Philosophical, Methodological, And Theoretical Approaches In Tourism, Hospitality, And Event Research

Philosophical Theory

Hospitality management is mainly related to the study of an industry which is related to hospitality and tourism as well. This is mainly a major part of the hospitality industry which consists of trained managers related to customer service and human resources. The managers of this industry play a major role in the coordination between the staff members and thereby give the guests a high level of experience. Hospitality management consists of many other components which are hotels, restaurants, resorts, casinos, airlines and tour agencies (Alvesson and Sköldberg 2017). The case study which is taken into consideration for the analysis is related to the progress of the communication and information technology in the tourism and hospitality industry.

Research hypothesis –  H0 – There is no effect of technology and communications in the tourism and hospitality industry.

H1 – The use of technology has affected the field of tourism and hospitality.

The philosophical theory related to the case study of progress of the communications and information related technologies in tourism and hospitality is that the increased use of technology has helped in the development of the industry. The problems and the challenges in the tourism and hospitality industry can be resolved with the help of the use of internet and technologies. The fast development of internet and the integration of the different activities with the technologies have been able to fulfil the increasing demands of the customers (Bernard 2017). This is the major philosophy of the case study analysis that is discussed in the report.


The major usage of different types of technologies related to information and communication in the hospitality industry is the major ontology in the case study. Information technology and communication is an important part of the hospitality industry in the current business scenario. The demands of the customers are increasing in a continuous basis and technologies are useful in fulfilling these demands in a fruitful manner. Internet and web technologies have now become an integral part of each and every industry including the hospitality industry as well (Birks 2014). The usage of technology and communication in the hospitality industry has helped in increasing the efficiency of the different processes.


The case study mainly discusses and analyses the relation between the different technologies that are used in the tourism and hospitality industry with the increasing demands of the consumers. The major stages of the decision-making process of the consumers are discussed in the case study. The rationality of the usage of technology and communications in the tourism and hospitality industry is discussed in the case study. The five major steps of the consumer decision-making process are recognition of the needs, searching the information, evaluating the different alternatives, making decisions related to purchase, behaviour after the purchase (Boufoy-Bastick 2014).



The axiology of the case study is mainly related to the discussion based on aesthetics and the ethics that are involved in the case study. The investigation is related to the concept of what is right and what is good with respect to the individual or the society at large. The usage of communications and technology in the hospitality industry is effective for the individuals and the society as well. Technology can help in speeding up of the different processes that are related to the industry. This will also help in the improvement of customer satisfaction, meeting the demands of the consumers (Carpenter et al. 2016). The reliability of the consumers on the hospitality managers can also be increased with the usage of technology.

The research in the mentioned case study is based on the progressing usage of technologies related to communication and information in the hospitality industry. The data is mainly based on the perceptions of the consumers related to the mentioned topic and perspective of the industry is also taken into consideration. The major technologies that are discussed in the report are mainly the environment of social media, the usage of new processes of communication in the industry (Creswell and Poth 2017). The new technologies can therefore be helpful in improving the relationships between the consumers and the organizations.

Positivism philosophy

The positivism philosophy is mainly a philosophical theory that states knowledge which is based on the natural phenomena and the properties as well as relations. The information that is derived from the sensory experiences are mainly interpreted with the help of logic and reasoning. The philosophy of positivism mainly states that physical surroundings operate according to the general laws (Creswell 2014). The data that is received with the help of the senses are considered to be the empirical evidence and hence it can be said that the philosophy of positivism is mainly based on the empiricism.

Interpretive philosophy

The interpretive philosophy is mainly based on the process of interpreting the different elements of a particular study and this is also a process of integrating human interests within the study. Interpretive philosophy is mainly associated to the philosophical point of the idealism and is thereby used to cluster the diverse approaches together, which include phenomenology, social constructivism and hermeneutics. The study related to interpretive philosophy is mainly focussed on the meaning and it can also employ multiple number of methods so that different aspects of the issue can be reflected (Eriksson and Kovalainen 2015).


Critical philosophy

Critical philosophy is related to the criticism of theories and knowledge rather than justification. The main task of the philosophers is to subject al the related theories rather than demonstrating them. The character of the theories, the foundations and the experiences are also investigated by the philosopher according to the critical philosophy.

The suitable type of philosophy for the case study that is taken into consideration is Interpretive philosophy. Interpretive philosophy is mainly based on the interpretation of qualitative data. The case study does not consist of any quantitative analysis and this is the main reason for selecting interpretive philosophy (Hausman, McPherson and Satz 2016).

Feminist Theory

Feminist theory is mainly related to the critical theory and is an addition to feminism into the philosophical, fictional and theoretical discourse. The feminist philosophy is based to the philosophical approach from the feminist perspective. The issue in the case study can also be seen from the feminist perspective as the use of technology in the hospitality and tourism industry can increase the safety related to the customers (Carpenter et al. 2016).

Postmodernist Theory

The postmodernist theory in research philosophy is described as the way of critical thinking and it is related to the liberation from the discourses of ruling. The attitude of the research towards social world and the current state related to historical development is described as postmodernist theory (Creswell 2014).


Figure 1. Source – Created by author

This method mainly encompasses many other research methods and it is a broad approach related to methodology. The aims related to qualitative research varies with disciplinary backgrounds which includes psychologists who try to gather in-depth understanding related to human behaviour. Qualitative research is mainly related to how the decisions are made and why they are made as well. The qualitative research deals with the understanding of the situation or phenomenon or the event that is obtained after exploring the total situation (Henwood 2014).


The most popular method based on qualitative research is mainly the case study approach which is used to examine the depth of the samples that are provided so that the situation can be understood in a better manner. Huge amounts of data can be analysed with the help of qualitative research. The approach begins with a grounded theory and the researcher can then proceed with scientific as well as empirical ways of research (Hick 2015).

Qualitative research approaches


Qualitative research approach is mainly based on the ways by which approaches of conducting research are analysed. The purpose of the research is also described in an implicit or explicit manner. The role of the research is analysed, followed by the stages of the research and the method of data analysis as well. Qualitative research is mainly inductive in nature and thereby no clear research question is mentioned. There are many diverse types of approaches related to qualitative research. The approaches include, narrative, grounded theory, phenomenology, case study and ethnography (Law, Buhalis and Cobanoglu 2014).


Ethnography is mainly based on the organized study of cultures and the people as well. This is used to analyse the cultural phenomena in which the researcher observes the society from the topic point of view. The culture of a particular group is represented graphically or with the help of writing using the method of ethnography. Ethnography is mainly based on the presentation of the empirical data related to the human cultures and the societies. Ethnography is mainly the holistic study of a particular subject the history of that subject, the climate, the terrain and the habitat. Ethnographical studies need to be reflexive in nature so that it can make a contribution regarding the understanding of the social life of the humans (Marshall and Rossman 2014).

Grounded Theory

Grounded theory can be explained as the methodology which is inductive in nature and it is a general theory. This is based on the generation of theory from systematic research and the generation of theory is also systematic in nature. This approach is inductive in nature which is contrasting to the hypothetico-deductive approach. The studies which involve grounded theory mostly begin with a query or a collection of the qualitative data. As and when more data is gathered and then reread, the codes are grouped together as concepts and the concepts are gathered as categories (Neuhofer, Buhalis and Ladkin 2015).


The study related to phenomenology is mainly focussed on the experiences, occurrences and events with less regard to the physical reality and external factors. Phenomenology is mainly related to the variation of the interpretive philosophy, including many other variations like symbolic interactionism and hermeneutics. The ideas related to business that are generated with the help of phenomenology are gained from large quantities of data with the help of human interest and induction.

The qualitative research method that is most suitable for the mentioned case study is the method of ethnography. As has been discussed earlier ethnography is the best approach that can be used for qualitative research of case studies (O’Gorman, Lochrie and Watson 2014). The approach of ethnography can therefore be used to analyse the use of technology and communications in the tourism and hospitality industry. The perspective of the consumers can also be analysed easily with the help of ethnography approach.

Research Philosophy


Figure 2. Source – Created by author

Qualitative data collection methods

Qualitative data is collected by a variety of methods which is used for the research related activities. The different data collection methods that are used for the purpose of qualitative research are, focus groups, individual interviews, action research and observations. These methods of data collection can be successfully used to collect data with the help of the different samples that are provided (O’Malley et al. 2014).


Interviews are the most effective tool that can be used to collect data for qualitative research. The interviews are conducted so that the shortfalls of the previous collected data can be fulfilled with the help of this process. Deep understanding and thinking can be undertaken with the help of this approach. Interviews can be helpful for the researchers so that they can uncover the deep insight and the rich information that they had missed earlier. However, the interview approach is a massive task and it is also a time-consuming process. Interviews have been used in the case study that has been taken into consideration (Ormston et al. 2014). The consumers have been interviewed and their ways of behaving was also analysed with the help of this process.

4Focus group

Focus group is another approach that can be used for the purpose of qualitative research and this includes the process of interviews as well. A chosen group of people are interviewed in an interactive session and topic of the survey is also discussed in detail. The presence of all the relevant people in a group at the same point of time can encourage the members to get involved in a discussion. This can help the researchers to uncover relevant information that can be useful for the survey. The facts related to the research are then gathered together and researchers can understand all the sides of the topic (Pierre 2014). The search related to groups of relevant people is however a difficult task. The focus group approach has also been used to analyse the behaviour of the consumers and thereby take decisions related to the usage of technology in the tourism processes.

Participants observation

Observation is another useful approach related to the analysis of qualitative research. The observation of the phenomena related to the research topic can prove to be an effective method of collecting the data with minimum interference. The samples which are not responsive are not an issue for the purpose of making the direct observations. Simple observations do not require any type of interruption. The observation approach has also been used in the case study by the different organizations of the tourism and hospitality sector to analyse the usage of technology (Raftopoulos and Müller 2016).

Positivism Philosophy

Qualitative data analysis

The examination of qualitative data is conducted after the collection of all the relevant information is done with the help of the facts collection approaches. The procedure of data analysis comprises of many other procedures which are examining, categorising, tabulating and recombining. The analysis of qualitative data involves many other processes which involves coding of the information, categorising the information and thereby making sense related to the various meanings of the phenomenon. Qualitative analysis can therefore be defined as the method by which the raw data is collected and then it is used to provide the explanations, the understanding and the interpretation of the topic of the research (Sekaran and Bougie 2016).

Quantitative research is conducted with the help of systematic investigation of the empirical data with the help of mathematical, statistical and computational techniques. The main objective of quantitative research is to formulate and thereby to employ the mathematical models, hypotheses and theories that are related to the research topic. The process related to amount is mainly central to the quantitative research as it delivers the major connection between the accurate expression and empirical observation (Singh 2015).


The researcher of the topic analyses the relevant data with the help of the statistics and it is expected that an unbiased result is provided and can be generalized for a larger number of people. Quantitative research is mainly used in the fields of economics, psychology, sociology, demography, marketing, human and health development, community health and political science. The quantitative methods can be thereby used to prove the truth of the hypotheses that is related to the research (Winsberg, Huebner and Kukla 2014). The different scientific methods that are used for this purpose are, generation of the theories, models and hypotheses, development of the instruments, manipulation of the variables, collection of the data and analysis (Wortham 2015).

Quantitative data collection method

The collection of data related to quantitative research is done with the help of mathematical, statistical or numerical analysis of the data that is collected with the help of polls, surveys and questionnaires. This type of research mainly focusses on the process of gathering the numerical data and thereby generalizing this data across the different groups of people. The major goal of this type of research is mainly to determine the relation between the independent variables.

Sampling method

Sampling methods are used in the quantitative research to gather the relevant information that is required for the purpose of research. There are mainly two kinds of sampling methods which include probability sampling and non-probability sampling. The sampling methods are used for the purpose of generalizing about the various groups that are larger the samples that are taken into consideration (Yanow and Schwartz-Shea 2015). The goals and the techniques that are related to probability sampling are different from the goals of the non-probability sampling.

Interpretive Philosophy

Questionnaire survey

Questionnaires are considered to be the most effective and convenient manner of gathering the information from the people and can be used to cover a larger geographical area. This approach can be used to gather both qualitative and quantitative information and the bias of the interviewer are also reduced in this process. Quantitative types of questionnaires are the best method to collect data that is numerical data and can be used to confirm the hypotheses (Alvesson and Sköldberg 2017).

Quantitative data analysis

Quantitative data analysis is related to the method by which the raw numbers are transformed to significant data with the help of application of the critical and rational thinking. The similar figures within a particular data set is deduced in different ways and it is also significant to apply cautious and fair judgement. The primary data is analysed critically and interpreted with the help of comparing it with the other findings within the particular framework (Bernard 2017).

Inferential statistics

Inferential statistics is considered to be a branch of the statistics that uses some random sample data that is taken from a population. This is mainly used to describe and thereby make inferences regarding the population. Inferential statistics are important with relation to the examination of each participant of the entire population.

Descriptive statistics

Descriptive statistics is mainly used to describe the major features of a particular data within a study. The simple summaries related to the sample as well as the measures are provided with the help of descriptive statistics. The analysis related to descriptive statistics is done with the usage of mean, median and mode. The process is conducted with the help of Microsoft Excel and the results are then analysed (Boufoy-Bastick 2014).

Mixed methodology is formed with the combination of quantitative and qualitative data, methodologies and methods related to the study of the research. Mixed methods of research is related to the collection, analysis and thereby integrating the qualitative and quantitative research. The mixed model of research consists of quantitative and qualitative projects which are mixed in all the stages of the research (Creswell and Poth 2017).

Ethics and ethical norms play an significant role in serving the goals or aims of the research and thereby apply to the people who conduct creative activities and scientific research. There are many specialized disciplines and ethics related to research that are important to study the norms. The ethical norms of research are important to conduct the research in an effective manner (Carpenter et al. 2016).

Critical Philosophy


The report related to the research is based on the case study that is taken into consideration. The case study is mainly related to the progress of technology in the field of tourism and hospitality. The usage of technologies associated communication and information is analysed in the case study. The qualitative methods and the quantitative methods of analysis are examined in the report. The proper ways of research are also decided with the help of analysis of the different types of research methods. The case study is however mainly based on the qualitative methods of research and the different types of qualitative research are applied


Alvesson, M. and Sköldberg, K., 2017. Reflexive methodology: New vistas for qualitative research. Sage.

Bernard, H.R., 2017. Research methods in anthropology: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Rowman & Littlefield.

Birks, M., 2014. Practical philosophy. Qualitative methodology. A practical guide, pp.17-29.

Boufoy-Bastick, B., 2014. Culturometrics: A constructionist philosophy for humanistic inquiry in qualitative identity research. The Qualitative Report19(5), p.1.

Carpenter, J., Dopson, L.R., Kim, Y.H. and Kniatt, N., 2016. Curriculum assessment through a capstone course: a case study in hospitality and tourism programs. Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism16(1), pp.40-59.

Creswell, J.W. and Poth, C.N., 2017. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage publications.

Creswell, J.W., 2014. A concise introduction to mixed methods research. Sage Publications.

Eriksson, P. and Kovalainen, A., 2015. Qualitative methods in business research: A practical guide to social research. Sage.

Hausman, D., McPherson, M. and Satz, D., 2016. Economic analysis, moral philosophy, and public policy. Cambridge University Press.

Henwood, K., 2014. Qualitative research. Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology, pp.1611-1614.

Hick, D.H., 2015. Research Resources in Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art. The Bloomsbury Companion to Aesthetics, p.298.

Law, R., Buhalis, D. and Cobanoglu, C., 2014. Progress on information and communication technologies in hospitality and tourism. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management26(5), pp.727-750.

Marshall, C. and Rossman, G.B., 2014. Designing qualitative research. Sage publications.

Neuhofer, B., Buhalis, D. and Ladkin, A., 2015. Smart technologies for personalized experiences: a case study in the hospitality domain. Electronic Markets25(3), pp.243-254.

O’Gorman, K., Lochrie, S. and Watson, A., 2014. Research philosophy and case studies. Research Methods for Business & Management, pp.152-172.

O’Malley, M.A., Brigandt, I., Love, A.C., Crawford, J.W., Gilbert, J.A., Knight, R., Mitchell, S.D. and Rohwer, F., 2014. Multilevel research strategies and biological systems. Philosophy of Science81(5), pp.811-828.

Ormston, R., Spencer, L., Barnard, M. and Snape, D., 2014. The foundations of qualitative research. Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers2.

Pierre, E.S., 2014. A brief and personal history of post qualitative research: Toward “post inquiry”. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing30(2).

Raftopoulos, A. and Müller, V.C., 2016. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research92(1).

Sekaran, U. and Bougie, R., 2016. Research methods for business: A skill building approach. John Wiley & Sons.

Singh, K.D., 2015. Creating your own qualitative research approach: Selecting, integrating and operationalizing philosophy, methodology and methods. Vision19(2), pp.132-146.

Winsberg, E., Huebner, B. and Kukla, R., 2014. Accountability and values in radically collaborative research. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A46, pp.16-23.

Wortham, S., 2015. Clearing away assumptions through philosophy and research. Studies in Philosophy and Education34(2), pp.125-136.

Yanow, D. and Schwartz-Shea, P., 2015. Interpretation and method: Empirical research methods and the interpretive turn. Routledge

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