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Community Leadership in Rural Tourism Development: A Tale of Two Ancient Chinese Villages

Keshuai Xu (), Jin Zhang () and Fengjun Tian ()
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Keshuai Xu: School of Tourism and Urban Management, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang 330000, China
Jin Zhang: School of Tourism and Urban Management, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang 330000, China
Fengjun Tian: School of Tourism and Urban Management, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang 330000, China

Sustainability, 2017, vol. 9, issue 12, 1-22

Abstract: Researchers are paying increasing attention to questions of community leadership and rural tourism development. Based on leadership theories and the literature on community leadership and tourism development, this study developed a framework for community leadership in rural tourism development and used it to examine two ancient Chinese villages. We used the longitudinal case study method to collect data, and we used textual analysis to analyze these data. The results show that the rebel leadership characteristic of confrontational actions played an important role in starting the tourism industry in both villages. However, this leadership was difficult to maintain because community leaders and residents had limited power compared to that of outsiders. Losing control of tourism development in the two villages led to banal management, which prevented the emergence of strong community leadership. In the future, we argue that resilient community leadership should be nurtured in the two villages to address more complex problems occurring in tourism development, such as those characterized by vision tensions and conflicts of interest among the stakeholders affected by tourism development. Finally, we suggest that, based on the longitudinal method, future research can focus on the relationship between resilient leadership and the resilience of tourism communities.

Keywords: rural tourism; rebel leadership; resilient leadership; leakage in leadership; banal management; longitudinal studies; rural China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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