management. Ocean & Coastal Management, 38(2), 89109.
Wongthong, P., & Harvey, N. (2014). Integrated coastal management and sustainable tourism: A case study of the reef-based SCUBA dive industry from Thailand. Ocean & Coastal Management, 95, 138146.
Yang, T. M., & Maxwell, T. A. (2011). Information-sharing in public organizations: A literature review of interpersonal, intra-organizational and inter-organizational success factors. Government Information Quarterly, 28, 164175.
Yin, R. K. (1984). Case study research: Design and methods. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publishing.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Australian Journal of Environmental Education
  • ISSN: 0814-0626
  • EISSN: 2049-775X
  • URL: /core/journals/australian-journal-of-environmental-education
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed