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Strategy in practice: re-categorising tour guides as strategists

Academy of Management (2011) Strategy in practice: re-categorising tour guides as strategists. In: Academy of Management Annual Meeting: West Meets East: Enlightening, Balancing, and Transcending, 2011-08-12 - 2011-08-16, San Antonio, United States, USA. (Submitted)

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Tour guides are often believed to have an exceptionally simple role, leading an audience around a building and pointing artefacts out according to a script. However, this paper shows how their work pertains to organisational strategy in two significant ways; they can be seen to be acting in ways which reflect and reiterate the organisational strategy of audience engagement. Audience engagement is increasingly used as a criterion upon which museums are awarded funding and as such, guides deploy an organisation’s strategic aims through their moment-by-moment actions as they try to engage such audiences. They must overcome significant obstacles and challenges which unfold over the course of the tour in order to engage the audience. In such light, in keeping with the ‘workplace studies’ turn in Strategyas-Practice (Samra-Fredericks, 2010), we can see them as strategic actors. Because of the lack of understanding of the work of guides, as well as an ongoing tendency to see strategy as something that only happens at the most senior of organisational levels, this paper has contributions to make in showing the truly skilled nature of the work of the guide and demonstrating how these skilled workers present an example of those engaged in a form of strategising whether they know it or not.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 The Author
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2012 15:13
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 11:06

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