Thanasouras Gr. Athanasios[1] & Sakellaris Konstantinos[2]

ABSTRACT:Change is an evolving influence and an inevitable element of both societal and organizational vitality. Organizational change can be instructed intentionally by managers, it can be forced by certain changes in strategy or processes, it can grow gradually within a division or it can take place due to external demands. It can have an impact on all facets of the function of a tourism enterprise.

Taking into serious consideration certain change and growth strategies, managers can be able not only to ensure success in implementing key organizational changes, but also to compete successfully in the market arena and gain competitive advantage.

Keywords: Change management, Strategy, tourism enterprise/business, competitive advantage


Nowadays, with the rapid changes in technology, customer services and choices, increasing input costs, complicated products and, generally, a robust terrestrial competition, enterprises encounter a difficult situation, regarding change management, decision making and implementation and corporation of a wide variety of strategies (Haring et al., 1999). The above can be integrated with the fact that tourist managers have been criticized because of their inability to reinvent themselves in face of the fundamental changes in the external environment. The tourism industry is in a state of unique change. Undeniably, the new millennium has brought exceptional change and transformation. At this point it can be advantageous to mention events such as war, terrorism, political upheaval, airline restructuring, which have a deep impact on tourism enterprises. However, it comes into view that many executives are incapable of managing change and finds it increasingly difficult to clarify the impact these events are likely to have on tourism organizations. Facing this reality, enterprises should give their best and adopt an effective and appropriate strategy, in order to be competitive and successful.

Apart from the above, two implications should be taken into serious consideration, in order to be able to capture the framework of tourism industry and apply any change model and strategy in a tourism enterprise. Firstly, tourism is a complex product and it can be organized by type of travel, destination/activity type, travel cost/style and source market. Secondly, tourism enterprises must be seen under some distinctiveness, that is, customers are obliged to consume the tourist product the exact moment which is produced.

There are plenty of change models and growth strategies that dealing with managing change. Most of the fundamental theories pay attention to planned change, in order to improve, in some significant way, the operational efficiency of an organization. These models underline that an organization needs a clear vision of where it wants to move, a strategy of how it can achieve its goals and a method of keeping an eye and appraising where it stands in the progress procedure. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re bound to end up somewhere (Hill and Jones, 1995).

Strategy and Competitive advantage

Before proceeding in analyzing the main indicated issues, it would be beneficial to critically evaluate strategy and competitive advantage, in order the reader to be able to fully understand the specific sections of this paper.

  • Strategy: “Strategy is the direction and scope of an organization over the long term: which achieves advantage of an organization through its configuration of resources within a changing environment, to meet the needs of markets and to fulfill stakeholder expectations” (Johnson and Scholes, 1999, p. 10). Hill and Jones (1995) stressed that the key goal of strategy is to accomplish a competitive advantage. In order a company to be able to achieve this objective needs a two-divided stab. Firstly, an organization has to follow strategies that make use of its existing ‘core competencies’, that is, its resources and capabilities and, secondly, an enterprise needs to develop innovative competencies, so as to improve the firm’s long-term competitive position. According to Mintzberg (1998) strategy can be defined as ‘pattern, position, plan, ploy and perspective’. Pattern depicts a sequence of activities undertaken continually with or without a strategy. Hence, pattern may involve ‘tactics’ which may or may not have emerged from strategy. Position represents the ‘niche’ or the area an enterprise takes up and offers its resources, in order to deal with this framework. A strategic area can be acquired contrary to one competitor or too many of them. Strategy as plan is the procedure of creating a plan previous to any activity that occurs intentionally. That is why plan is a direction to go after and the pragmatic steps to carry, so as to achieve certain tasks. Ploy can be defined as a clear-cut ‘manoeuvre’ intended to outsmart competitors. Finally, perspective conveys the nature of an organization, the urge force of a firm and the communal philosophy.
  • Competitive Advantage: Competitive advantage is the term that it is employed to designate the approaches in which an organization effectively carry out business strategies aiming at ‘product differentiation, cost leadership and focus’ (Porter, 1985). According to Hill and Jones (1995), in the differentiation strategy the overall goal of the organization is to accomplish a competitive advantage by generating a product or service that is perceived by the customer to be inimitable in some significant route. In the focus strategy the organization wishes to ‘outperform competitors’ by attempting to produce products and services at a cost lower than the competitors, whilst the focus strategy varies from the other two, mainly because it is aimed at serving the requirements of a ‘limited customer group or segment’. It pays attention to a certain market ‘niche’ that can be delineated geographically, by segment of the product area or by the nature of the customer. What is more, Hill and Jones (1995) called attention on four factors that develop competitive advantage, namely, ‘efficiency, quality, innovation and customer responsiveness’. The above elements are ‘generic’ in terms of characterizing four central methods of reducing cost and accomplishing differentiation that any enterprise can embrace, no matter the industry, the products or the services that fabricates. It would be noteworthy to illustrate that the factors are closely related to each another.

Fundamental issues for change management

Bearing in mind that it has become more than apparent that a paradigm change for tourism strategy is inevitable, the following future criteria should be met by tourism enterprises, respecting change management:

  • Optimum impartiality from political settings in the field of marketing.
  • Maximum possible consideration of the customer-oriented destination notion at the formulation of management systems, cultivating simultaneously regional understanding with the objective to make stronger the identity of inhabitants and tourist performers within the region. Page (2003) stressed that change illustrates the development of tourism through the ages, since tourism is a vibrant phenomenon. Much of the change is based on the interaction between the demand for and supply of tourist prospects through time. In other words, destinations developed for tourists and tourists visited them, therefore generating an interaction; this is recognized in all forms of tourism, regarding the movement from origin area to destination and vice versa. The detection and evolution of these destinations, also, demonstrates elements of change through time. Glaesser (2003) highlighted that many changes, particularly in the tourism sector, originate and are consequences of the perceived problems of destinations and tourist products and are infrequently the result of material or target deficits.
  • High level of autonomy of the tourism enterprise. Pechlaner (1999) paid attention to the big influence of the destination organization on the facilities necessitated for a holiday stay. Only destination firms with the power and the potential, as a result of necessary resourcing, to put through not only certain guidelines for product development and offer design in the destination, but also to position these products on the market, have long-term prospects to create additional value.
  • Adequate potential and fiscal resources for the establishment of a self-sufficient brand or several brands, depending upon their required range of influence (Laesser, 1999).

Tschurtschenthaler (1999) pointed out the vital objectives of change management, which are articulated as follows:

ü New definition of a tourism enterprise’s responsibilities, regarding a new notion of destination.

ü Configuration of the prerequisites at the tourist basis and at the employees of tourism enterprises in terms of education and life long training.

ü Creation of task-oriented forms of collaboration, for the absolute realization of those responsibilities, which are not provided sufficiently by individual firms, owing to the free-rider position.

ü Seek for institutional forms of cooperation, making available the basis for task-oriented cooperation with reference to content and financing.

ü Ensuring a widen horizon for these forms of collaboration. Dimensions of cooperation have to change with increasing globalization.

In view of the peculiarities of the tourist product as a set of services, the most important task to guarantee minimal internal connection of production within the target areas is allocated to the tourism enterprises. Bieger and Weibel (1998) made a list of explicit problems for cooperative marketing and change management of tourism enterprises:

  • Tourism enterprises are too much inward oriented and disregard the market.
  • Deficiently optimized production costs, due to the fact that too many services are provided at the same time in sub-optimally sized individual firms.
  • Unproductive service chains and the consequential gaps of integration.
  • Very political and too few entrepreneurial tourism enterprises.
  • Too much attention is paid to the legitimization of tourism in the population.
  • Neutrality and political structures, which create few innovations in the field of marketing.
  • The significance of market research is undervalued, because of its public-goods characteristic, with investments in market research related to as insignificant.
  • Deficits of ‘know-how’, respecting management and marketing of tourism enterprises.

Furthermore, a clear understanding of the organization is needed, in order to select and implement a new strategy because is the basic condition to a prosperous alteration program. Eight steps are necessary for change management; to ‘clarify the scope and scale of the proposed change initiative’, to locate a change team, to give people the opportunity to understand why change is needed, to listen to people’s worries, to ‘develop a motivation vision’, to layout and inform, to implement by entrusting people to embrace responsible manners and, eventually, to ‘incorporate change into the culture of the organization’. In addition, as Harrison and John (1998) observed, in tourism enterprises stakeholders must be put in a hierarchy level, in order the more essential of those to be extensively noticed during the strategy implementation.

Also, the firm must pay attention to the ‘CBM’ procedure that is Capability Based Marketing, in order to alter its strategy in the most efficient way. ‘CBM’ process is the positional audit in line with objectives, enhancing capability, determine desired position and networking move, so that the selection and the implementation of a strategy should pass through the investigation of where the capabilities come from. The organization needs to try hard to make the objectives clear, must examine and explore the capabilities and deeply evaluate the relationships with key target markets and pertinent stakeholders. The importance of the strategic management process emphasized Harrison and John(1998), who talked about the analysis of the stakeholders, the strategic route, the strategy conception and the ‘strategy implementation and control’.

Specifically, according to Harrison and John (1998), it is vital for the organization to concentrate on the strategic management process. That is the ‘environmental and organizational analysis’, the strategic objective, the strategy conception, and the ‘strategy implementation and control’. At this point it should be taken into severe account that strategy conception involves the ‘corporate-level strategy formulation’, choosing the particular domains that the firm will contend, the ‘business-level strategy formulation’, which is referred to how the enterprise will strive in the selected areas and the ‘functional-level strategy formulation’, which areas such as finance, marketing, human resources, operations and exploration can cooperate with each other in order to accomplish the ‘business-level strategy’.

The first step is focused on the ‘Broad Environment’, the ‘Operating Environment’ and the ‘Organizational Analysis’. Broad Environment’ includes technological alterations, socio-cultural regiments, global financial forces, terrestrial lawful and political forces. ‘Operating Environment’ comprises customers, competitors, fiscal mediators, local societies, unions, government offices and executives. ‘Organizational Analysis’ includes all the stakeholders and procedures that take place in the organization.

The second step pays attention to organizational goal, to business interpretation, to organizational extent and understanding and to ‘organizational ethics’. The third step involves the ‘corporate-level strategy formulation’, the ‘business-level strategy formulation’ and the ‘functional-level strategy’. The last step describes not only the necessary systems and structures that are extremely important for the organization so as to achieve strategic goals, but also the evaluation and the suitable adoptions of the mission, the objectives and the strategies. Many leaders require a very robust knowledge background to make decisions about options for restructuring without help. They must cooperate with other consultants, so as to comprehend the options that in the future, probably, will be in a debate with a dominant partner.

Moreover, according to Hudson (1999), the managing change is an important ability, because tourism enterprises face ‘a particularly tough change management agenda’, stakeholders’ anticipation is on the increase and the principles of change management exist in an extensive range of procedures. Apart from that, Doyle (1998, p.27) focused on core competence. “The real foundation of the company is in its portfolio of capabilities. Top management’s task is to decide what the core capabilities should be. This will depend upon what skills have been inherited and what vision they have of the evolution of the firm’s markets. What capabilities will provide the opportunity for market leadership?”.

In recent years many of the environmental changes become unexpected, impulsive and tense. In this environmental framework is much more difficult to adjust to and design a particular strategy. You need to be more flexible rather than to concentrate on trying to foretell the skill. Change constantly demands insight and adaptation skills. The above is strictly associated with the qualifications of performers in the tourism sector. Reorganization of tourism enterprises, concerning contents and organization itself has to be essentially supported from inside, making high qualified executives and employees unquestionably essential.

The basic features of different change strategies

Lewin’s Model

Lewin (1951) developed a model of dealing with change, which was urbanized later by Schein (1964). The ‘three-phases’ model, as Martin (2001) pointed out, affirms that any kind of situation can exist due to the fact that there is a steadiness between the ‘forces’ that have an impact on this particular situation. These forces take place in contrasting directions, since some of them are ‘driving’ for change, whilst others are ‘restraining’ the change, as they are urging the contradictory direction. It is presented in many books as the ‘forcefield analysis model’. Lunch (1997) claimed that there are three stages that integrated with Lewin’s ‘change process’. In the first phase, which is the ‘unfreezing’, it is essential the old behavior to be perceived as unacceptable and, consequently, must be brought to an end, in order the change to crop up. The individual or the group of individuals must feel this need for change and under no circumstances this need should be inflicted.

The second stage, which is the ‘moving to a new level’, includes the search for new options and alternatives, the examination of innovative values, as well as the altering of organizational structure. Information are still available, so as the new situation to be verified. In the third stage, which is the ‘refreezing’, having identified the pleasing situation refreezing occurs ‘at the new level’. It is likely that optimistic underpinning and encouragement can give a serious hand of assistance in the decision-making process. For instance, pleasant news, concerning the new situation, may possibly be disseminated with a variety of information about changes in culture, changes in the structure, reformation of investment assessments.

Kanter, Stein and Jick’s ‘big three’ model

Lunch (1997) observed that Kanter, Stein and Jick associated the three basic forms taken by the change procedure with three groups of individuals engaged in the change process, in order to develop a ‘three-stage process’ for managing change. The former includes three forms. These are; the changing character of the organization, because if the environment of the enterprise changes the organization will, definitely, take action and react. For instance, if the political perspectives of the government alter, the firm may need to respond to this modification. Harmonization and alterations concerns when a company crosses through the stages of its ‘life-cycle’. Undoubtedly, the relationships within the organization shift as a consequence of becoming older and bigger in size.

Also, it is of huge importance for a company to be able to control its political characteristics. For example, a change strategy from being client-oriented to manufacture-oriented would be escorted by a modification in the power equilibrium between these two events. The latter involves three fundamental characteristics. Specifically, these are; ‘change strategists’, who are accountable for leading the strategic change in the firm and might not be responsible for the full implementation, ‘change recipients’, who perceive the whole change program with anxieties and insecurities depending on the kind of change and how it is portrayed and ‘change implements’, who have straight accountability for change management issues.

Kotter and Schesinger’s model

Martin (2001) argued that a contingency approach to change is mirrored in the work of Kotter and Schesinger. They established a number of management styles for those coped with managing change. To begin with the first strategy of ‘education plus communication’ it is figured out that this style is based both on a change method of comprehending things and reasonableness. If the personnel is aware of why change is needed it would be possible to support the idea of change and acknowledge the need for it. The second style of ‘participation plus involvement’ is concentrated on the concept that if people are capable of participating in the change procedure it would be easy to go along with it. The relationship among the employees is going to be improved, since they will work together and, so, a more effectual change in the future will be organized. The third style of ‘facilitation plus support’ it can be appropriately employed in situations where the complexity was one of being capable of dealing with the change route or the new one condition.

The fourth style of ‘negotiation plus agreement’ focuses attention on the fact that whatever the differences are these can be solved through agreement. It may be integrated with ‘problem-solving’ situations and ‘trade-off’ circumstances. For example, the working conditions can be changed owing to the higher wages. The fifth strategy of ‘manipulation plus co-option’ represents a procedure of arrangement of events and alliances, so as to ensure that a certain result will be more likely to be achieved. In a very genuine meaning the above element symbolizes a manipulation of proceedings. Co-option can be captured in terms of turning aside opposition through straight participation. The last style involves ‘explicit plus implicit coercion’. Change, based on this strategy, depicts force and menace. Its basic objective is to accomplish obedience and it is, absolutely, not interested in generating dedication.

The five factors theory of strategic change

Lunch (1997) stressed that, as Pettigrew and Whipp observed from an experimental study of strategic change at four organizations, their assumptions were that there were five consistent elements that are included in a flourishing change management program. To be more explicit, ‘environmental assessment’ is of acute importance, since strategy formation comes out continually from this procedure. ‘Leading change’ and ‘linking strategic and ‘operational change’ are extremely important, because the former illustrates that the type of leadership can only be evaluated if we take into account certain functions of an organization, while the latter implicates a combination of dictatorial, in terms of a particular strategy, with developing, in terms of permitting progress over time.

Furthermore, the ‘strategic human resource management’ is vital for an enterprise, as it comprises the abilities, knowledge and features of an organization and, except for this, different people manage differently other people. ‘Coherence in the management of change’ contains a more complicated structure, because it endeavors to merge the previous four factors and to provide four balancing helpful methods (‘consistency, consonance, competitive advantage and feasibility’). Also, Pettigrew and Whipp added two extra elements for each factor (the ‘primary conditioning features’ and the ‘secondary actions and mechanisms’), in order to assist the attempt of an enterprise to develop not only an inside stable focused approach to change, but also to be able to tailor successfully external organizational changes.

The ‘7S’ model

Lunch (1997) underlined that a renowned model, which was developed by Mckinsey, implies that the fundamental factors of an enterprise are; ‘strategy, structure, systems (hard elements), style, staff, skills (soft elements) and shared values’. All the above components are interrelated with one another and, apart from that, shared values are in the center trying to hold everything composed. This model assumes that all the elements are equally significant. During the implementation of a strategy management must take into serious consideration that it is necessary to take on a combined conspire, in order to deal with all of the seven elements, both separately and jointly.

Basic growth strategies

1 Ansoff’s model

Kotler (1997) stressed that the business venture should be capable of identifying whether or not there are any opportunities for improving its subsisting businesses’ performance. Ansoff has suggested a practical agenda for finding out “new intensive growth opportunities called a product/market expansion grid” (Kotler, 1997, p.78). The primary consideration of the venture is whether it could achieve more market share with its existing products in their existing markets (market-penetration strategy). Then it should be concerned about whether it can attain new markets for its existing products (market - development strategy). The next step is to consider whether it can develop new products of promise attention to its existing markets (product - development strategy). The last step is to take into account that it should reconsider the opportunities to develop new products for innovative markets (diversification strategy).

1.1 Mintzberg’s model

According to Mintzberg (1998) there are four perceptions on growth; ‘financial, strategic, structural and organizational’. The fiscal growth involves the development of the venture as profitable body, rises in assets, values, revenues, outlays and investment to accomplish earnings and, except for this, it provides an estimate of the success of the business. The structural growth indicates the tasks and roles that managers should carry out, the communication associations and the resource control systems. It represents the shifts that exist in the means that business sorts out its internal system. The strategic growth signifies how the venture develops its capabilities in order to take advantage of an incidence in the market arena, as well as the shape of prospects that the venture utilizes so as to establish a sustainable competitive advantage. The organizational growth not only includes the shifts that occur in the culture and outlooks as it expands, but also the alteration that must occur in the role of the entrepreneur and the leadership approach as the venture attempts to become a larger enterprise.

1.2 Greiner’s model of evolution and revolution

In the Greiner’s model several factors are of crucial importance. Firstly, grown should be seen under some particular circumstances, which are specific stages accompanied by periods of revolution. Secondly, a holistic view of the business is extremely important and thirdly all the phases in the growth process are interrelated with one another and they are influenced by the history of the organization. Evolution stages entail; ‘creativity, direction, delegation, coordination and collaboration’, while revolution stages appoint ‘leadership, autonomy, control and red-tape’ (Lunch, 1997).

Positive indications and drawbacks of different change models

The above different approaches to change have been considered as very beneficial but some authors have detected certain disadvantages also. Specifically, according to Lunch (1997) ‘prescriptive’ models (Lewin’s model, Kanter, Stein and Jick’s ‘Big Three’ model) are very simple to be understood and can be effortlessly employed to a wide variety of situations. They are capable of both making a comparison with the distinct goals and depicting the alternatives that an organization may need to create if the resources are restricted. In addition, the models have the ability to offer a broad general idea of an organization and to provide a plan, respecting the ‘demands on the resources’ of an enterprise, embracing people, investment, cash flow and substantial assets. Except for this, the firm has the likelihood to supervise the settled plan diagram when it is putted into action and, hence, can make the evaluation of the progress that is being completed. Johnson and Scholes (1999) observed that while the prescriptive models may produce a ‘flux’ condition in the organization, increase conflict exists. But, it can certainly be helpful in managing change, since it can smooth the progress of the debate of various points of view and assist ‘challenge and surface what is taken for granted’. Also, refreezing processes may be needed to corroborate the enterprise’s reliability of the altered pattern. In other words, managers may need to take into account ways of indicating ‘symbols’ of change or change the organizational structure or even change the daily routines.

On the other hand, in the prescriptive models, as Lunch (1997) argued, is estimated a supposition that it is likely to shift evidently from one condition to another. Taking into consideration that the environment could be unstable and highly dynamic, the new target situation seems vague. Apart from that, as Johnson and Scholes (1999) underlined, in the nonexistence of a vital and external force for change there is possible the need to manage the unfreezing procedure. But, managing the unfreezing process is not a simple thing, because managers have to search for convincing reasons for why change is needed and give emphasis on external problems, seek ways of indicating emblematically the need for change or try to make inside changes. What is more, Lunch (1997) highlighted that the assumption made, regarding that the new ‘refrozen’ situation is achievable, may be impractical, especially if the political background of the enterprise stays in ‘flux’. Having identified that the prescriptive models lack of consultation and exchange of ideas, this postulation can de a real drawback, since some cultural approaches typified by ‘power-building’ and robust competition.

In addition, it may be unclear when the new refrozen situation has been accomplished (the state might be ‘soft-frozen’), because a considerable amount of long-term investment and principal learning of new processes are required for the new state. It is figured out a concentration on the burden of change on the involved personnel. This could be advantageous in some certain state of affairs. But, in situations where the co-operation of the engaged people is, definitely, needed or the common values work on a supportive style, the prescriptive models may be completely unsuitable. According to Martin (2001), a manager searching to employ these models is totally left to find out the forces acting on the conditions for themselves. Thus, different explanations are likely to be established between people. In other words, it is of little importance to the particular manager to cope with his/her own situation.

Furthermore, concerning Kotter and Schlesinger’s model, as Martin (2001) emphasized, the education plus communication style, which is a sluggish procedure, can offer substantial resistance through the entrance to a wide range of information. If the personnel of a tourism enterprise are utterly convinced about the change they will provide their essential help in the implementation phase. On the contrary, there are some problems. Johnson and Scholes (1999) pointed out that it could be very time consuming, especially if many people are assigned to the change process. Thus, the route of progress may be very vague. Also, ‘top-down’ communication meets a lot of difficulties; the people who are attached to changes in strategy growth and planning change methods may be consequently significant. In the participation plus involvement style, as Martin (2001) highlighted, the people who are dedicated to the implementation stage of the change map will be supplied with any pertinent information by the involved people. The outcome of such an approach will be undeniably of higher quality than any other decisions undertaken without this specific method.

However, this strategy can take a very long time, particularly if the involved people make the mistake of designing an improper change. Johnson and Scholes (1999) argued that it is difficult for those who established such procedures to maintain the ability to interfere in this approach. The facilitation plus support style, as Martin (2001) stressed, provides an opportunity in order to come to stipulations with the evolution, as well as to develop certainty during the change. Particularly, this approach works better than the other approaches in adjusting problems and difficulties. Conversely, this strategy can be time-consuming and, except for this, the enterprise can spend a great quantity of money and still be unsuccessful.

Moreover, the negotiation plus agreement style is from time to time a comparatively uncomplicated method to evade main confrontation. But, under some circumstances it can be costly, especially if it notifies others to work together for acquiescence. The manipulation plus co-option style can be a low-cost approach to resistance tribulations and it can, also, be a moderately rapid method. The fundamental problems with this strategy are in being misunderstood and exposed. If people believe that are being manipulated this could produce potential future problems. The last style of explicit plus implicit coercion is a very quick method, which can overwhelm easily any kind of resistance. For instance, it may be necessary if the organization is confronting a crisis. On the other hand, it can be very hazardous, primarily if it abandons people uncontrolled at ‘initiators’.

1.3 Additionally, according to Lunch (1997), the ‘emergent’ model of Pettigrew and Whipp is widely used in many organizations and it has the capability to let the strategy to expand as further knowledge is gained of the strategic situation. It takes into consideration the human being and major issues that concerned people, such as motivation and consultation and seems that it makes prescriptive models impractical in some situations. The part of the implementation phase is re-examined, in order to become a vital fraction of the ‘strategy development process’. It can be not only flexible and adapt very rapidly to both internal and external changes, notably in ‘fast-moving’ markets, but also has the potential to include in the change process two key elements; culture and politics.

1.4 Although the simplicity of employing this model is its ultimate strength, it is also its most important flaw. Some of the Five Factors are so complicated that cannot provide a robust managerial help on the fundamental subjects included in strategic change. Consequently, some of the Factors need to be encountered with vigilance. Apart from that, the increased instability of the environment is presumed as an explanation for the emergent models. This kind of generalization about the environment requires experiential confirmation, since there are a huge number of environments that are usually conventional. When an enterprise comes up with a ‘short-term unforeseen crisis’ the ‘long-term learning model’ is of little practical value, because it is difficult to combine the learning that has already exist with the crisis. In some cases, the crisis may partially have occurred because the learning was erroneous.

Eventually, regarding the ‘7S’ model, Lunch (1997) argued that the context of this model consists a way of observing an enterprise and what supplies to its successful character. It is capable of obtaining the magnitude of the associations between the seven elements. This model provides a vital message that must be figured out by all managers when they are coping with change. That is, emphasis must be given not only on the hard elements of management (systems), but also on the soft features, such as culture. However, Lunch (1997) claimed that the model presents some inadequate evidence, concerning what makes up more efficient strategy and implementation. It is noticeable the lack of the ‘how and the why of inter-relationships’. Consequently, it is estimated a major flaw in improving the linkages between the seven elements. Important areas, such as ‘innovation, customer-driven service and quality’, that are very beneficial for corporate strategy are completely disregarded by the ‘7S’ model.

Why businesses failure and critical success factors (CSFs)

Many researchers have emphasized that to go out of business is very easy at any time. The majority of businesses fail the first three years of their operation. Principal reasons include; marketing, management, business scheduling, issues of funding, finance, demand and ‘capitalization’ at the start-up. The above fact is inevitably correlated with the strength and weakness of the several barriers to survival. Bygrave (1994) recognized vital factors that an enterprise must take into severe account. In particular, factors such as how vigorous is the competition in certain markets or how vulnerable is the venture to competitors that use innovative technology or even what specific costs would be implicated to increasing market consciousness for a certified product are extremely significant. Apart from that, if the markets are focused or distributed and whether the venture is performing to its full capacity or is manufacturing potential is below aptitude, as well as if the venture attempts to produce a variety of products and services that is too broad for the resources at its removal, can play an immense part for the continued existence of the business venture.

Moreover, a tourism enterprise must take into consideration either if there is a need to improve the skills level of their personnel due to the new technology or to meet the rising needs of neither the customers nor whether or not government set of laws or markets conditions have changed the quality stipulations. It is estimated that where ‘barriers to entry’ are low closure rates appear to be very high, while where barriers to entry are high the closure rates are virtually decreased. According to Wickham (2001), what should be of vital importance is not that businesses fail, but the approach that they take towards failure, considering it as an opportunity to acquire knowledge.

What is more, there are some common factors that should be behind every new successful business venture. In particular, factors such as “the venture exploits a significant opportunity, the opportunity it aims to exploit is well-defined, the innovation on which is based is valuable, the entrepreneur brings the right skills to the venture, the business has the right people, the organization has a learning culture and its people a positive attitude, the effective use of network, financial resources are available and the venture has clear goals and its expectations are understood” (Wickham, 2002, p. 126-127) are extremely significant for the organization. Also, Zien and Buckler (1997) highlighted the imperative of the cultural and organizational aspects in establishing business success. Sorretino and William (1995) argued that a firm should pay attention to the market needs more willingly than the technological capabilities and, except for this, in order to capitalize on success the enterprise must select the market state of affairs that are the most propitious, such as the lack of a potential competitor or a tiny number of opponents. Hill and Jones (1995) emphasized the important role of luck in success. However, to support the notion that success is totally a substance of luck is to ‘strain credibility’.

There are many questions a tourism enterprise can ask, respecting how change strategy can assist its customers. For instance, when service improvement and cost savings are the top priority for the top management then questions, such as how we can employ the information that we have obtained about the individual clients in order to help them to do business with the organization or will the enterprise be at a major drawback if the competitors supply these competences to customers earlier than our firm, are of crucial importance.

According to Bandyo (2002), the analysis of the CSFs is an extremely important tool for the organization, since it endeavors to evaluate the strengths and weakness of presented systems and appraises the information requirements of those systems. Hence, it has the potential to link a firm’s business needs with its information techniques requirements. Ward and Griffiths (1996) pointed out that the CSFs could be concluded in a hierarchy level with each stage to have an impact on the ones underneath it. Specifically, there are four levels. The first is the ‘industry level’, which indicates that all the companies that compete in a market have parallel CSFs. The second is the ‘organization level’, which illustrates that a firm’s total business objectives are reliant on the success of its overall CSFs. The third is the ‘business level’, which demonstrates the appropriate realistic strategies that should be strong-minded. For example, CSFs at this division could be the marketing tools employed by the marketing division. The last one is the ‘management level’, which exemplifies that the success of an organization is strongly correlated with the leadership abilities of the firm’s managers.

In addition, Hammel (2000), cited in Bandyo (2002), argued that the ‘core strategy’ of the company, the way an enterprise chooses to compete in the marketplace, is of crucial importance. So, the firm’s mission and goals must be well defined and strategically updated, in order to provoke competitors. To be more specific, regarding the mission of the tourism business it can be articulated the notion that a distinct mission can assist the firm in several ways. To be more explicit, it provides confidence for further analysis of the venture and it identifies the ‘scope’ of the business. It enunciates the entrepreneurs’ vision, by offering a vital guide for setting goals and by organizing different internal stakeholders. In addition, it elucidates strategic alternatives, it promotes communication to substantial shareholders, and it functions as a reminder for the clients and the suppliers, as well as it supplies a continuous compass reading during times of change. However, the mission must put in a nutshell all the useful information and it must be appropriately urbanized and expressed, so as to be successful and to add value to the performance of the tourism business.

Apart from mission, Wickham (2001) emphasized the importance of vision, which identifies a ‘destination’ that is shaped from probabilities and not certainties. It is a very vigorous tool for the management of a tourism organization in a variety of things. Specifically, it gives to the entrepreneurs a serious hand of assistance in order to delineate their objectives and makes available an acute sense of direction. It not only encourages the entrepreneur when the situation becomes tough, but also leads the creation of strategy for the business venture. It plays a tremendous role in cheering the entrepreneur’s communication and leadership strategy. It can be employed to catch the attention of people to the company and can stimulate them to corroborate it, as well as to communicate what the industrialist wants to accomplish to other people. Fundamentally, enterprise needs clear a vision of where it wants to move, a strategy of how it can achieve its goals and a method of keeping an eye and appraising where it stands in the progress procedure. On the other hand, vision must be used keenly, in order to be an effectual tool. It is likely a vision that is concentrated on wrong suppositions or which is unattainable or which designates an erroneous direction to simply guide the venture off target. The entrepreneur must be capable of ‘challenging the vision’, by comprehending the viability and appropriateness of it before it can be brought into play.

In addition, as Hammel (2000) emphasized, the ‘market scope’, the market in which the firms wish to apprehend from the point of view of customers, products, services and position, should be taken into serious consideration. What is more, how a company can differentiate from the repose of the market is, absolutely, a critical success element. The ‘strategic resources’ of an enterprise, which includes the ‘core competencies’ (high level of knowledge in technology among the personnel, in order to create an appropriate knowledgeable background of unity and splitting between customers and project groups), the ‘strategic assets’ (concerning ‘infrastructure’, brand awareness) and the ‘core process’ (the fundamental activities of the company) are principal success factors. The relationship between the customer and the management of the company must be strategically evaluated, so as the improvement of a wide variety of fields to be accessible.

Forecasting practical difficulties in trying to implement a repositioning strategy

When tourism enterprises try to change their strategy they encounter a lot of problems, which must be expected in order to be in a competitive situation. Specifically, Harrison and John (1998) underlined that stakeholders anticipate getting outcomes from the organization and, therefore, requiring a particular way that the firm must behave. When they become disappointed with the organization’s way or even with what organization has accomplish the organization’s ‘ethical image’ and standing are totally faded. The relationship between the enterprise and key stakeholders, with the above deficiency of coherence, may lead to monetary outlay owing to lost contracts, legitimate suits and lost income. According to Burns (2001), there are many obstacles that social marketers confront when planning a new strategy. First, the target market objects the change being recommended. Second, even if the adoption of the new change will be accomplished, the expenses, frequently, surplus substantial benefits. Third, previous adopters cannot give up and admit that they have failed. Fourth, we can talk about the increased amount of benefits only when an enormous percentage of the target market embraces the change, which is designated by us.

In addition, Hudson (1999) pointed out that organizations meet difficulties in all change initiatives. The most ordinary one is that no one has plenty of time to deal with the change. So, tourist managers, in order to implement a new successful strategy, must ensure that people are not lacking of time. What is more, we can observe a lot of activities, but we are not able to identify basic changes, which emerge to be obstructed by key people. Also, it is detected inadequacy, regarding real and essential improvements, and uncertainty among managers and staff. People are difficult to alter their habits and, except for this, there is a discontinuity between people who recommend the change and those who sense that they are being conducted. Moreover, the values have to be lovable, meaning that impassivity on precious value's ends in ‘demotivation’ and in a very long debate.

Harrison and John (1998) claimed that it is vital for the organization to pay full attention to the management process in order to survive in a rapidly modifiable environment. Also, according to Kaplan (2001), tourism organizations can play a significant role and make competitive advantages. In order to achieve them they need to focus on strategies that deal with activities and procedures that are the most important to implement. In other words, the vision and leadership of the enterprise must be out of the scope of developing existing processes. It is vital for the tourism organization to invest on people’s creativity, because they are the essential impulse in the organization.


Purpose of this paper

This paper aims to figure out more about the tourism organization’s strategic positioning on the market arena, by pointing out opportunities, key issues and obstacles, regarding different change models and strategies. It has been presented a deeper consideration of the vital issues, concerning the significance of change strategy in tourism enterprise, as well as the concept that the business value of a firm can be originated from vigilantly employing change models. It attempts to provide an explanation why it is crucial for a tourism enterprise to take into serious consideration growth strategies and models, in order to enhance facets of the competitive position in the market and to achieve competitive advantage. Eventually, this paper intends to find out the key success factors, in order an enterprise to be able to compete successfully in the market place and gain competitive advantage.

Contribution to the existing literature

Firstly, this research should give a serious hand of assistance to the tourism industry not only in conducting its business, but also in enhancing the effectiveness of its services and functioning. The outcomes of this paper should facilitate tourism enterprises to benefit from their possible mistakes, particularly in specific topics that are integrated with the strategies engaged and the use of them. Secondly, it will look into the extent to which the tourism enterprise’s potential to use the change management perceptions in a strategic way can continue to maintain a competitive advantage. Finally, the outcomes of the study will be pertinent in terms of providing benefits to the tourism organizations, regarding the designing of their strategy and generating and redesigning their goods and services. This paper attempts to provide a structure that critically considers the role that change management performs in tourism enterprises, that is, from uncomplicated mechanization of transaction to a more pioneering and strategic one.


This paper has examined the basic characteristics of key different change strategies. As it became apparent they have not only positive elements, but also a negative background. Hooper and Potter (2001, p. 172) underlined that strategy is vital to both the continual existence and the development of an organization; “it is not simply a question of talking about or even creating strategy. Instead, it is about realizing that there are three levels of process involved: creating the strategic direction, implementing the components of that strategic direction and impacting on the front line of the business in terms of attitudes, beliefs and quality of activity”. Linder (2001) emphasized that models in order to be successful they need to be stranded in reality. They have to concentrate on precise suppositions, respecting how people will behave. On the contrary, even the best business models are wearing away over time. An organization must always have to shift, so as to be able to satisfy the changing needs of clients, markets and competitors. Meagher (2002) highlighted that change management tends to be misinterpreted and it is often related to ‘soft’ material. Too little attention is paid to this management mechanism, since few comprehend the perceptions and advantages that can be accumulated from the adoption of change management. But, as Martin (2001) observed, caution is of crucial importance in implementing any model of change management.

Glaesser (2003) stressed that, like any other business action, change management relies on cautious planning and on a thorough comprehension of the underlying factors and relations that produce change. When this comprehension is missing, pointless situations and crises occur, which could have often been prevented or at least reduced in their scope evolve. The outcomes of this are then not only to be supported by the customers and the tourism enterprises, but also have wider effects on the entire society and economy. The huge importance of change management has increased for those involved vigorously in the tourism industry. A non-ending chain of negative actions has challenged the sector over the last years. It has reminded us of its susceptibility and that change management cannot and should no longer be overlooked, neither by destinations nor tourism enterprises.


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[1] PhD Candidate

[2] PhD Candidate