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Title: Theory in hospitality, tourism, and leisure studies
Authors: Smith, SLJ
Xiao, H 
Nunkoo, R
Tukamushaba, EK
Keywords: Theory
Tourism research
Hospitality research
Leisure studies
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Source: Journal of hospitality marketing & management, 2013, v. 22,, no. 8, p. 875-894 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of hospitality marketing & management 
Abstract: The term theory is used with diverse meanings, resulting in miscommunication and misunderstanding. This article examines how theory, as a word, is used in three leading journals in each of hospitality, tourism, and leisure studies fields over a 20-year period. Utilizing an iterative and comparative hierarchical coding, seven different forms of theory and trends in their usage by scholars over the 20 years are identified. Among the notable trends are: (a) a marked increase in the appearance of “theory” (as a word) and its variants over the years; (b) the virtual disappearance of natural science-type theory in the three fields; and (c) a dramatic rise in the use of theory as an analogy rather than as a substantive term. Implications and limitations of the study are also discussed.
ISSN: 1936-8623
EISSN: 1936-8631
DOI: 10.1080/19368623.2013.771114
Rights: Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management on 30 Oct 2013, available online:
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Article

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