Management style and competitive strategies among tourism firms in the Northern Rivers

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Dimmock, K 1999, 'Management style and competitive strategies among tourism firms in the Northern Rivers', Tourism Management, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 323-339.

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Increasing pressure is placed on managers to achieve and sustain their firm’s competitive advantage (Hart & Banbury, 1994; Tse & Elwood, 1990). Competitive advantage can be achieved by developing factors that influence a firm’s competitive posture. External influences include relationships with distributors and competitors, government legislation and societal influences (Porter, 1980). Internal influences include the behaviour and decisions of senior managers, the style of management utilised and culture of the individual enterprise (Hitt & Ireland, 1986). The Northern Rivers region of New South Wales extends from Grafton to Tweed Heads and west to include the shires of Kyogle, Copmanhurst and Nymboida (Anon (c)1995). This study sought to identify the management style of eleven tourism operators in the region, and to recognise whether the style of management has any relationship with the competitive strategies pursued by the firms sampled. The businesses were investigated using a three stage multimethod research approach. Limitations to the work recognise that findings will be descriptive to the scope of the sample. The study was able to identify that a relationship exists between the management style and the competitive strategies of the sample. Several managers sampled are pursuing deliberate strategies to capture market growth. The study also found that deficiency in management style of some managers supports findings of a study undertaken on a national level (Karpin, 1995). From the current exploratory study it is hoped that future research will explore the dynamic nature of managing tourism within the Northern Rivers.

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