EXAMINATION OF THE OPERATIONALISATION OF THE SMALL FIRM LEARNING NETWORK MODEL IN THE FÁILTE IRELAND MERGO CBTLN NETWORK

Anthony Foley, Anne-Marie Frampton, Felicity Kelliher, Anne Marie Lally, Susan Whelan

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    Abstract

    This paper examines the implementation of the Small Firm Learning Network Model (Foley, Harrington & Kelliher, 2006), in particular, its operationalisation within the mergo Tourism Network. This model emerged from multiple calls for training interventions to be based on helping entrepreneurs to learn rather than imposing prescribed solutions (see for example, Deakins & Freel, 1998, Zinatelli et al., 1996). Irish businesses have called for more flexible, accessible development programmes, with networks emerging as the essential support structure (De Faoite et al., 2004), and network activity positively affects the quality of experiential learning (Deakins & Freel, 1998). This networking philosophy is core to the learning network model, and has been given active support within the Irish tourism context by the Fáilte Ireland County-Based Tourism Learning Networks (CBTLN) initiative. The Small Firm Learning Network model has been adapted for operationalisation in the mergo CBTLN programme, based in the south-east and the south-west. A single indepth case study is used as a suitable research context. The model and its incumbent learning approach is based on an action learning ethos, involving small business operators and support agencies and incorporating local learning sets, a web community, and a series of learning interventions. Representing a marked departure from traditional training delivery in this sector; the approach has resulted in active and substantial involvement in the network among participating tourism enterprises. As the network facilitates the individual tourism business in developing key capabilities, this approach has an incremental and augmented impact through the larger network, thereby working towards achieving the ultimate objective of improved competitiveness in the Irish tourism sector.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2007
    EventTourismand Hospitality Research in Ireland Conference -
    Duration: 03 Jan 0001 → …

    Conference

    ConferenceTourismand Hospitality Research in Ireland Conference
    Period03/01/0001 → …

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