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Internationalisation and innovation in the service sector: the role of international migrants and UK(London) hotels

  • Start date: 01 September 2007
  • End date: 30 June 2010

This project is focused on combining two under-researched elements: First, despite recognition that innovation in services is distinct from manufacturing, there is still very little research on several sub-sectors, one of which is hospitality. This is especially so in the United Kingdom, which includes the hotel industry - accounting for between four to five per cent of UK employment. It is the hotel industry that forms the focus of this study. Secondly, whilst the globalisation of innovation processes is acknowledged, the roles of international migration and mobility have received little attention. However, inter and intra firm international migration and mobility are highly significant in the UK, and influence innovation through the transfers of tacit knowledge amongst owners, managers and service employees with the hotel industry.

The research is organised around three main objectives:

  • Understanding innovation processes in the UK hotel industry
  • Analysing the role of international migration in enabling or obstructing innovation in terms of ownership, resources and knowledge transfer
  • A comparative international evaluation of innovation in UK hotels