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Innovative mixed and multi method approaches to hospitality and tourism research

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

Guest editors:
Hossein Olya
Oxford Brooks Business School, UK
Mathilda Van Niekerk
University of Central Florida, USA
Babak Taheri
Heriot-Watt University, UK
Martin J. Gannon
University of Strathclyde, UK


Fevzi Okumus, University of Central Florida, USA, [email protected]

Traditionally, scholars have felt obliged to make a methodological decision between using single quantitative or single qualitative methods. However, methodological norms are increasingly challenged as innovative research shifts scholarship toward the use of dynamic and multifaceted positions by adopting multi-method and mixed-method approaches. This has led to rapid epistemological and ontological advancements in hospitality and tourism studies over the last 20 years (Hewlett and Brown, 2018). While qualitative and quantitative approaches provide inherently different viewpoints on phenomena, Creswell and Plano Clark (2007, p.5) highlight the importance of using multi-method and mixed-method design, as the “central premise that the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches in combination provides a better understanding of research problems than either approach alone”. Here, it is important to differentiate mixed-method from multi-method in social science studies. Researchers combine quantitative and qualitative methods when conducting mixed-method research, whereas a multi-method approach synthesises multiple types of quantitative or qualitative methods. For example, there are six main types of mixed-method design including: (1) convergent parallel; (2) explanatory sequential; (3) exploratory sequential; (4) advanced transformative; (5) advanced embedded; (6) multiphase design (Teddlie and Tashakkori, 2009). Researchers select either of these philosophical and design underpinnings based on their main research question.

To this end, innovative data collection and analysis methods are employed to investigate phenomena across the social sciences, with hospitality and tourism research proving no different. For example, Assaf et al. (2018) applied the Bayesian method to model and forecast regional tourism demand. Olya et al. (2018) used fuzzy-set qualitative analysis, which is a bridge between qualitative and quantitative, as a pragmatic way of solving complex phenomena (such as the behaviour of disabled tourists for the use of peer-to-peer accommodation providers). Alaei et al. (2018) claimed that sentiment analysis could improve tourism research methods by drawing upon ‘big data’ in order to increase theoretical understanding throughout the field. Olya and Alipour (2015) devised an index for tourism climate by upgrading the conventional tourism climate index using fuzzy logic and validating it using a quantitative approach.

Further, Yadegaridehkordi et al. (2018) employed a combination of conventional symmetrical analysis (i.e., SEM) with Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference Systems (ANFIS) to predict the determinants of hotel success. This trend is coupled with an upturn in interest in approaches centred on eliciting data from traditionally under-investigated perspectives, such as the characteristically biographical Oral History analysis (Huber et al., 2017) or through indigenous methodological design (Whitney-Squire et al., 2018). Further, as contemporary tourism increasingly finds innovative ways of using (and indeed sometimes being beholden to) the internet (Ryan, 2017), so too has emerged an increased awareness of how researchers can reliably incorporate netnographic data into existing methodological frameworks in order to support or stimulate nascent findings (Mkono and Tribe, 2017; Thanh and Kirova, 2018). Further, the adoption of techniques limiting the inherent drawback of qualitative research subjectivity has also gained traction in recent years, with studies underpinned by Q Method emerging as a more robust and reliable reflective method in an attempt to avoid the obfuscation of unanticipated findings (Huang et al., 2016; Wijngaarden, 2017).

However, there are several difficulties in applying innovative multi-method, mixed-method and multi-source approaches, including: building a conceptual model from multi-source data; the high cost; require researchers to work in multiple teams or projects; the danger of personal bias; the possibility of generating different answers for the same phenomenon which could lead to the interpretation of different results at the qualitative and quantitative level; use of rigorous quantitative and qualitative research to assess the magnitude and meaning of concepts; and the need for systematic and robust reliability and validity assessment techniques. Nonetheless, recent studies (e.g., Huang et al., 2016; Lee et al., 2017; Li et al., 2017; tom Dieck et al., 2017; Xue and Krestetter, 2017; Wells et al., 2015; Xie et al., 2017) demonstrate that hospitality and tourism research continues to advance through the application of multi-method, mixed-method and multi-source approaches. Taken together, this special issue aims to provide a better understanding of the potential benefits and strengths of multi-method, mixed-method and multi-source approaches within the field. This call offers a collection of pragmatic methods that have the potential to advance the future of innovative hospitality and tourism research. While not limited to the below, we wish to draw particular attention to the following issues, innovative research approaches, and under-researched themes: 
•    Mixed-methods in raising socio-pragmatic awareness;
•    Authentic vs. Elicited data;
•    The breadth and depth of philosophical assumptions underpinning varied methodological positions;
•    Appropriate use of reliability and validity in qualitative and quantitative assessment techniques;
•    Assessment of the challenges in conducting empirical research that combines qualitative and quantitative methods;
•    Innovative quantitative and qualitative approaches to scale development;
•    New techniques for analysing Big Data; 
•    Modelling using neural network, fuzzy logic, and/or ANFIS;
•    Modelling using Bayesian network and Qualitative Comparative Analysis;
•    Q Method;
•    Hierarchical Linear and Multilevel Modelling;
•    Dialogic ways of mixing methods and the benefits thereof;
•    Underexploited data sources for multi-method qualitative and quantitative research in hospitality and tourism;
•    Ethical and legal issues involved in conducting mixed-method and multi-method research;
•    Analysis of narratives emerging from under-represented or overlooked perspectives;
•    The innovative use of netnographic data sources;
•    New qualitative research methods or techniques and new approaches to applying traditional quantitative methods in hospitality and tourism research;

General Information for Prospective Authors
We welcome submissions that represent different and innovative methods. These include, but are not limited to, new frameworks using multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary explanations. We are also interested in research that is based on compelling case studies related to single or multiple destinations and organizations. Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. For more details and manuscript guidelines, please visit the official website at:

Submission Procedure
Prospective authors are strongly encouraged to contact the guest editors regarding potential topics of interest or any questions/suggestions regarding the special issue. Abstracts (up to 750 words, following the IJCHM structured abstract) can be submitted directly to the guest editors via email ([email protected] OR [email protected]) by October 30 2018. Abstracts must be concise and to the point with appropriate references. The guest editors will provide feedback on each submitted abstract. Full papers must be submitted by March 30 2019 through ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system at: Please select the correct issue to submit to: Innovative mixed and multi method approaches to hospitality and tourism research. Author guidelines for IJCHM can be found at:

Review Process
Each paper submitted to this special issue is subject to the following review procedures:
1.    It will be reviewed by the guest editors for general suitability for this special issue.
2.    If found suitable, three reviewers will be selected for a double-blind peer review process.
3.    Based on the reviewers’ recommendation, the guest editors and the Editor-in-Chief will decide whether the particular submission should be accepted as it is, revised and re-submitted, or rejected.


Abstracts Submissions:     October 30 2018
Abstract Decisions:         November 30 2018
FULL Paper Submissions:     March 30 2019
Revisions and Decisions:     July 30 2019
Publication:             Late 2019 or early 2020


Alaei, A. R., Becken, S., and Stantic, B. (2017), “Sentiment Analysis in Tourism: Capitalizing on Big Data”. Journal of Travel Research, doi:0047287517747753.
Assaf, A. G., Li, G., Song, H., and Tsionas, M. G. (2018), “Modelling and Forecasting Regional Tourism Demand Using the Bayesian Global Vector Autoregressive (BGVAR) Model”. Journal of Travel Research, doi:0047287518759226.
Creswell, J. W., and Plano Clark, V. L. (2007), Mixed methods research. London: Sage.
Hewlett, D., and Brown, L. (2018), “Planning for tranquil spaces in rural destinations through mixed methods research”, Tourism Management, Vol. 67, pp.237-247.
Huber, D., Milne, S., and Hyde, K. F. (2017), “Biographical research methods and their use in the study of senior tourism”, International Journal of Tourism Research, Vol.19, No.1, pp.27-37.
Huang, Y., Qu, H., and Montgomery, D. (2016), “The Meanings of Destination: A Q Method Approach”, Journal of Travel Research, Vol.56, No. 6, pp.793-807.
Lee, Y-H., Hsiao, C., and Chen, Y-C. (2017), “Linking positive psychological capital with customer value co-creation”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 29 Issue: 4, pp.1235-1255.
Li, H., Xu, Y-H., and Yu, L. (2017), “Predicting hospitality firm failure: mixed sample modelling”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 29 Issue: 7, pp.1770-1792.
Mkono, M., and Tribe, J. (2017), “Beyond reviewing: Uncovering the multiple roles of tourism social media users”, Journal of Travel Research, Vol.56, No.3, pp.287-298.
Olya, H., and Alipour, H., (2015), “Modelling Tourism Climate Indices through Fuzzy Logic”. Climate Research. , Vol. 66 Issue: 1,pp. 49-63.
Olya, H. G., Gazi, Z., Aksal, F., and Altinay, M. (2018), “Behavioral intentions of disabled tourists for the use of peer-to-peer accommodations: An application of fsQCA”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. Vol. 30 No.1, pp. 436-454.
Ryan, C. (2017), “Future trends in tourism research–Looking back to look forward: The future of ‘Tourism Management Perspectives’”. Tourism Management Perspectives. Doi: 10.1016/j.tmp.2017.12.005
Teddlie, C., and Tashakkori, A. (2009), Foundations of Mixed Methods Research. London: Sage.
Thanh, T. V., and Kirova, V. (2018), “Wine tourism experience: A netnography study”. Journal of Business Research, Vol.83, pp.30-37.
tom Dieck,M.C., Jung, T.H., Kim, W.G., and Moon, Y.(2017), “Hotel guests’ social media acceptance in luxury hotels”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 29 Issue: 1, pp.530-550.
Wells, V.K., Manika, D., Gregory-Smith, D., Taheri, B., and McCowlen, C. (2015), “Heritage tourism, CSR and the role of employee environmental behaviour”, Tourism Management, 48:399-413.
Whitney-Squire, K., Wright, P., and Alsop, J. (2018), “Improving Indigenous local language opportunities in community-based tourism initiatives in Haida Gwaii (British Columbia, Canada)”, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Vol.26, No.2, pp.173-191.
Wijngaarden, V. (2017), “Q method and ethnography in tourism research: enhancing insights, comparability and reflexivity”, Current Issues in Tourism, Vol.20, No.8, pp.869-882.
Xie, L., Li,Y., Chen, S-H., and Huan, T-C. (2016), “Triad theory of hotel managerial leadership, employee brand-building behavior, and guest images of luxury-hotel brands”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 28 Issue: 9, pp.1826-1847.
Xue, L., and Kerstetter, D. (2017), “Discourse and Power Relations in Community Tourism”. Journal of Travel Research, pp.1-12.
Yadegaridehkordi, E., Nilashi, M., Nasir, M. H. N. B. M., and Ibrahim, O. (2018), “Predicting determinants of hotel success and development using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM)-ANFIS method”, Tourism Management, Vol. 66, pp.364-386.