Tourist organizations and the power of the public sector: A corporate governance perspective

Solveig Garnes


The public sector is a salient stakeholder for collaborative tourist organizations. Tourism research has primarily focused on identifying and classifying relevant stakeholders, while less emphasis has been placed on behavioural patterns and actual influence. A call has been made for tourism studies that capture issues of power and politics. Combining a legalistic perspective with two common theories of corporate governance – namely, agency theory and resource dependence theory - the aim of this study is to explore and discuss what power the public sector possesses in the system of corporate governance in tourist organizations. A case study was performed in Norway; tourist organizations were studied at a macro level, by means of multiple sources of evidence. This study confirms the public sector’s importance and influence as a stakeholder in tourism. The public sector’s power seems strongly associated with aspects of corporate governance, such as ownership, membership, or position as board members. In addition, public resource dependence is decisive. The managerial and theoretical implications of these study results are discussed.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413