Dr. Andrew Spencer successfully defended his PhD thesis, supervised by Prof. Buhalis and Dr. Moital, in December 2011 at the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom. He is the first PhD graduate from the BU eTourism Lab. His research focuses on the determinants of technology adoption for travel retailers with particular emphasis on the strategic management implications and leadership imperatives for owner-managers. This thesis aimed at identifying the combination of antecedents of technology adoption for travel firms and distilled factors to identify the key determinant of the adoption of the internet for sales and marketing purposes in small, owner-managed travel firms in Jamaica. It examines the firm characteristics which are associated with adoption behaviour such as strategy and resources, as well as external factors such as culture and the digital divide. In addition to external and firm factors, personal factors such as ownership and leadership are explored at various stages of adoption.
The work contributes to knowledge in that it takes a unique approach to an understanding of technology adoption in firms by creating a comprehensive conceptual framework for adoption based on previous research and then creates a model that shows the factors and variables that drive adoption at each stage of the adoption process from a personal leadership perspective as well as the organizational perspective. It provides insights into firm adoption behaviour as a consequence of leadership characteristics and theorises about ownership and leadership influence on technology adoption. This enables an understanding of leadership issues at each level of technology adoption along an adoption hierarchy, which ultimately focuses on internet adoption for sales and marketing purposes.