The failure of generic training solutions to address the unique learning needs of tourism micro firms has led to the introduction of more flexible educational offerings, including academe-led facilitated learning networks (FLN). FLNs seek to develop micro firm competencies and cooperative norms to promote self-led learning and practice, however little research has explored whether these activities lead to sustained learning community engagement in the longer-term. Using a longitudinal interpretive case method, this study mapped the learning experiences of a cohort of Irish micro firm tourism practitioners over a period of 4.5 years, from their observed participation in a FLN to their engagement with, and interaction in, an independent learning community. Findings highlight the journey from individual to collaborative learning focus, promoting reflection and critical discussion within facilitated learning sets; sustained through internal learning brokers within micro tourism learning communities. The authors conclude by proposing a sustainable learning community framework for tourism micro firms illustrating an educational pathway that supports sustained learning community engagement.
- facilitated learning networks
- micro firm learning and education
- sustainable learning communities
- tourism micro firm