Organizational learning capacity and sustainability challenges in times of crisis: A study on tourism SMEs in Galicia (Spain)
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/2662
EDITED VERSION: https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/21/11764
UNESCO SUBJECT: 5312.90 Economía Sectorial: Turismo ; 5311.05 Marketing (Comercialización) ; 5306 Económica del Cambio Tecnológico
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
The COVID-19 crisis has encouraged a major shift towards greater environmental awareness and sustainable consumption. However, in times of severe crisis, SMEs primarily look to return to normalcy and their own survival rather than implementing a sustainable agenda. This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of the learning problems faced by small tourism enterprises in a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper explores the learning capacity of SMEs and the importance of establishing mechanisms that provide SMEs with the keys to organizational learning as a source of continuous knowledge. Open-ended semi-structured interviews with 39 tourism SMEs managers in Galicia (Spain) were conducted during the toughest months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results show that SMEs have not been fully involved in the learning process, which is mainly related to knowledge transfer and integration. DMOs can act as promoters of knowledge management for organizational preparedness by providing SMEs with learning mechanisms and strategies to go beyond simple problem solving when they arise.
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