Mobilising identity and culture in experience co-creation and venue operationTourism Management


Peter Lugosi
Strategy and Management / Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management / Development / Transportation


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ie ingt ural val ons of identity and culture are mobilised. lders and factors in experience co-creation. ices are conceptualised as inducement. e and r

Experience venue operation through the notion of inducement, and it discusses the spatial, material, performative and representational practices in the creation of hospitality experiences. signifiers of identity and cultural values to communicate with customers, direct their behaviour and shape their consumption experiences (Lin, 2004; Lugosi, 2009; O’Mahony, Hall, & Binney, 2006). However, this paper posits that current work examining the relationship between identity, hospitality and the management i.e. how symboliulti-sensory expeulture as guiding e paper considers tions of hospitality graphy, sociology experience mank offers numerous insights into the mobilisation of cultural values and the articulation of identities within hospitality settings, but does not consider management issues. Conversely, experience management literature examines such related issues as theming, but does not provide adequate insights into how cultural values and notions of identities are incorporated into experience production.

The paper draws on empirical data to demonstrate how particular constructions of identity intersect with notions of ethnicity, nationality, gender, class and sexuality in creating hospitality * Tel.: þ44 1865484404.

Contents lists available at

Tourism Ma ls

Tourism Management 40 (2014) 165e179E-mail address: relationship between identity and hospitality experiences is well documented. Previous work by anthropologists and geographers has examined how transactions of hospitality, involving food, drink, offers of shelter and social interactionmay be used to express identity, status and power (Bell & Valentine, 1997; Selwyn, 2000;

Wilson, 2005). Research has also considered how providers in commercial contexts manipulate the servicescape and mobilise associated cultural values are ‘experientialised’ cally laden, emotionally charged, immersive, m riences that draw on notions of identity and c reference points emerge or operate in venues. Th social scientific literature considering the interac and identity, drawn from the disciplines of geo and anthropology, and literature on hospitality agement. It is argued that the former body of wor1. Introduction of operations offers limited understanding of how identities andOperations management




Event management  2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Uses empirical data to show how noti  Considers the input of various stakeho  Co-creation and venue operation pract  Identifies spatial, material, performativ a r t i c l e i n f o

Article history:

Received 14 December 2012

Accepted 7 June 2013



Culture0261-5177/$ e see front matter  2013 Elsevier Ltd. practices. a b s t r a c t

This paper examines the multiple ways in which notions of identity and associated cultural values are entangled in the management and operation of commercial hospitality spaces. The paper reviews literature on experience, identity and hospitality operations management within the experience paradigm and argues that existing work provides limited insights into how identities are ‘experientialised’ within hospitality venues. Empirical data are used to demonstrate how management and consumers mobilise direct and associative references to identity. The paper conceptualises the processes involved in Examines the role of identity and cult ues in experience management.h i g h l i g h t sMobilising identity and culture in exper operation

Peter Lugosi*

Oxford School of Hospitality Management, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, Head journal homepage: www.eAll rights reserved.nce co-creation and venue on, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK

SciVerse ScienceDirect nagement evier .com/locate/ tourman gemexperiences. It is argued that the experientialisation of identity involves the selective reconstruction and mobilisation of culturally specific expressions of values andbehavioursby theoperators, and it also involves consumers’ performances of selves and their identificationwith or against particular notions of identity. It is important to stress that this paper is not concerned with hospitality and subjective experiences of identity i.e. howconsumers feel about or relate to particular discourses of self. Rather, it focuses on how discourses of identity are distilled, juxtaposed and mobilised as organisational resources.

The paper’s approach is broadly in the actor-network theory (ANT) tradition (Latour, 2005; Lugosi & Erdélyi, 2009; Van der

Duim, Ren, & Jóhannesson, 2013). ANT as a methodology seeks to examine the actors, actions, processes and relationships through which things come into being (Latour, 2005). There are three principal areas of interest within this perspective relevant to the current study: first, the different human and non-human actors or actants; second, enactments i.e. how actors/actants and their networks of relationships perform knowledge and agency, resulting in particular outcomes; and enrolment, i.e. how various (human and non-human) actors/actants are mobilised within these enactments or performances.

This paper examines a hospitality/tourism venue/event called

The Churchwhich has been operating since 1979, and it accounts for the practices and processes through which management and consumers co-create notions of identity and culture through the experience. The paper conceptualises the processes involved in venue operation through the notion of inducement, and it discusses the spatial, material, performative and representational practices in the creation of hospitality experiences. It is argued that identifying specific practices of inducement within this research context helps to construct a broader thematic framework for understanding how identities may be entangled and mobilised within hospitality experiences in other contexts. By doing so, this paper, therefore, responds to emerging calls to examine critically the relationship between identity and spatial dimensions of hospitality (e.g. Lugosi, 2009; Lynch, Germann Molz, McIntosh, Lugosi, & Lashley, 2011) by mapping the entanglement of material, embodied, representational and symbolic practices in the production of space. This contributes to knowledge in two key ways: first, it broadens our understanding of the processes through which particular spaces are created or rendered hospitable. It thus contributes to current work examining the nature of hospitality in contemporary society and how it operates in different social contexts (cf. Lugosi, 2009; Lynch et al., 2011). Second, it builds upon and advances our understanding of experiencemanagement (cf. Gilmore & Pine, 2002; O’Mahony et al., 2006) by offering a context-sensitive conception of the complex processes of co-creation through which hospitality experiences are constructed. 2. Literature review 2.1. The experience paradigm and hospitality operations management