You can find the latest topics of our research here.

What do we want?

The SME & Tourism team deals with issues that are essential for Tyrol concerning small & medium-sized and family businesses with a special focus on tourism. We examine both the supply side (businesses) and the demand side (customers) of these topics.

It is our goal to publish scientific articles in top journals while providing practical solutions to the challenges facing our region.

"SME & Tourism" offers research-led support to achieve this. In addition, it is important to us to provide scientifically sound and practice-relevant teaching. We aim to bring students into the economy, and the economy to our students!

Why does this matter?

The importance of SME research is not only reflected in the existence of a variety of chairs and research institutes but also in the prominence of international top journals which deal exclusively deal with small and medium sized enterprises (Journal of Small Business Management, Small Business Economics, International Small Business Journal, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing etc.).

Accelerating scientific research on SME and entrepreneurship in general, and tourism in particular is important because:

Most tourism companies are small or even micro enterprises with special characteristics (Getz & Carlsen, 2000). More than 92% of all businesses in the tourism and leisure sector, and about 72% of companies in the hotel industry, employ less than 10 people on average (Peters & Buhalis, 2013; WKO, 2010).

Additionally, tourism companies are mainly family-owned enterprises (Getz & Carlsen, 2005). As the family system influences business decisions in every department, it´s not only the workings of economics that are determined (Hammer & Hinterhuber, 1994), but also strategic decisions, internal processes and the provision of services per se that are based on specific patterns. All of these allow competitive advantages in family tourism enterprises to be detected in reality (e.g., Peters & Kallmünzer, 2015).

While the top priority discussion focuses on successor constitution topics such as qualification, career path development and family branding are also examined in greater detail (e.g., Peters et al., 2012; Märk et al. 2010).

Moreover, these tourism enterprises are always part of a tourism value chain. Hence, the value produced is provided by a variety of companies, requiring vast effort to distinguish which performance ultimately represents the core value to the customers.

Measuring the innovation potential of individual companies is therefore significantly more difficult because it reveals the importance of harmonizing single or conjoint product development processes (Pikkemaat & Peters, 2006).

Value creation is increasingly produced in coordination with the customer. Customer co-creation - customer participation in value creating activities –  is understood as one of the most important research streams in marketing and management in recent years.

For the tourism industry this research delivers added value towards  (1) displaying the motivational factors of customers to co-create, (2) examining the extent to which the company can support the customer in co-creating, and (3) evaluating the effects of co-creation on the company’s financial and non-financial performance.

It is therefore essential to show how tourism enterprises can increase economic performance as well as perceived customer value by leveraging customer competences (see e.g. Grissemann & Stokburger-Sauer, 2012). 

What's next?

We have elaborated upon core issues in research which shed light on research gaps, and on the other play an important role in practice (SME & Tourism).  Masters theses and PhD projects support us in much of this long term research.

 You can find our research areas and ongoing projects at


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