Organisational resilience in the tourism industry, particularly in a post-disaster environment, is at the heart of innovative marketing research at the University of Canterbury.
After joining the University of Canterbury (UC) in June 2013, Senior Lecturer in Marketing Dr Girish Prayag’s work led to him win the 2015 Early & Emerging Career Researcher Award.
Among his fields of interest, he is studying consumption experiences in the services industry focusing on the tourism and hospitality industries.
“The main area I research is consumption emotions; how people feel when they consume products and services. I also look at how consumers attach themselves to objects and places. But since joining UC, I’ve embarked on research related to organisational resilience in a post-quake environment.”
“When I arrived at UC, I saw many of my colleagues doing something on the topic of resilience, as it is of importance. When I looked at the tourism field, there wasn’t much that had been done, even though Christchurch had gone through such a disaster.”
Dr Prayag is co-authoring a book on tourism resilience, with Professor C. Michael Hall and PhD student Alberto Amore, both of whom are also from UC’s Department of Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship. He says the book is not just about post-earthquake Christchurch, but will look at tourism resilience in general.
“What does it mean to be resilient, through the lens of community resilience, personal resilience, and organisational resilience? Basically, organisational resilience in the tourism industry is looking at what are the factors, in a post-disaster environment, that can make an organisation resilient?
“In the case of Christchurch what we’ve found is that there are differences within the tourism sector – whether you are running accommodation, transport, or visitor attractions – on factors such as staff engagement, collaboration and innovation.”
His book on tourism resilience will go broader than Christchurch and look at examples around the world, including the Sichuan earthquakes, the Chile tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina in the United States.
“The research on resilience in general will look at what we could learn from these different disasters on how to build destination resilience, personal resilience, and organisational resilience.”