Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series - Chris Ryan, P.h.D. ,University of Waikato, New Zealand

Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series - Chris Ryan, P.h.D. ,University of Waikato, New Zealand

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[Music] when we say charge on we commit to do extraordinary things [Music] it's a catalyst for action to put in the work to keep trying it's a challenge to be smarter and stronger [Applause] it's time to rise above to let them know welcome everyone thank you for joining us for today's dean's distinguished lecture series i'm dr robert tico crows associate dean for research and administration at the rosen college of hospitality management at the university of central florida we honor dr abraham pizzam founding dean of the rosen college of hospitality management 50 years ago he achieved his phd defending his dissertation some sociopsychological correlates of innovation within industrial suggestion systems the results of his dissertation prefaced his pioneering role in the field of hospitality and tourism research and education it his remarkable achievements made him an internationally renowned scholar the dean's distinguished electro series will take a look at the evolution of the hospitality and tourism industry through the eyes of some of the pioneers and dorians in the field of research and education we are grateful to those acclaimed global scholars who already share their insights during our lecture series in the past months dr jafar jafari dr ari reichel dr brian king dr anna matilla and dr pauline sheldon the dean's distinguished lecture series will conclude in april this year we hope we have another interesting lecture by our guest dr chris ryan from the university of waikato new zealand dr ryan will deliver his presentation entitled tourism and hospitality research from innovation to commodification again i would like to welcome you to this distinguished lecture series and at this point i would like to say good afternoon to my co-host dr ireland feil who will go over some household rules good afternoon alan lovely thank you tico and welcome everybody in particular a big welcome to chris it's always nice to welcome a fellow brit and a true scholar and i think for all those listening one of my most memorable moments with chris chris is an absolute gentleman when he rejects your papers he does it in a way that he's truly very friendly and supportive so chris i appreciate those rejections over the years but thank you very much for uh coming today it's excellent for you to be with us um we've got a large crowd so please those in the audience please put your questions in the q a function and some warning chris we have brian gerald peter lugosi and rodri thomas back from uh back in the uk so i'm sure they will be itching to do some questions um but everybody it's a wonderful presentation coming up so thank you for joining us and please put your questions in the q a function and on that note if i can pass to dean one demon thank you tico thank you alan uh welcome uh chris uh it's a great honor to uh host you here at rosen college um so this is um a event rosen college is hosting which is called the dean's uh dismissed electric distinguished lecture series sorry to honor our founding dean abraham pizam so i know that both of you are household names in the research community but just for clarity and for consistency uh i have a very short bio prepared for ape so um abe is the founding dean from 2000 to 2018 of the rosen college of hospitality management uh at the university of central florida uh currently he serves as the professor and the leader champion eminent scholar chair in tourism management professor pizzam is widely known in the field of hospitality and tourism management and has conducted research projects lectured and served as a consultant in more than 30 countries he also held various academic positions throughout the world and has answered more than 250 publications of which 180 of them were scientific publications and also he published 10 books so his publications have resulted in more than 20 000 citations with a h index of 66 so for those of you who understand the age index and impact to measure your research uh he's also the editor emeritus of the international journal of hostilities management one of the most premier journals in the field of hostility and serves on the editorial board of 26 academic journals professor pizzam has conducted consulting and research projects for a variety of international national and uh regional tourism organizations uh so we are so grateful as i mentioned at the beginning that the speaker series today is supported by another great scholar in a tourism research community uh professor chris ryan from the university of waika wakito who is a friend of ape chris you know i have met you numerous times at conferences i've listened to your speech many times but every time it's so uh inspiring and and and encouraging we do need have you to have inspirations from the pioneers like uh like chris and abe uh you know with many years of combined contribution to uh tourism research and education who have really witnessed and experienced the entire history of tourism research including the revolution evolution or including its ups and downs so i can say from your title uh it's from innovation to commodification i'm not sure whether that is a positive approach or not so positive approach you know uh facing uh especially the researchers of the next generation so without do without further ado um so i would like to give the floor to abe who might be in a better position to describe chris as a personal friend and colleague of course right abe the floor is yours uh thank you very much uh dean wang i appreciate uh the kind words and it is uh with great pleasure and honor that i would uh like to introduce uh one of the pillars of the field of tourism management a person who has rose to the top and is still on the top and we all try to emulate him uh when i was a young boy uh growing up in israel uh i came across the name of chris crime chris ryan and i talked to my mother and i said mommy how can i ever be like chris ryan and my mother replied you can never be a chris ryan he is unique and nobody can duplicate him now of course i'm joking uh about the story actually i think i'm older than chris but i'm still looking up uh to him as a great scholar and even a mentor that one should if one can reproduce so um i'm worried about memories we are here talking about the past and people of my age and maybe even the age of chris remember the things a long time ago but as my wife tells me on a regular basis i can't remember what i had for lunch but i do remember what happened more than 50 years ago so without further introduction i would like to pass on the baton so to speak to chris who would talk about the evolution of our field of study and maybe a little bit about our future so chris the stage is yours well thank you very much abe and thank you for all of those very kind words um i think you've built me up so almost anything i'd now say will be an anti-climax but anyway thank you very much indeed and thank you also to your colleagues for inviting me to address the uh the group as a whole and those who are listening in uh it's an honor and a privilege um and i'm sure my predecessors in this series have said the same thing but it is and because apu have indeed been one of the founding fathers of hospitality now at that point i suspect i should really now go into the presentation and i will pull up the sharing of the screen which hopefully should be coming up now okay well i was asked to nominate a subject and what we could think about and of course abe and i have a long history and i think history sometimes is instructive because we need to know where it is that we came from and how we got to where we are and possibly have a look at where we are going to and of course just prior to this uh discussion and we just minimized that just um prior to the session starting neighbor and i were reminiscing and it was indeed i think a golden period of being a professor i obviously came from the united kingdom and when i started teaching the world was very different to what it is today and i was reminiscing that as an admissions tutor for our degree at the nottingham business school we only had 40 places on the degree and we had something like well over 3 000 applications through the centralized application system and if we go back just uh to the 1950s i think universities were really quite small by today's standards i read a report on one of the education about one of the educational reforms of that period and they talked about only 56 thousand university students in the uk and even when i went to university only about seven percent of the 18 to 25 age group went to university so they really were quite small and everybody tended to know each other and i think there was a period which probably began to end in the 1960s when in fact professors had enjoyed enormous prestige and also far less stress than today we had no research assessment exercises such as we have in the uk and australia and new zealand where every five years all of your research gets assessed and universities tend to get very upset if their professors are not performing and at that time professors were also paid wages at levels akin to those of judges and members of parliament and the senior common room was indeed a place for senior academics only and i'm going to refer to the work of c.p snow and his book the two cultures cp snow is an interesting person he was actually a physicist he was also a member of parliament for a time he was also in the civil service and of course he was a professor at cambridge so he his world embraced a wide range of experiences as a novelist he wrote a series of books called strangers and brothers which were set in a cambridge college and reading that book it seemed to me that at the time professors just simply engaged in drinking port and having blue cheese and plotting and academic politics well the academic politics certainly continued today but i think the port and blue cheese a long time disappeared he's famous for an article that he wrote originally in 1957 which was then published in i think it was the new statesman and then in 1959 he was asked to give the read lecture which is an annual series of lectures that are supported by the bbc and his theme was the two cultures and this made quite a stir at the time because he was indicating as i will indicate a moment that there was a broad division in academic life and 50 years later he was then asked to again in 2009 they replayed this lecture the read lecture on the two cultures so what was his primary [Music] thesis he argued and here i quote the i believe the intellectual life of the whole of western society is increasingly being split into two polar groups the literary intellectuals of one pole of the other scientists and as the most representative the physical scientists between the two a gulf of mutual incomprehension sometimes particularly among the young hostility and dislike but most of all a lack of understanding so why would i take this well i can remember uh in the 1960s when tourism and hospitality was just beginning in the united states and certainly in the united kingdom and uh there was uh i felt at times that we were being disparaged by uh the senior academics in underfields how could tourism which is about fun be a serious academic subject um i think we've got past that stage but a question is in tourism and hospitality research are there two cultures or is there an emerging of the two what might be these two cultures is there a difference between tourism and hospitality certainly abe to his credit has always argued that in fact hospitality is very much about the hotel industry and how it provides services and how it satisfies the guests for the hotels whereas of course we know that he tends to disagree or there's perhaps stresses the situation but conrad lashley on the other hand talks about uh hospitality as having a history of guests and he takes a somewhat different view so we we have splits even within our own fields and of course there's that famous article by his name now slips my mind i'm having my joe biden brain fade moment where hospitality where tourism is seen as either it's a sociological phenomenon or it's an industry and therefore there is a divide in the types of research that occur within our own fields or is there in fact a merger of the two and i and i will argue that there is a coming together of those two elements but what then have the factors that have generated this divide what are the impacts of this divide and are there in fact new types of divides um alan referred to the fact that i was editor of tourism management for 25 years and by the way i should say that in getting your letter of rejection you were a member of the majority so you can feel satisfied on that sect what i do see is a difference in life between the research which is emanating from asia and it's certainly a strong european tradition now chinese japanese taiwanese and other colleagues from other parts of asia seem very much dictate or be in a field of post-positivity empiricism and formulai are scattered across the pages but we also have another issue i think today our universities falling into the traps of what i call lazy empiricism forced upon them by the government policies which produce things like research assessment exercises and the search to and the attempts to get published in what are called the top journals as measured by metrics which are contestable [Music] let me ask three questions if a baton a ball costs 1.10 and the bat costs a dollar more than the ball how much does the ball cost secondly if you're in the race and you pass the person who's second what position do you now occupy and thirdly if a lake dose of water doubles the amount of water each day and tomorrow on the 48th day the lake is full how long did it take us to get for the lake to get half full so you see the questions you probably arrived at your answers comparatively quickly what is this to do with my topic well the answer lies in the fact that some of you may have got some of those questions wrong what research has shown by daniel carman is that 50 percent of people would say that the bat costs one dollar at least one-third of people say that by passing the person who's in second you are now in first place you're obviously in second place and apparently about 40 reply in answer to the third question that it takes 24 days it's actually 47. so is intuitive thinking less valid are we lacking mathematical skills and if we lack mathematical skills does that leave us only with intuitive thinking and if the world lacks logic then is [Music] an examination of what is happening in our schools as you know there are international comparisons of their school children's performance in new zealand for a long time used to be around about fourth in these assessments we're now down to somewhere between 12 and 15 depending on the subject matter we are having problems in maths teaching schools are finding difficulties to get mass teachers we are also having some problems in reading why does all of this matter are we in fact moving as some people have argued into a world where in fact logic and scientific thinking is not being accepted by growing proportions of the population these questions come from dan mcconnell who was the 2002 nobel prize winner in economics for his work in baristas and diocese these argues that in fact academics oh by the way this was his book thinking fast and slow it does show that academics can write books that actually achieve high positions in the new york lists of very best-selling books so carmen contrasted two modes of thinking now i'm back to my two cultures cp snow was really questioning ignorance ignorance by both sides of the field the humanitarian thinkers that were initially perhaps brought up in the victorian pattern was idolized or as characterized by matthew arnold or the new sciences as he himself represented as a physicist one prize is if you like a more holistic humanistic way of looking at the human being the other tends to think in terms of looking at the evidence of being positivistic objective using mathematical testing these two sides of thinking the fast and the intuitive and what he was sharing was how in fact her brains often mislead us i've just finished marking 66 essays try and complete your essay 24 hours before you submit and proofread it and check it and let the let the day go by before you submit and re-read it because your brain will include you you have not written what you think i think this process is continuing at all sorts of levels so what is all this going to do with this tourism hospitality research is it a question of intuitive or logical thinking that is at the basis of these sorts of divides between on the one and those who see tourism as a sociological phenomenon and those who really are seeking to support contentions develop conceptualizations through empirical methods we can't talk about this he said that intuitive thinking uh might be a form of latent logic this was very much the line of argument that was taken by musabi and her co-author because they had studied the way in which decisions are taken by the executive senior executives of companies and many of them did depend upon gut reactions in other words what might be arguably the informally irrational thinking what they pointed to is that in fact leaders are often required to make decisions in uncertain situations where there has been no prior proof and therefore uh they do tend to this more intuitive pattern of thought and that's made me think about our own history of tourism and hospitality and i actually argue that we can divide our process for the progress of our subject into various stages but when i think about a number of the seminal years i've just had an article that's gone through a review and the reviewer said many of your references are rather old well i'm rather well too i guess but when i think about the early people in our field bevlin's theory of the leisure class in night 1899 daniel borstein's work on the pseudo event the french geographer maya says theory of the changing periphery which in some ways predated dick battler's 1980 article canadian geographer and tourist area life cycle that's the george young's book tourism blessing all blight which really through the whole issue of whether tourism is an economic benefit is more than offset by the degradation of environments and even social degradation as well graham dan's work on push and pull you can see through a whole list peter murphy's work on tourism and community approach and i would even include uh the late john urry's for the tourist case these books were primarily based or were motivated by the curiosity of the researcher and based on observation and description and the commonality between all of these works or most of these works are there's no formula no statistical formula um there's no test of statistical reliability it does seem to represent perhaps a different world to what we are seeing in our major journal articles today where as you turn each page as i said there are table statistics statistical justifications our past was perhaps driven by a broadly sociological human geographical perspective and it still influences our thinking and these are very much the sorts of things that we certainly are teaching at our undergraduate level but then the world began to change and i think much of this change was due to the fact that we began to get uh powerful computing facilities now there were some exceptions to what i've been seeing for example the journal travel research in 1978 published an article which had by the day standards of those days a very large sample 1626 residents and there were statistics in it um's regression and that article was in fact written by some young academic at the time called abraham you beat us all to it yet again i can remember doing my own phd and i used spss on the ibm xt and it had some twin and spss at that time was on 25 and 14 inch floppy disks today we have so much increased accessibility to statistical packages we've seen now increasingly concerns about whether our samples are large enough and how we test for our samples and as the edge of the tourism management i began to find people to try and justify much more rigorously why they thought their science science was appropriate we've seen the emergence of structural equation modeling we begin to become very concerned that we should be testing the relationships between variables forecasting for a long time was based on arama now we're into ceramic and all sorts of other techniques we take care as researchers to prove what are our alpha coefficients kmos our crs whether or not we are suffering our data suffers from multi-coloniality and auto correlation new journals are far more numerous for a long time as tourism and hospitality researchers we only had three ssci journals the number of journalists has increased and for that we must uh in part indicate that there's a symbiotic relationship between publishers and researchers and it was a british businessman who realized this and began to create pergamon press and put them start more publishing because he saw it as a way that researchers were wanting to better disseminate their research but at the same time he wanted to make money from publishing and that tension has underlined some of the recent discussions that we've had about the powers of the large publishers what we've moved into is the position of far greater dissemination through journals and far greater sophistication of the software and i do wonder whether in fact we aren't something dangerous as a member of the international academy for the science of tourism i remember eric cohn one of the founders of course of our field one of the writers of many of those seminal papers based on observation and description put in a letter to us all as members of the academy expressing [Music] it is about the way in which we experience new places new things which give us cause to think in part of my personal history i was a windsurfing instructor and i saw people come on holiday and literally have those cathartic moments which of course eugenia wikis talks about in her work drawing upon the shirley valley valentine's syndrome where people have a holiday which can literally change their lives because it's a time of reflection and a time of thinking and yet we have used things like nvivo and qda minor we see all of these things being subjected to greater technical analysis and yet these tools are also helping us to bridge the culture between if you like the qualitative researcher and the quantitative research software like collect semants qda minor are able to produce statistics from the text and they help shape us shape our thinking in more structured patterns equally we're beginning to see john creswell's work on the pragmatic paradigm and we could do far better analysis we can remember perhaps the um concerns that were being expressed over the years by cambridge analytica and the influences that they have upon the political process by allowing politicians in lead up to elections to better target their messages i was teaching a course on research methods at white cattle and i showed them uh using qda minor um how in fact that software links up mapping with in fact uh the text that is the uh that is derived from things such as facebook and my students were literally blown away they had not realized what could actually be done and all of these things are now becoming even more sophisticated because we can have the off-the-shelf software and we can now incorporate into those packages routines that we can program for ourselves using things like python and r we are indeed moving to a stage where we can merge the quantitative and the qualitative analysis in ways which were not possible in the past i've mentioned john creswell john has argued we should engage in mixed methods and our research we should be driven by the research problem rather than a research paradigm the concepts of research paradigms go back into the 19th century with hegel's dialectic where he talked about thesis antithesis and synthesis um john creswell says we should try and draw the both the benefits of both the whatever paradigms we are using use of textual analysis software enables us to do this but i still do have concerns i have concerns that perhaps we are trying to impose upon qualitative researchers who come from different paradigms of constructionism and interpretivism a system which is based on logic and post-positivism can we really merge these paradigms together well john would argue yes you can because you can do it through adopting a pragmatic approach our research is dictated to by all sorts of influences they're not only by our own curiosity and what we want to do and the way in which we analyze data it's also we work within universities and universities are no longer the places that they were 50 years ago as i was describing the outset of this presentation universities are perhaps beginning to behave like corporations and the management perhaps is based on gut feeling when i started research perhaps i was naive and idealistic my research was driven by my own curiosity and increasingly then by realization that we do have responsibilities and our research should be driven by an attempt to better the human condition and possibly the natural world but today universities prize research for the publicity that the university can gain for the improvements in qs stand-ins and the lesson for young scholars is they should indeed publish or they will indeed perish and for the older scholar publish and get research money and these lessons applied to tourism and hospitality and i do wonder does pragmatism contain vision um what happens to the out of the square thinking if we engage in these sorts of processes i think research assessment exercises recognize the flows of conventional citation metrics so now we're being asked under our research assessment exercises what's your impact and the impact is not measured as much as in the past by your citation indices or the impact factor of the journalism which you publish but are you shaping decision makers by political and industry leaders but disruption exists and disruption is coming to us through the internet of things we're on the verge of 5g and this will see a different world and a different way of viewing things there are advances in artificial intelligence i've got a young colleague who's now writing articles using swarm hypotheses i have to admit when i got such articles as editor of tourism management i began to think i'm getting past it our research becomes increasingly technical and complex but does it retain the quality of understandability and this is another twin cultures or two cultures in our publications we're told industry doesn't understand what it is that we are writing i say if you're a good researcher you can in fact write for two audiences you write for the academic audience and then as i have done in the past i then write for the trade press the young academics are being pushed into a position where they see research as a path for promotion not for the contribution contribution that it makes to the well-being of the wider society and now i begin to see universities encourage doctoral degrees with publication because it aids the research metrics i see problems increasingly existing for those who are wanting to secure promotion if they are teaching orientated i like to encourage my students my doctoral students to immerse themselves into the societies of which they are researching i encourage them to go and live in a small chinese village i encourage them to if they're in the industry side to try and work alongside in those industry settings we do see attempts at creating what pauline sheldon was talking about a new form of tourism the manchurian small is beautiful that schumacher schumpeter came up with may indeed still be a way of forward to the future but as brian wheeler pointed out the problems for mass tourism don't lie in just going small there are so many issues and that's why also we have an increasing drive towards transparency we have guidelines that are given by cope and equator equator is much more in the medical sciences but do look at their web page because they make some very good observations about what constitutes good research so what about the future how can we progress into the future with all of these things surrounding us i think we do have to give young academics breathing space and we must stop telling only the top ssci journals seems to me a very unfair burden to place upon a young doctor or student at the start of their career to tell them they must publish in a top ssci journal when they haven't got as eve and i have some 50 years of experience and i still find it difficult to get published in top journals so what is it like at the beginning of your career i do think replication studies have a value because if everything is changing it is useful to know that what worked in 1960 1970 1980 is still working in 2020 but above all i would encourage researchers to come out from behind their computers give appointments to people who immerse themselves into the la into the lives of their respondents tourism is about people in new zealand maori have a very common saying tangata tangata italia people people always people and work with the industry and work with communities we do have lots of good examples out there the united nations millennium goals have become the sustainable development goals and of course the unwto has recognized that this gives far more opportunity to us as researchers to work in a way which does actually benefit the communities i'm a great supporter of the unwto's international network of sustainable tourism observatories programs because this for me at least gives me an opportunity to work with the industry and with a local community and it gives opportunities for my students to also work with those communities but we are living in a rapidly changing world and we're on the cusp of 5g and i think when 5g does really become common our world will indeed be much different and we have many colleagues who are talking about smart cities so i think we have a lot of change i've tried to give us a historical perspective in approximately 30 minutes so thank you very much for listening and i now pass it back to alan to chair this session so thank you love lisa thank you very much indeed chris great great food for thought in there and chris one question that was um sort of bugging me throughout and it's something that i think is increasingly difficult for those of us that do want to be or think back to the john areas of this world where we're very curious where we've got a very conceptual paper it's increasingly difficult getting those sort of papers through the system because i think so many people are now in that empirical world have you gotten any advice for sort of younger scholars who have really got these ideas but the the publication world has sort of gone against them a little bit well i think this is an issue really for editors and editorial boards and also for the types of journals that we have that's why the new journal that i now edit tourism critiques practice and theory because i think we need to have journals rather like tourism tourist studies that who engage in attracting or wanting to attract these forms historically and of course analysts of tourism research has long tried to adopt this approach editors are gatekeepers but i saw my role as not being um really um closing the gate but trying to open the gate for researchers and to try to accept different forms of publication for the young researcher who's got the concept well i guess part of the research is then researching the journals and yes our top journals are increasingly if we take jtr and tourism management dominated i think by the empiricist statistical post-positivistic type of thinking particularly as we see i think many of our asian colleagues being in that approach and again for chinese colleagues um you know china one of the things that mao tong pushed was actually to be more scientific and we have xi jinping citing with approval some of the comments of mao tsutong and talking about the need to be scientific then we can dispute what we mean by scientific and i can remember being on the panel with sean zhang and sean was arguing our research must be scientific to which i commit to is not qualitative research scientific he rather deducts the response so i think it's it's um it's not life it shouldn't be left to the individual researcher and i think we should perhaps be challenging editors um but i can remember rick perdue saying to me one of he wanted to publish more qualitative research but he said one of the problems is qualitative researchers their own worst enemy because they're always so critical of somebody else's research and it's easier to judge a piece of quantitative research because if it follows the conventions and you can show you've got the right chemo and the cr and the rmsca is right then the research is good qualitative researchers ought to remember perhaps that their own viewpoint is not the only viewpoint okay and if i just raise one other issue then i can see a itching to get in here chris one of the joys of working in the u.s is there's no research assessment exercise it's very lucky but you do have to get your tenure and increasingly ten years being driven by the impact to what extent do you think the assessment exercises themselves have actually contributed to to the challenge significantly i think has to be the answer [Music] and it's a disease which has spread into asia because young scholars there in the chinese system if you get to get your doctoral degree you have to also get three research points which you get through publication and you get three research points if you publish in an ssci journal [Music] uh i think there is an attempt by the british australian and new zealand authorities to realize this has been a trap and they've then tried to switch it towards well what impact does your research have but the universities themselves and university administrators are still trapped into the syndrome of getting high ssci publications because they are tracked by the qs ratings mqs rating and the shanghai ratings do emphasize these types of work so we need voices which are saying hold on this is not the only only paradigm so alan you made a good move from bournemouth thank you i'm gonna ask a question this is from um febsy but i think it's a perfect cue for a to come in as well um pepsi thanks very much for coming chris and everything so um where did you see the boundary line between tourism and hospitality research so clearly there's a cue frame to jump in here as well but chris at first um much depends upon the focus of the individual researcher um i drew a distinction between abe's work and conrad lashley's work and conrad actually used to say in his perspective and what he's argued about hospitality moves hospitality into a more um sociological setting uh which then takes some questions of who is the guest and what form of accommodation is being present if i think of something like uh airbnb where does a b and b stand in the research is it is it a subset of hospitality research where you can be talking about the impact on hotels uh occupancy rates on the rates that hotels are charging because it represents a new form of competition or is airbnb a function of changing economics the role of houses and property prices or is it indeed a sociological function as to where people want to meet others make some money on the site but they do it as much motivated by interesting people and having interesting conversations around the breakfast table so i think it's the researcher that then dictates uh whether in fact it's a conventional hospitality subject about rates and about service and about impacts on the wider hotel and accommodation sector or is it in fact a more sociologically orientated subject so i don't think it falls clearly there isn't a clear distinction and that's true of most of the things we study our boundaries of definition are also porous in that they open themselves and bounded borders are points of um of discussion and uh joining as much as points of difference so hey they wants a comment yeah my particular problem with the issue of research is the purpose of research when i was a young man i was trained and educated that the purpose of research is to solve problems whether they are societal problems environmental problems physical problems but all problems we have forgotten over the years what the purpose of research is today and maybe in the last few decades the purpose of research is to generate publications and to get promotion and tenure to speak we are speaking with each other with other researchers rather than we're trying to find solutions to problems societal problems environmental problems and so forth we live in a bubble our journals are never read by anybody else except those who are academics in that field we're not addressing the real problems that practitioners face on a day's daily basis so we have shifted completely the purpose of research from a noble solving problems to a means to advance one's agenda and personally maybe it's a function of my age and my stage of life i am quite upset about that because why do we have 400 and plus journals that deal with minout problems that do not address either industry or societal issues maybe it's coming of age for me and the field but i'm not particularly exciting again when i was a young man there was such a thing as action research today you hardly hear the term action research and publications are not geared towards that subject matter well i share your concern but i think there are there are ways around it i've pointed out for example the unpfpo's initiative for sustain for the sustainable tourism observatories and that is one way in which we engage with our local communities and with the local administrations the political administrations and indeed with members of the communities themselves and a lot of the work that we do i know is not suited for publication but that's one of the roles of the university university is there to serve the wider community and i think many of us attempt to do that in various ways and certainly it's we are perhaps animals that divide ourselves there is our professional research side but equally we are out talking i mean i was i sit on the uh the regional tourism organization advisory board we had me i was attending a meeting only last week and i know for many of my own colleagues in their different fields they too are all working with industries my yesterday i was talking to one of my young colleagues and she's gone and volunteered to do frontal front of house service in one of our hotels in hamilton so that you can keep in touch with the reality of the staff and the experiences that they are facing and with the operations of the university well i'm sorry the hotel and it's up to us if you'd like to be in their own universities to encourage this sort of thing can i jump in there chris i had the experience when i was interviewing somebody for a post he had an impressive list of publications uh but it very quickly turned out that in fact he never actually gathered any of the data himself it was all uh he had students who wanted collective data he sat his life was sitting behind a computer conducting statistical analysis we did not appoint that person but that is a mindset that i fear i see in many of our ancient colonies can i jump in there chris hannah because there's really a good question here from rodri uh roger thomas who you both know very well roger is the growing need to demonstrate wider relevance and impact perhaps something that will sustain our field if we rise to the challenge well certainly here in the post overhead well mike when you're in of course in new zealand we've not really suffered too badly but our tourism industry has suffered not so much in my part of north island of new zealand but in south island which was very dependent upon the international tourists there are businesses that are now no longer existing because of the lack of the international visitor what it has what covet has very clearly shown is just how important tourism is as an industry and how important it is for the sustaining the lifestyles of small communities and therefore i would agree with rodri that being able to show relevance in a political economic and social sphere has become very clear as a result so i would agree with this comment yeah i make a quick comment uh thank you very much chris for for your comments um uh some of them of course you know really made us to to really think about the the future of research in our field whether it's or tourism or whether it's a hospitality maybe we can debate about you know for another 10 20 years about distinction between the two but i think you know we have to go back to the root question that is you know what is the purpose of of of doing research you know the question you know asked by eight right so years ago i still remember the debate about you know purpose of education and i think you know it is a consensus of a large group of people that you know purpose for education we should treat education as a social enterprise right so we are not providing education just for the pragmatic purposes of you know helping people to find a job okay i think you know the same logic probably will be applied to research you know research should be treated as a social enterprise that is that you know can we put ourselves in a position to solve problems to you know help our stakeholders especially in our case industries stakeholders to solve problems right so that should be the the driving factor but also i think you know the challenge is that you know as institutions of higher higher learning just like any kind of institution when the assessment kicks in and then you know it will pose you know uh a a different set of challenges right because i can argue for assessment enterprises implemented in uk for example in australia right uh you know on one hand and then on the other hand you know people will say well you know uh we don't want to have any assessment matrix uh you know implemented or enforced because you know who is to judge the quality of uh my research you know i still believe that you know i'm doing greatest things you know possibly i can do right i'm creating impact right so i think another challenge is that you know how do we implement the you know the performance aspect of a particular institution or organization which is composed of individual members being contributors to that to that institution right so i think you know that is the challenge right you know so all these matrix uh you know they should be treated as you know references and guidelines but unfortunately in many of the you know societal systems you know they are treated as rigid uh you know matrix you know as if that you have either this or you you either have or you there do not have okay so i think you know that is the danger you know if you go through that path and then you know our research will be really measured by just a number right it's really not about you know the impact to to the society the impact on you know policy formulation and so on so forth so i think you know that is the challenge actually well yes and i think the agreement but what i'm arguing was well first of all we ask why is this assessment coming to the fore and one of it is it's a perhaps an unintended consequence of government strive to uh extend participation in universities uh that in the growing technological age each government has argued we need technologically trained people uh people who are also able to think in an innovative manner and that is the function of the university therefore they increased universities but if you remember what i began by since universities were comparatively small institutions where in fact one knew one students extremely well and they knew you and you could drive them and they could not hide and they had to in fact perform and indeed they actually had to perform at an earlier stage in their school career in order to get into university governments when they began to say set targets like 50 of their young people should go to university could not afford that model therefore universities became mass education institutions and they are arguably not sufficiently funded therefore they begin to think more like a corporate in terms of how much money is coming into the institution what prestige does a university have and it drives you then and governments and then as in the uk which has got about i don't know how many universities now when i left it was about 60 or so or more today australia and new zealand governments are saying how do we divide the money between the competing universities and that again is a false argument in that it senses that universities compete well we only compete because we have to to get government it's a circular type of argument that's why i think it's the universities and the researchers themselves who have to break out of this syndrome by doing things of working with communities and realizing that not all of their research is going to lead to a publication but it's easy for me to do that because at my age in my position i don't have to keep looking over my shoulder although i do every five years to have my research assessed and the peculiarity of the new zealand situation is that individual researchers are assessed not just research groupings but it's for us to as i say to link with industry to link with communities but if i was 25 and not 75 then i would be thinking i need to get a job and i can only get a job if i've got my doctoral degree and i've got at least three publications and i've got teaching experience when i joined the university not all of our staff had phds and some of our most imminent researchers did not have phds the world has changed um and i as a doctoral supervisor would be failing my students if i didn't say to them i'm sorry we've actually got to publish you won't get a job and by the way you should be doing some teaching as well otherwise they don't have a career those are the harsh realities even now it may be what i've also suggested perhaps that universal much of what we are teaching at universities at undergraduate level has been known for at least 30 or 40 years and if you're in the field of mathematics you might get up to about the 1930s um if universities are research institutions then perhaps you should push up all undergraduate work to the bottom techniques i would like to chime in at this point with two concluding remarks first thanking uh chris for this very insightful presentation one is one remark that i gather from your presentation and also from the following conversation is whether our performance are being um measured by the way we characterize or define problems if we define problems as technical problems like for example i just read a book of harari where death is defined in terms of a technical problem so you can solve that by technical problems so that's why people think in terms of immortality or is it that our reward system has changed in such a way that universities on themselves or even the whole publishing um world cannot resolve them without engaging in a societal collective process in order to look back at how we have to define our reward system in order to go to a more societal approach to problems so um those are the two remarks that i want to make at the end of this presentation and um i would like again to thank dr chris ryan for his interesting and engaging presentation and we will see each other again at our next abraham pizzam distinguished lecture series on april 21st at 9 30 a.m eastern time which is new

york time with um our guest speaker dr joseph mazzanac professor at module university in vienna thank you very much and please stay safe until the next time thank you thank you very much thank you thank you chris thank you thank you chris excellent bye bye you

2021-04-06 09:00

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