PhD Research Fellowship in tourism innovation

Deadline: 23.05.2021

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN University) is home to over 16,000 students and 1,300 employees, and has campuses in Lillehammer, Hamar, Elverum, Rena, Evenstad and Blæstad.

INN University aspires to build strong and enduring academic and research environments that will spearhead regionally, nationally and internationally.

We are developing a new and better institution with high academic and pedagogical quality, aiming at achieving university accreditation.

Our vision is "Stronger Together".

The PhD programme Innovation in Services - Public and Private invites candidates to apply for PhD Research Fellowship in tourism innovation

About the position

Inland School of Business and Social Sciences, The PhD programme Innovation in Services - Public and Private (INSEPP), invites candidates to apply for a 4-year PhD research fellowship with 25% teaching duties to work with the broad field of innovation studies with particular focus on tourism innovation. Depending on the candidate`s desires, the position may be transformed into a three years position without teaching duties.

The purpose of the PhD Research Fellowship for the admitted candidate is to undergo a research training programme that leads to the successful completion of a doctoral degree. The selected applicant will be expected to complete the PhD programme in 2024/2025. The successful candidate is required to submit a proposal of a doctoral research training programme that is approved and agreed upon no later than 3 months after the date commencement. The University will assist the selected candidate to formulate this agreement.

Contact information:

The project

Destination ownership structure and network-driven innovations in mountain destinations.

This call focuses on the innovation capability of actors (or systems) within mountain destinations and rural regions. The study aims to compare innovation capability and the resulting economic sustainability and resilience of destinations with different ownership models, virtues of increasing importance facing prolonged effects of the pandemic.

The two most recognized destination ownership models are the community model and the corporate model. The first is described as a fragmented network of independent actors and characterized by a high innovation capability. The latter has one dominant owner with improved control over the value chain, but the corporate type of destination is expected to retain a lower innovation capacity. Most mountain destinations fall within a continuum between these two ownership models, though recent research reveals an ongoing transition from fragmented towards corporate ownership, in Norwegian mountain resorts as well as elsewhere. Typically, with corporatization, DMOs (destination management organizations) and local tourist boards loose importance or even vanish, stunting networks and collaborations.

The purpose of this project is not only to compare innovation capability and economic sustainability/resilience between typical community owned and corporate owned destinations, but also to discuss intermediate or “hybrid-ownership” structures. A main research question should be

whether or how it is possible to retain and encourage an innovating network of small actors within a “partnership-based” economic system, even in a destination with one dominant owner.

Observations indicate that it is possible for a major owner to act as a catalyst for development of a diversity of smaller independent businesses within the destination, resulting a in a “hybrid” destination ownership model. Is it possible to retain and nurture a diversity of sustainable small tourist businesses to retain innovation capability despite corporatization? Accordingly, this PhD-project seeks to unveil the main differences between the two main ownership models, as well as intermediate or “hybrid” models, and explore how they affect innovation capability in the involved firms and the networks they are involved in, as well as the impact on destination development, economic sustainability and resilience.

It is important to draw on the dynamics between local actors, regional networks and corporations. Innovation-study approaches as those of agency- and regional innovation systems will be applied, in order to explore the dynamics of renewal in actor associations, discussing whether single corporations (actors) or a system-based set-up are the main drivers for emerging innovation processes in mountain destinations and rural regions. The project should be undertaken a case study, seeking to highlight differences and similarities between the models, in order to facilitate a cross-case analysis. Destinations with different ownership and actor types are all found in the mountain region of Southern Norway. Such cases may also be found in Sweden and the Alp region in Central Europe.

Qualifications and personal skills

  • The person to be appointed must have a master's degree, 120 ECTS, including a master's thesis of at least 30 ECTS (cf. NOKUT’s (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education’s) requirements for admission to PhD-education at Norwegian universities. Applicants with a master’s degree from universities abroad, have to attach “Recognition of foreign higher education” from NOKUT. Instructions on how to get this master’s degree assessed and approved, are given by NOKUT, cf. https://www.nokut.no/en/services/recognition-of-foreign-higher-education/
  • Expertise in relevant ICT software programs
  • Language proficiency: Oral and written English is required. In addition, it is beneficial to have command of a Scandinavian language to carry out interviews, eventually document analyses and teaching duties.
  • Ability to work independently and purposefully but also have a command of cooperation on research tasks and publishing.

For information on PhD position in general, see: Regulations on employment conditions for positions as postdoctoral, fellow, scientific assistant.

How to apply

The application and all attachments are to be submitted electronically and should include the following:

  • Application letter
  • Project description and progress plan (4-5 pages) for the work to be undertaken, where academic relevance and different challenges and possibilities within the project is being outlined.
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  • Copies of higher education certificates

If you have any questions about uploading an attachment or other technical matters regarding the application, Jobbnorge customer service can be contacted. Contact information is provided as a link in the application form.

Relevant applications will be considered by an expert committee. CVs, certified copies of diplomas and certificates, publication lists and documents/works to be considered must be submitted as electronic attachments or links to the application.

Qualified applicants will be invited to an interview.

The applicant list will be made publicly available. Requests for exemptions from the public applicant list must be clearly justified and stated via the electronic application form. Applicants will be contacted if INN University cannot comply with the request (cf. § 25 of the Freedom of Information Act).

The state workforce should, as far as possible, reflect the diversity of the population. It is therefore a personnel policy goal at INN University to achieve a balanced age and gender composition and to recruit people with an immigrant background. If necessary, the working conditions are adapted for persons with disabilities. If applicants declare in their CV that they have a disability, this information may be used for registration purposes in connection with the target employment numbers.

We offer

  • An academically stimulating work environment with engaged colleagues and a growing institution
  • Good welfare benefits
  • Good pension benefits, under the Norwegian Public Service Pension Funds
  • The position’s salary follows position code 1017 PhD candidate in the state's wage regulations, a pay grade of 54 (NOK 482 200,- p.a). If 4 years with 25 % teaching duties is agreed upon, 25 % will be remunerated according to the appropriate level for a teaching position, on the basis of an evaluation of relevant qualifications. For particularly qualified candidates, placement and salary can be agreed in position code 1378 PhD candidate.
  • For more information about INN University as an employer, please see here .

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