Social network analysis: organizational implications in tourism management

Marco Valeri, Rodolfo Baggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of how quantitative analysis methods have been and can be used to improve the competitiveness of tourism destination. The focus of the study is social network analysis (SNA). Design/methodology/approach: The research methodology is qualitative and consists of the review literature relevant to this thesis. This methodology is necessary to give an account of the methods and the techniques adopted for the data collection used in other economic sectors. Findings: SNA is needed to analyze the creation and configuration of communities of practice within destination and to identify possible barriers to effective interaction. Essentially, it is a complex adaptive socio-economic system. It shares many (if not all) of the characteristics usually associated with such entities, namely, non-linear relationships among the components, self-organization and emergence of organizational structures, robustness to external shocks. Research limitations/implications: The most important limit of this paper is that all the results presented here do not concern a single case study. Future research studies will provide a larger number of cases and examples to give the necessary validation to the findings presented here. Practical implications: This paper provides a view into the network of relationships that may give tourism organization managers a strong leverage to improve the flow of information and to target opportunities where this flow may have the most impact on regulatory or business activities. Originality/value: SNA can help to detect actual expertise and consequently project the potential losses deriving from an inefficient flow of knowledge. In addition, the authors will be able to define roles in the organizational networks and make an evaluation of informal organizational structures over the formal ones. Traditional organizational theories lack a concrete correspondence with mathematical studies and in this respect the authors sought to identify a correspondence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-353
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021


  • Complex systems
  • Destination management
  • Hospitality
  • Network analysis
  • Network science
  • Quantitative methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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