Towards agility? Examining business innovation in intermediary industries

By Harald Buijtendijk MSc
ICT advances challenge the historically dominant position of traditional intermediaries in the music, news, energy, finance, and travel industries. Against this backdrop, the Dutch outbound travel industry needs to innovate from traditional product focused business models to customer focused business models to sustain competitiveness. However, there is little knowledge about how such innovation works. This complicates effective innovation management. As business model innovation processes are understudied in tourism research, knowledge about innovation processes in other industries that face similar structural conditions is therefore useful. This project proposes a comparative analysis of business innovation in different intermediary industries including tourism. It examines business model innovation processes to identify factors that influence business innovation. Action research techniques are applied extensively to ensure knowledge co-production and optimal stakeholder involvement in the research process. In this way, the project aims to render useful solutions for travel industry stakeholders that strengthen the business innovation performance of the Dutch outbound travel industry.

I study how people “do” innovation in their day-to-day work. By shedding light on the ordinary, the circumstantial, and the messiness of these processes, I like to offer a nuanced view on innovation; one that looks beyond the cult building surrounding fancy Silicon Valley fancy start ups and offers an alternative to the disruptive innovation discourse that has been dominating contemporary innovation policies in Europe.
Prof. Rene van der Duim, Wageningen University
Dr. Ondrej Mitas, NHTV, Breda