2022 journal article

Actor-network theory and organizational resilience to climate change in community-based tourism


By: G. Deason*, E. Seekamp n & C. Barbieri n

author keywords: Social-ecological systems; Adaptive capacity; Ecotourism; Mexico; Out-migration; Qualitative research
UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
Source: Web Of Science
Added: July 11, 2022

The tourism industry is witnessing disturbances due to climate change, increasing the risk to community-based ecotourism organizations in developing countries. There are limited studies on the resilience of tourism organizations, particularly in Latin America. We apply Actor Network Theory (ANT) in our study of an indigenous, community-based ecotourism organization in southern Mexico to understand its resilience to climate change. We generated interview data with community members both active and not active in the ecotourism organization, as well as tourists, using purposive convenience sampling, chain-referral sampling, and negative case sampling. Using theoretical thematic analysis, we examined the four steps of translation of the actor-network, as well as the adaptive capacity of the ecotourism organization. We conclude that the use of ANT provides a robust description of a tourism organization's adaptive capacity and helps elucidate the role out-migration plays in the resilience of this tourism network. By including human and non-human actants in the tourism network, this study adds to the literature on organizational climate change resilience, and provides a much-needed starting point from which to study community-based ecotourism and climate change in Latin America. The paper shows how managers can apply the Actor-Network-Theory as a lens for systems analysis: to study the resilience in social-ecological systems in tourism to understand the role of certain actants in the network to examine relationships and key factors- to strengthen the adaptive capacity, and to better withstand disturbances from climate change.