Study of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Australian pubs
The Australian Hotels Association - nationally and in each of the states - and the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism supported the University of South Australia in carrying out a major research project to identify ways in which pub owner and managers can build the ability of their hotel to innovate and to compete more effectively.
This study focused on the traditional "general hotel", or "Aussie pub" in the regions as well as in the capital cities, that are independent or members of small hotel groups. In other words, this study did not include the very large hotel groups, or the four and five-star hotel chains.
This study looked at the capabilities that a hotel needs to have so that it can innovate more successfully across all areas of its business, as well as take advantage of new business opportunities in an entrepreneurial manner. The results of this study will greatly benefit the hotel industry, and the information collected in this study has been used to develop workshops for pub managers to help them develop their business (and to make more money).
First stage report
51 owners and managers of pubs from all states were interviewed as the first stage of this project. You can read all about this in the comprehensive report Innovation Capability and Entrepreneurial Orientation Dimensions for Australian Hotels that you can download free. This very comprehensive document will give pub managers many ideas on innovations that they could consider for their own business to make it more attractive for existing customers, and to attract new ones.
Second stage report
164 hotel owner-managers completed a questionnaire that was created as part of the first stage of this project. You can read all about this in the comprehensive report Innovation Capability and Entrepreneurial Orientation Dimensions for Australian Hotels: An Empirical Study that you can download free. The information in this report builds on the material in the first stage report and describes how the measures for innovation capability (that were identified in the first stage of the study) were validated.
Each hotel manager obtained a personalised benchmark report!
A major benefit of this study was that managers actually got something back that is useful after they completed the questionnaire that was used for the second part of the study! If they provided their contact details, we sent them a detailed benchmark report that compared their pub with similar pubs in their state.
This document is a personalised supplement for a pub to the comprehensive report for the first stage of the study. In particular, this personalised report allowed managers to identify differences between the way that they saw their own business, compared with the (average) way that managers of all the pubs of a similar profile saw their own hotels (the benchmark). These differences between individual results and the benchmark can be used to help managers identify aspects of their business that they could develop to better support innovation and entrepreneurship activities in their hotel, and hence, to compete more effectively, and to make more money. You can download an example of the benchmark report (486Kb) that is based on a survey of 136 Victorian pubs, with national benchmarks included (of 521 hotels).
An important outcome: workshops to help hotel managers become better at innovating
Ideas are plentiful and cheap. Turning ideas into innovations means adding value and supporting their development in market, regulatory and operating conditions that are peculiar to each hotel. A hotel needs a particular set of resources and capabilities to be able to do this. The results of this major study have been used to develop workshops to help hotel managers identify and develop these capabilities to turn ideas into value-added innovations more successfully, and to develop an entrepreneurial approach to identifying and opportunities for building their business. The overall aim of these workshops is to help managers build more profitable and competitive businesses.
These workshops use the questionnaire that was developed in the second stage of the study to give participants a special benchmark report, showing very detailed results for their own hotel compared with the average of the hotels in their State that took part in the study. This report gives participants an analytical insight into their business activities that they would otherwise not be able to obtain.
This detailed benchmark report is used as the basis for workshop discussion. This means that participants work on their own hotels as living case studies to illustrate the application of the materials presented in the workshop. This approach enhances participant engagement, and ensures that the workshop is relevant to each participant. The structure and delivery method for these workshops draws on many years of experience in developing and successfully presenting similar workshops in other industry sectors.
A half-day workshop to help hotel managers develop the ability of their businesses to support innovation activities has been piloted with two groups of members of the Australian Hotels Association (SA).
Please contact Peter Balan if you would like further information about these workshops.
Some useful links
- Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism
- Australian Hotels Association
- Peter Balan, Researcher
- Noel Lindsay, Researcher