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Title: Social exchange, collaboration, and networking between stakeholders in traditional festivals
Authors: Adongo, Raymond
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: Local festivals are increasingly being recognised as vital in attracting both domestic and international visitors to destinations. As a result, they are progressively being used to promote destinations and even considered as attractions in themselves. To achieve this, there is the need to understand how the various stakeholders involved interact and the strategies that enhance collaboration. Much research, however, often focuses on one stakeholder such as visitors, sponsors, volunteers, local residents, and organizers, or the relationship between organizers and other stakeholders. This leaves out the multiple dyadic relationships between all stakeholders, which has to be understood in order to gain a complete picture of stakeholder relationships. Secondly, some theories have been used to study social and stakeholder interaction but have been minimally utilised in the festival setting to ascertain their contextual veracity. Key among these are stakeholder theory, social exchange theory, collaboration theory, and social network theory. Thirdly, even though festivals are a significant aspect of life and culture in Africa, most studies on festivals and festival stakeholders have failed to capture an African perspective. Against this backdrop, the study sought to establish the differences between festival stakeholders in their responses to the tenets of stakeholder theory (power, urgency and legitimacy) in the planning and execution of traditional festivals. The second objective was to compare the views of stakeholders in traditional festivals on the social exchanges between them based on trust, reciprocity, altruism, control and dependence. Objective three was to determine the differences in responses of festival stakeholders on the degree of collaboration between and among them, while the final objective was to assess the degree of social networking among festival stakeholders. A questionnaire, developed from previous literature and also pre-tested and pilot-tested, was used to elicit responses from stakeholders in order to address the objectives of the study. Six festivals, celebrated between December 2015 and March 2016, were sampled from Ghana in West Africa. A total of 1,092 questionnaires from eight stakeholder groups were used for the data analysis. A series of ANOVA tests and General Linear Model (GLM) tests with repeated measures were subsequently carried out to explain the differences in the responses of the various stakeholder groups.
From a stakeholder theory perspective, the results show that the organizers are the most powerful, urgent and legitimate, while vendors are the least so. Social exchange shows that festival organizers show the highest level of trust for other stakeholders, have greater control over other stakeholders, and are depended most by other stakeholders. Stakeholders experience the most altruistic and positive reciprocal relations with local residents. The media have the lowest level of trust for other stakeholders, while the lowest reciprocal relations is with government agencies. Most stakeholders are least altruistic towards sponsors, and visitors have the least control over other stakeholders. Vendors are the least depended on. Collaboration shows that organizers incur the highest risk and also negotiate most actively with other stakeholders. Volunteers have the highest level of consensus with other stakeholders. Government authorities have the lowest risk, agree least easily with other stakeholders, whereas visitors negotiate least with other stakeholders. In terms of social networking, the organizers are the most central stakeholders but stakeholders have the most direct contact with local residents. The study has contributed to our understanding of who the powerful, urgent, legitimate, trusted, altruistic, dependent and risky stakeholders in festivals are, and how stakeholders view each other. In terms of urgency, for instance, stakeholder theory supports given attention to all stakeholders. In the festival context, however, organizers need to examine the power, urgency and legitimacy of each stakeholder group in order to effectively deal with each one. Furthermore, while it is suggested in the literature that a stakeholders' legitimacy could not be recognised and upheld by all stakeholders in a network, this research does not affirm that assertion. This research further lends support to the notion of altruism among festival stakeholders since stakeholders exhibit a high level of altruistic behaviour, including profit oriented stakeholders like sponsors. This research also shows that festivals display a network where there is one central actor, the organizer (high centrality), as opposed to a network where actors are linked together without a central actor (low centrality). There are practical implications from this study. Vendors need to be made part of organizing committees before festivals start, and assigned spaces after paying a fee. This will increase their legitimacy and help keep out unwelcome vendors. Professionalism will also need to be injected into festival organization by including a professional festival planner on festival committees. The regional tourism offices also need to bring all festival organizers together and offer training to them. This will have to be the initiative of the tourism offices at the regional level. Since the traditional councils and elders have the power as organizers, they will have to be involved in every stage of decision-making. The media, who displayed a low level of trust, also need to be part of planning committees
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Festivals -- Africa, West -- Management
Special events -- Africa, West -- Management
Culture and tourism -- Africa, West
Festivals -- Management
Special events -- Management
Culture and tourism
Pages: xvii, 274 pages : illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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