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Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490


Research article

An investigation of academic leadership in tourism research: 19852004

Weibing Zhaoa,, J.R. Brent Ritchieb
Tourism Management, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W. Calgary, Alberta, CANADA T2N 1N4
Tourism Management Area, World Tourism Education and Research Centre, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Canada
Received 18 March 2005; accepted 15 March 2006


This study presents the ndings of a comprehensive investigation of academic leadership in tourism research, as measured by the
quantity of articles published in eight journals in the eld between 1985 and 2004. Fifty-seven of the most prolic scholars have been
identied as leading scholars, each of whom has published at least 11 articles in the period under study. The general prole of these
scholars was further documented through a detailed examination of their educational background, institutional afliation, multi-
authorship, and gender. Based upon previous literature, this study adds more value by exploring a wider variety of journals over a longer
time frame and by collecting additional relevant information.
r 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Authorship analysis; Journal assessment; Productivity; Tourism research

1. Introduction institutions in terms of publication productivity in a given

time frame.
As tourism has quickly gained its scientic status over This article seeks to follow and expand the literature of the
the past two decades, research interest within the tourism second line of enquiry by focusing on leading tourism
academic community itself has also grown. The develop- scholars as the research subjects. Academic leadership, as
ment of this kind of research interest reects the matura- dened in this article, refers to the superior capability of
tion of tourism and the natural curiosity of those involved some tourism scholars to communicate their research works
in this discipline. Basically, two approaches have been in accredited tourism journals. Although these prolic
followed in this type of research. The rst is devoted to the scholars account for but a small proportion of the total
evaluation and ranking of journals in the eld. The usual amount of publication in the journals (Ryan, 2005), it is
practice using this approach is to investigate the percep- through their abundant and consistent publications that they
tions of tourism experts regarding the quality of the are able to have inuential impacts on the issues and trends
growing tourism-related journals through surveys (e.g. of tourism research. One of the obvious reasons for
Pechlaner, Zehrer, & Abfalter, 2002; Sheldon, 1990; analyzing these leading scholars is to provide a better
Pechlaner, Zehrer, Matzler, & Abfalter, 2004). In contrast, understanding of the factors underlying their success. In
the other approach is focused on tourism scholars and more practical terms, it also provides information that could
institutions, and heavily depends on hard data (e.g. facilitate the decision-making of academic administrators
Jogaratnam, Chon, McCleary, Mena, & Yoo, 2005; Ryan, and accrediting agencies regarding pay, promotion, resource
2005; Sheldon, 1991). The objective of this line of enquiry is allocation, and accreditation (Cox & Gustavson, 1990; Page,
to identify the most frequently contributing scholars and 2005). The information also may aid prospective and current
graduate students, and young faculty in tourism in career
Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 403 220 8624; fax: +1 403 282 0266. planning (Sheldon, 1991). Whats more, there is intrinsic
historical value in the documentation of leading scholars
E-mail addresses: weibing.zhao@haskayne.ucalgary.ca (W. Zhao),
britchie@ucalgary.ca (J.R.B. Ritchie). (Jogaratnam et al., 2005).

0261-5177/$ - see front matter r 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490 477

This article is organized as follows. The next section (2005) is a personal reection on the practices of ranking
provides a summary of prior research, which is followed by and rating of academics and journals in tourism re-
a discussion of methodology, including detailed descrip- search. Based on the database of CABI Publishings
tions of the sample selection and data collection proce- leisuretourism.com, Ryan (2005) identied 52 of the
dures. The results are then presented for the 19852004 most published tourism scholars by counting the number
period. The nal section concludes and presents some of their academic articles in 16 tourism-related journals.
implications for future research. Ryan (2005) also provided a ranking of these scholars,
which was based on all the journal articles covered by
2. Review of the Literature leisuretourism.com.
Though insightful and valuable, prior research of
2.1. Authorship Analysis in Tourism authorship analysis in tourism has, we believe, three
limitations. For one thing, the journals under considera-
Although authorship analysis has been a common tion are either too narrow or too broad. Sheldon (1991)
practice in other mature disciplines or elds, it is still a and Jogaratnam et al. (2005) collected their data solely
very recent research phenomenon in tourism (Pearce, based on the top 3, i.e., Annals, JTR, and TM. Although
1992). So far, only a couple of studies have been reported. these three journals have been long established in tourism,
The pioneer work by Sheldon (1991) represents an initial the exclusion of other high-quality, peer-reviewed, tourism-
systematic try in this respect. Based on the three tourism specic journals may unreasonably downplay the research
journals Annals of Tourism Research (Annals), Journal of contributions of many individual tourism scholars
Travel Research (JTR), and Tourism Management (TM), (McKercher, 2005). To the contrary, in order to obtain
Sheldon analyzed the authorship of tourism research the ranking data, Ryan (2005) examined all the journals
during the decade of the 1980s (19801989). Descriptive in leisuretourism.com, the majority of which are not
statistical analysis was widely used to investigate the tourism-specic. Even in the 16 tourism-related journals
characteristics of tourism scholars appearing in these three that Ryan (2005) examined in detail, some have not yet
journals in terms of academic/nonacademic authorship, grown to be international in a real sense. Thus, inclusion
geographic location of authors, institutional contributions of those tourism-unrelated journals or the least re-
to tourism research, and repeat contributions by authors. ferenced journals also distorts an appropriate evalua-
The unique value of this research lies in its objectivity in tion of individual contributions to the body of tourism
revealing the overall prole of the emerging international knowledge. Second, leading scholars are not yet to
tourism research community in the 1980s. In this sense, it be specially treated as research subjects. It seems that
enhances the identity of tourism as a distinct, maturing previous researchers were only interested in identifying
eld of study and appropriately recognizes the contribution and listing prolic tourism scholars and institutions by
of tourism scholars and their institutions to the body of counting their works, with no intention to go further and
knowledge in tourism. Noticeably, in analyzing the repeat investigate the possible factors that might have contri-
contributions by authors, Sheldon (1991) ranked the buted to their outstanding performance. As a result, the
tourism authors according to their research contributions data, data analysis, and ndings are constrained. Third,
in the three journals. However, the ranking was just a all three studies reviewed above used the absolute number
group one based on profession; no individual scholars were of journal articles to rank tourism scholars. Treating
identied and ranked. Employing a very similar approach every author equivalently, such a ranking criterion favors
to Sheldons (1991), Jogaratnam et al. (2005) conducted an multi-authorship over single authorship, and thus may
up-to-date analysis, examining the institutional contribu- not objectively rate the productivity of individual scholars.
tors to the same three journals from 1992 to 2001. To address these limitations, this study attempts to
Specically, Jogaratnam et al. (2005) analyzed the author provide greater validity and applicability in the assess-
afliations, repeat contributions by authors, repeat con- ment of tourism scholars by examining a number of
tributions by institution, and contributions by geographic discreetly selected journals over a longer period of time,
area. Although these analyses are basically the same as and by collecting much more additional data concer-
Sheldons (1991), Jogaratnam et al. (2005) added more ning leading tourism scholars, as suggested by Wood
value by identifying a list of 45 intensely contributing (1995) and Losekoot, Verginis, and Wood (2001). Speci-
researchers in terms of the absolute number of appearances cally, this study will address the following questions:
in the journal articles. Probably because the emphasis (1) Who are the most published scholars in the eld
of this research was on the institutions that employ of tourism in the past two decades? (2) What is their
scholars rather than individual authors, Jogaratnam et al. general prole, such as publications, education back-
(2005) did not further investigate the characteristics of ground, afliations, etc.? (3) Are there any correlations
these leading tourism scholars. However, they did indicate between their academic leadership and some prole
that examining the afliations of these leading scholars characteristics? (4) What implications can be drawn
would provide information on the attractiveness of a for university administrators and potential graduate
given institution as a center for research. Ryans article students?
478 W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490

2.2. Journal Quality Assessment in Tourism there existed signicant differences between the evaluators
in the United States and those in other countries. For the
To access the data concerning the productivity of evaluators in the United States, the top 10 journals were
individual tourism scholars, the selection of journals is no JTR, Annals, CHRAQ, JTTM, Journal of Leisure Research
doubt the rst prerequisite procedure. Until now, there (JLR), TM, JHTR, IJHM, TA, and Journal of Tourism
have been no ofcial statistics, or research, on the exact Studies (JTS), while for the evaluators in other countries,
number of academic tourism-related journals. Before the the top 10 journals were Annals, TM, JTR, JoST, JTTM,
1990s, there were only a few of inuential journals JTS, IJHM, JHTR, CHRAQ, and TA. If hospitality
specializing in tourism, noticeably Annals, JTR, and TM. journals were not considered, the top 10 tourism journals
It is not surprising that at that time considerable tourism should be JTR, Annals, JTTM, TM, TA, JTS, JoST,
research had to be communicated in hospitality and leisure Journal of Vacation Marketing (JVM), Asia Pacific
journals; thus the eld was quite fragmented. But since the Journal of Tourism Research (APJTR), and Tourism
1990s, as tourism gradually gained in disciplinary status, Recreation Research (TRR) for the evaluators in the
we have seen a rapid boom in the number of tourism- United States, and Annals, TM, JTR, JoST, JTTM, JTS,
specic journals. According to Pechlaner et al. (2002), the TA, Tourism Review (TR), Tourism Economics (TE), and
eld of tourism currently hosts more than 75 journals Tourism Recreation Research (TRR) for the evaluators in
around the world, among which more than 40 are other countries. Ryan (2005) also identied and listed the
internationally recognized (McKercher, 2005). Given this top 10 tourism journals based on frequency of hits in
growth of tourism journals, there is a need for an upgraded searches in leisuretourism.com, i.e., Annals, TM, JTR,
journal quality assessment. JoST, JTS, Travel and Tourism Analyst (TTA), Travel and
Sheldon (1990) rst used the survey method to explore Tourism Intelligence (TTI), TA, TRR, and International
the quality and usage of 15 tourism and hospitality Journal of Tourism Research (IJTR). This ranking list has
journals, as perceived by faculty who had published seven tourism journals in common with that of Pechlaner
articles. Among the 15 journals, only eight were tourism- et al. (2004), and thus to some extent veries the validity of
specic journals, i.e., Annals, JTR, TM, Hospitality and the ndings by Pechlaner et al. (2004).
Tourism Educator, International Tourism Reports, Tourism The above review of journal quality assessment literature
Recreation Research, Tourist Review, and Travel and indicates that tourism academics may never achieve an
Tourism Analyst. The result shows that Annals, JTR, and absolute consensus on any ranking list. Although it seems
TM consistently take the rst three places in the mind of that there is no doubt about the tier A status of Annals,
tourism faculty, with respect to quality, frequency of JTR, and TM in the eld of tourism, the perception of the
referencing, and frequency of publishing, although their quality of other tourism journals is quite ambiguous. This
order is not necessarily the same. In contrast, none of the degree of ambiguity puts us in a very ambivalent situation
remaining ve tourism journals was among the top 6. By when selecting journals for the study of leading scholars.
the means of electronic survey, Pechlaner et al. (2002) rated We believe that there is a situational need for the
22 tourism and hospitality journals in terms of their establishment of a more objective hierarchical ranking of
readership frequency, scientic relevance, practical rele- tourism journals, as advocated by McKercher (2005).
vance, reputation, and importance for academic career. However, before the establishment of such a ranking
The journal list was based on the Accredited Journal system, we were obliged to make a decision of our own in
Coverage List of the Emerald Reviews 400 in the eld of order to proceed. Based on a comprehensive consideration
hospitality and tourism, and the targeted respondents were of the relevant research to date and our personal
TTRA and AIEST members. The result shows that Annals, reections, we selected eight journals for study and data
JTR, TM, Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration collection, i.e., Annals, JTR, TM, JTTM, JTS, JoST, TA,
Quarterly (CHRAQ), Journal of Travel and Tourism and TRR. Although we acknowledge some subjectivity is
Marketing (JTTM), Journal of Sustainable Tourism involved, three facts provide justication for our selection.
(JoST), Tourism Analysis (TA), Journal of Hospitality First, all these journals are internationally recognized. The
and Tourism Research (JHTR), and International Journal literature review shows that each of them has been included
of Hospitality Management (IJHM) consistently enter the in all, or most, ranking lists for tourism journals. Second,
top 10. Noticeably, Annals, JTR, and TM were indis- these journals publish all kinds of tourism research with no
putably identied as the top 3 tourism journals, a nding special preference for some research topics, and thus can
exactly consistent with Sheldons (1990). However, a host a diversity of tourism scholars. Third, all these
problem with this research is that all the rankings were a journals have a relatively long history, and have gained
mix of tourism and hospitality journals, thus confusing the respectable positions in the tourism research community.
relative importance of individual tourism journals. An- JTR, Annals, and TRR were launched before the 1980s,
other journal ranking research by Pechlaner et al. (2004) TM in the 1980s, JTS in 1990, JTTM in 1992, JoST in
presents similar ndings, based on the same survey data. 1993, and TA in 1996. The relatively long history of
Annals, JTR, and TM were still the most highly rated existence, to some extent, indicates superior journal
journals. However, it was found that for many journals quality.
W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490 479

3. Method scholars must be a subset of the authors appearing in

Annals, JTR, and TM during 19852004. After we
In this study, only the peer-reviewed full-length articles obtained a thorough list of author names from the author
in the eight selected journals from 1985 to 2004 were indices of Annals, JTR, and TM during 19852004, we
counted. Book reviews, research notes, short communica- narrowed the scope of our search by identifying those
tions, conference reports, and correspondents are ex- scholars who have published at least ve articles in these
cluded1. The number of author appearances in these three journals. Then, we searched the academic record of
journal articles forms the basic data to identify and rank these scholars in the eight selected journals, and ranked
the most prolic tourism scholars. To more precisely assess them in terms of the number of appearances. Since all eight
the research contribution of individual scholars, author journals are covered by leisuretourism.com, this website
appearances were adjusted to be a fraction for multiple- provides an excellent database to search the academic
authored articles. For instance, for an article authored by record of these tourism scholars. In addition, other
three, the contribution of each author was equivalently databases such as EBSCOhost, Elsevier ScienceDirect,
considered as 1/3 article. Although some prior research has ABI/INFORM Global, and GEOBASE were also examined
implied that adjusted and unadjusted appearances are in order to validate the data from leisuretourism.com. The
highly correlated and essentially redundant measures of rst 50 scholars in the ranking became the research sample
productivity (Jogaratnam et al., 2005), it is a much more of this study. After that, further personal data were
common practice to rank leading scholars in terms of collected with respect to their educational background,
adjusted appearances (e.g. Cox & Gustavson, 1990; Glass afliation, multi-authorship, gender, etc.
& Chen, 2005; Heck & Cooley, 1988; Mathieu &
McConomy, 2003; to name only a few). Thus, based on 4. Results
the number of adjusted appearances, we obtained another
adjusted ranking of leading scholars. Here, there is a 4.1. Overview
practical concern that our approach for adjustment might
fail to sufciently consider the possible inequality with Table 1 gives a list of leading scholars and the number of
respect to the contribution of each author in a multiple- their publications in the eight selected tourism journals
authored article as the leading authors are usually assumed from 1985 to 2004. Since seven scholars tied at the last
to play a relatively bigger role. So, an alternative way to position, there are in total 57 scholars in our ranking list. In
adjust the raw number of articles is to assign differentiating terms of the ranking outcome, a scholar must have
coefcients to each position. However, there is also a published at least 11 articles in order to be included in
counter argument that the sequence of authors in multiple- the top 50 tourism scholars, 13 for top 40, 15 for top 30, 18
authored articles is not always arranged in terms of the for top 20, and 26 for top 10. By publishing 43 articles in
amount of contribution; actually, it is quite common as the 8 selected journals, Dr. Daniel Fesenmaier was the
well that the sequence of authors is decided by surname, or most productive tourism scholar during the period 1985-
even is assigned randomly. In addition, determining the 2004. On average, he published about two articles per
amount of contribution in a multiple-authored article annum. If the articles are adjusted for multi-authorship (an
sometimes is very subjective. Based upon these considera- adjustment we believe is meaningful), Dr. Chris Ryan
tions, we chose to use equal fractional credit for adjust- assumed the rst place by publishing 24.87 equivalent
ment. But it should be reminded that this in no way means single-authored articles.
the alternative way for adjustment is of less value. It seems that leading scholars have less interest in
For the purposes of this study, our ideal is to identify publishing in lower-tier journals. Among these 57 leading
and list a sample of 50 leading tourism scholars over the scholars, 48 scholars have published more in Annals, JTR,
past two decades. The basic entry condition for considera- and TM than in the other 5 tourism journals. Although the
tion is that the scholar should have at least ve articles entry barrier was set to be moderate, the average number
published in Annals, JTR, and TM during 19852004. We of the articles published in Annals, JTR, and TM was as
believe that to be recognized as a leading scholar, a tourism high as 12.6. Up to 38 leading scholars have published at
researcher must have the capacity to communicate a least 10 articles in these three journals. In contrast, only
certain number of his/her works in these three most about 6 articles on average have been published in the
honoured tourism journals. The threshold was purposely remaining ve journals. In addition, it is interesting that
set somewhat moderate in order to avoid a strong journal only 3, 4, and 4 leading scholars never publish respectively
bias.2 In terms of the entry condition, the top 50 leading in Annals, JTR, and TM. In contrast, 15 never publish in
JTTM, 37 never in JTS, 28 never in JoST, 32 never in TA,
and 31 never in TRR. These facts indicate that Annals,
Please note that articles published in Tourism Management labelled as JTR, and TM are no doubt the most favoured venues for
Case Study are also excluded.
In fact, in terms of the study by Jogaratnam et al. (2005), a tourism leading scholars to communicate their research works,
scholar only needs ve articles in a ten-year time frame in Annals, JTR, followed by JTTM, JoST, TRR, TA, and JTS. The
and TM to enter the top 45. relatively low publication rate among secondary journals
480 W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490

Table 1
Fifty-seven leading scholars listed by the number of articles published in eight tourism journals (19852004)

Unadjusted Name Annals JTR TM Subtotala JTTM JTS JoST TA TRR Total Adjusted Adjusted
rank totalb rank

1 Fesenmaier, Daniel 6 20 3 29 9 0 0 5 0 43 19.03 4

2 Ryan, Chris 7 1 15 23 4 0 8 0 4 39 24.87 1
3 Crompton, John L. 10 21 5 36 0 0 0 0 0 36 17.33 6
4 Witt, Stephen F. 9 10 14 33 2 0 0 0 0 35 17.17 7
4 Uysal, Muzaffer 3 15 7 25 5 1 2 2 0 35 13.25 13
6 OLeary, Joseph 1 6 4 11 9 8 1 4 1 34 10.8 22
6 Morrison, Alastair 1 4 5 10 12 8 1 1 2 34 10.72 23
8 Ritchie, J. R. Brent 1 10 8 19 1 1 3 1 2 27 17.67 5
8 Perdue, Richard 7 15 2 24 1 0 0 2 0 27 17.08 8
10 Pearce, Douglas 6 6 8 20 1 1 1 2 1 26 23 2
11 Oppermann, Martin 6 5 3 14 2 2 0 1 5 24 21.83 3
12 Pizam, Abraham 6 10 6 22 1 0 0 0 0 23 11.77 18
13 Getz, Donald 3 3 7 13 1 3 4 0 1 22 14.83 9
13 Pearce, Philip 8 3 2 13 1 3 4 0 1 22 12.32 17
15 McKercher, Bob 4 6 4 14 4 0 3 0 0 21 14 11
16 Wall, Geoffrey 8 0 5 13 1 1 2 1 2 20 11.33 20
17 Williams, Peter 1 6 3 10 3 2 1 0 3 19 8.92 28
18 Crouch, Geoffrey 2 6 2 10 2 2 0 4 0 18 12.92 15
18 Law, Rob 1 2 7 10 8 0 0 0 0 18 9.58 26
18 Timothy, Dallen J. 3 0 2 5 2 2 3 0 6 18 13.17 14
18 Moscardo, Gianna M. 3 2 0 5 1 8 2 0 2 18 8.85 29
22 Faulkner, Bill 3 4 7 14 0 0 1 2 0 17 9.08 27
22 Cohen, Erik 12 0 1 13 0 0 1 0 3 17 14.33 10
22 Sheldon, Pauline J. 7 5 1 13 3 1 0 0 0 17 12.5 16
22 Butler, Richard W. 4 3 4 11 0 1 1 2 2 17 9.67 25
22 Crotts, John C. 2 2 3 7 7 1 1 0 1 17 8.83 30
27 Woodside, Arch G. 0 10 1 11 3 0 0 2 0 16 7.33 42
28 Prentice, Richard 6 0 8 14 1 0 0 0 0 15 7.17 43
28 Smith, Stephen L. J. 5 4 2 11 0 0 1 3 0 15 11.42 19
28 Sirakaya, Ercan 3 7 1 11 1 0 1 2 0 15 7 46
28 Cooper, Chris 2 1 4 7 1 1 2 0 4 15 7.92 36
28 Dwyer, Larry 3 1 3 7 0 3 1 2 2 15 7.03 45
33 Riley, Michael 4 1 6 11 1 0 0 2 0 14 8.33 33
33 Teye, Victor B. 4 2 4 10 0 0 0 1 3 14 10.83 21
33 Ross, Glenn F. 2 2 2 6 2 2 0 1 3 14 14 11
36 Hope, Christine A. 4 2 7 13 0 0 0 0 0 13 6.67 50
36 Lee, Choong-Ki 2 3 7 12 1 0 0 0 0 13 7.67 37
36 Baum, Tom 2 2 6 10 0 0 1 0 2 13 8.33 33
36 Bramwell, Bill 4 1 4 9 0 0 2 0 2 13 8.83 30
36 Roehl, Wesley 2 6 1 9 4 0 0 0 0 13 6.92 48
36 Page, Stephen J. 3 1 5 9 1 0 2 0 1 13 6.75 49
36 Go, Frank M. 0 2 6 8 3 0 0 0 2 13 7.42 41
36 Kozak, Metin 2 1 2 5 2 0 1 5 0 13 9.92 24
44 Milman, Ady 2 7 3 12 0 0 0 0 0 12 7.67 37
44 Weaver, David 4 4 3 11 0 0 1 0 0 12 8.67 32
44 Sonmez, Sevil F. 3 7 0 10 1 0 0 1 0 12 5.37 53
44 Petrick, James F. 2 6 1 9 0 0 0 3 0 12 8.17 35
44 Chen, Joseph S. 3 1 4 8 1 0 0 3 0 12 7.5 39
44 Kerstetter, Deborah 1 5 2 8 3 0 0 1 0 12 5 55
44 Fennell, David A. 3 1 3 7 0 0 1 0 4 12 7.5 39
51 Gilbert, David C. 2 1 7 10 1 0 0 0 0 11 6.17 51
51 Long, Patrick 3 5 2 10 0 0 0 0 1 11 5.17 54
51 Snepenger, David 2 8 0 10 1 0 0 0 0 11 4.5 57
51 Prideaux, Bruce 0 1 7 8 2 0 1 0 0 11 7.17 43
51 Vogt, Christine A. 2 6 0 8 3 0 0 0 0 11 4.83 56
51 Baloglu, Seyhmus 1 4 2 7 1 0 0 3 0 11 7 46
51 King, Brian 2 1 4 7 1 1 1 0 1 11 5.67 52
The subtotal should be at least 5.
Each article is adjusted according to the number of co-authors.
W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490 481

may be a factor of their relative newness, rather than their or elds involved span forestry, computer science, sociol-
inherent weakness or lack of stature. Well established ogy, planning, and philosophy, each of which has nurtured
academics may have developed a sort of loyalty to the three one leading scholar. This nding is basically consistent
core journals, and as such, may be less inclined to with the traditional image of tourism as a multidisciplinary
communicate their research works in the other newer research area. Judging only from the sample of the 57
journals. In a related comment, newer academics may not leading scholars, it seems that geography, leisure/recrea-
feel the same compulsion to publish in the Big 3, since tion, and business/management are the most relevant three
they now have multiple publication opportunities. disciplines or areas to tourism research, and the scholars
The list of leading scholars should be read with trained in these disciplines or areas may be in a better
discretion. What we are trying to convey is information position to pursue tourism research and be successful. It is
regarding the academic leadership of individual scholars in a bit embarrassing that there are only six leading scholars
tourism research, rather than an overall evaluation of having doctoral training in tourism in a real sense. This
productivity. Not entering the list or ranking at a lower may be largely due to the youth of most tourism Ph.D.
position does not necessarily mean less scholarly produc- programs around the world. Tourism Ph.D. graduates are
tivity, since tourism research may be not the primary or still a minority group among tourism academics. In
sole emphasis of the scholars research activities. For addition, most of them are still in the early stages of their
example, Dr. John Crompton has published extensively in career, and evidently require some time for growth. It is
both leisure/recreation and tourism. If we count his overall also puzzling that hospitality, a eld widely believed to be
productivity, he will be the top scholar, as indicated by the bosom buddy of tourism, shows a very poor connection
Ryans study (2005). But in terms of tourism research, he with academic leadership in tourism according to our
only occupies the 3rd position. Another point worth sample. We note that none of the 57 leading scholars has
mentioning is that the time frame covered by this study is had doctoral training in hospitality.
from January 1985 to December 2004. Publications either The doctoral degrees of the 57 leading scholars involve
before or after this period are not considered.3 We 40 degree-granting universities. Texas A & M University is
acknowledge the impact this may have on the ranking of the most fertile institution in terms of training world-class
both older and newer scholars, as well as any variation tourism researchers. So far, it has graduated seven leading
resulting from the input of new data. scholars. In addition, it is worth special mention that all
these seven scholars graduated from the same Ph.D.
program offered by its Department of Recreation, Park
4.2. Educational Background
and Tourism Sciences. The University of Western Ontario
takes the second place by granting ve of the leading
According to Table 2, all the 57 leading scholars we have
tourism scholars Ph.D. degree, followed by Pennsylvania
identied hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree, indicating a
State University (4), Clemson University (2), University of
very strong correlation between doctoral training and
Bradford (2), James Cook University (2), and Monash
academic leadership. Although a doctorate is not sufcient
University (2). Each of the remaining 34 universities has
to bring about academic leadership, it seems that it has
educated only one leading tourism scholar at the doctoral
become a necessary condition for being a leading scholar,
level. In some sense, it can be considered a blessing that a
at least according to our sample. This nding is not
large number of institutions are involved in producing the
surprising, given that nowadays the central objective of the
leading scholars, since a concentration of these institutions
doctoral program is overwhelmingly to incubate future
may result in a limitation of perspectives, theoretical
academics. Doctoral students are commonly assumed to
orientations, or preferred methodologies (Fabianic, 2001).
pursue an academic career, and their research quality is
It is interesting that the 40 degree granting universities are
thus often fostered as a focus of their education. It is also
highly concentrated in four English speaking nations,
relatively easier for an academic with a doctorate to seek
specically, 13 in USA, 14 in United Kingdom, 5 in
research funding and research projects. For instance, in
Australia, and 4 in Canada. France, Germany, Israel, and
many institutions of tertiary education, a research-based
Netherlands are the only four non-English speaking
professorship is only open to those academics with a
nations, each of which has educated one leading scholar.
Three reasons may explain the domination of universities
A closer examination of the nal degrees reveals that the
located in the 4 English-speaking nations. The high-quality
57 leading tourism scholars have quite diverse disciplinary
tertiary education of the USA, United Kingdom, Canada,
origins. We note that 15 leading scholars have their
and Australia is renowned worldwide and has been
doctorate in geography, 14 in leisure/recreation, eight in
attracting young talent from all around the world. All 4
business/management, six in tourism, four in psychology,
of these nations have a relatively long history of tourism
three in economics, and two in education. Other disciplines
development, and are both top destinations and tourist
Please refer to the 6th section at the end of the main text for a detailed generating nations. The favorable macro environment is
description of the volumes and issues of the eight selected journals covered obviously very contributive to the birth and growth of the
by this study. early generations of tourism academics. As well, since
482 W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490

Table 2
Educational background of the 57 leading scholars

Name Final degree Discipline or eld Granting school Year

Fesenmaier, Daniel Ph.D. Geography University of Western Ontario, Canada 1980

Ryan, Chris Ph.D. Tourism Aston University, United Kingdom 1994
Crompton, John L. Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Texas A&M University, United States 1977
Witt, Stephen F. Ph.D. Economics University of Bradford, United Kingdom 1978
Uysal, Muzaffer Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Texas A&M University, United States 1983
OLeary, Joseph Ph.D. Forestry University of Washington, United States 1974
Morrison, Alastair Ph.D. Education Purdue University, United States 1993
Ritchie, J. R. Brent PhD Business/Management University of Western Ontario, Canada 1972
Perdue, Richard Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Texas A&M University, United States 1981
Pearce, Douglas Ph.D. Geography Universite dAix-Marseille II, France 1975
Oppermann, Martin Ph.D. Geography Universitat Tubingen, Germany 1994
Pizam, Abraham Ph.D. Business/Management Cornell University, United States 1971
Getz, Donald Ph.D. Geography University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom 1981
Pearce, Philip Ph.D. Psychology Oxford University, United Kingdom 1977
McKercher, Bob Ph.D Geography University of Melbourne, Australia 1996
Wall, Geoffrey Ph.D. Geography University of Hull, United Kingdom 1971
Williams, Peter Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Utah State University, United States 1982
Crouch, Geoffrey Ph.D. Business/Management Monash University, Australia 1992
Law, Rob Ph.D. Computer Science University of Regina, Canada 1994
Timothy, Dallen J. Ph.D. Geography University of Waterloo, Canada 1996
Moscardo, Gianna M. Ph.D. Psychology James Cook University, Australia 1992
Faulkner, Bill Ph.D. Geography Australian National University, Australia 1979
Cohen, Erik Ph.D. Sociology Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel 1968
Sheldon, Pauline J. Ph.D. Economics University of Hawaii, United States 1984
Butler, Richard W. Ph.D. Geography University of Glasgow, United Kingdom 1973
Crotts, John C. Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation University of Oregon, United States 1989
Woodside, Arch G. Ph.D. Business/Management Pennsylvania State University, United States 1968
Prentice, Richard Ph.D. Planning University of Reading, United Kingdom 1976
Smith, Stephen L. J. Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Texas A&M University, United States 1973
Sirakaya, Ercan Ph.D. Tourism Clemson University, United States 1995
Cooper, Chris Ph.D. Geography University College London, United Kingdom 1978
Dwyer, Larry Ph.D. Philosophy University of Western Ontario, Canada 1980
Riley, Michael Ph.D. Psychology University of Essex, United Kingdom 1990
Teye, Victor B. Ph.D. Geography University of Manitoba, Canada 1982
Ross, Glenn F. Ph.D. Psychology James Cook University, Australia 1986
Hope, Christine A. Ph.D. Business/Management University of Bradford, United Kingdom 1987
Lee, Choong-Ki Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Texas A&M University, United States 1992
Baum, Tom Ph.D. Business/Management University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom 1992
Bramwell, Bill Ph.D. Geography University of London, United Kingdom 1988
Roehl, Wesley Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Texas A&M University, United States 1988
Page, Stephen J. Ph.D. Geography University of Leicester, United Kingdom 1987
Go, Frank M. Ph.D. Economics University of Amsterdam, Netherlands 1993
Kozak, Metin Ph.D. Tourism Shefeld Hallam University, United Kingdom 2000
Milman, Ady Ph.D. Business/Management University of Massachusetts Amherst, United States 1986
Weaver, David Ph.D. Geography University of Western Ontario, Canada 1986
Sonmez, Sevil F. Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Pennsylvania State University, United States 1994
Petrick, James F. Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Clemson University, United States 1999
Chen, Joseph S. Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Pennsylvania State University, United States 1996
Kerstetter, Deborah Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Pennsylvania State University, United States 1990
Fennell, David A. Ph.D. Geography University of Western Ontario, Canada 1994
Gilbert, David C. Ph.D. Business/Management University of Surrey, United Kingdom 1992
Long, Patrick Ed.D. Education Western Michigan University, United States 1977
Snepenger, David Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Texas A&M University, United States 1982
Prideaux, Bruce Ph.D. Tourism University of Queensland, Australia 2000
Vogt, Christine A. Ph.D. Leisure/Recreation Indiana University, United States 1993
Baloglu, Seyhmus Ph.D. Tourism Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, United States 1996
King, Brian Ph.D. Tourism Monash University, Australia 1995

Data sources: ProQuest Digital Dissertations, Index to Theses (ASLIB), the International Academy for the study of Tourism directory of members, personal
web pages, and direct contacts with individual scholars.
W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490 483

English has become the most important language in the universities each employed one. It would be interesting and
international academic community, prociency in English worthwhile to further examine the policies and supportive
is no doubt a great advantage for those scholars educated environment of the above-mentioned universities with
in the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. respect to faculty recruitment and administration. At the
It is also interesting to examine the date when the historical zenith, both Texas A & M University and
doctoral degrees were granted. Since being granted a University of Surrey attracted ve leading tourism scholars
doctoral degree usually indicates the beginning of an in total between 19852004. Four schools each ever
academic career, it is reasonable to suppose that the earlier employed 4 leading scholars in total, specically, James
a scholar obtained his/her doctoral degree, the more time Cook University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
he/she has devoted to research and thus the better his/her University of Calgary, and Arizona State University.
standing in the ranking will be. This proposition is not Detailed information is showed in Table 4. A comparison
supported if the ranking is examined individually. We note between the present and historical number of leading
that quite a few scholars who received their doctoral degree scholars provides additional information regarding the
in the 1990s occupied fairly high positions. However, if attractiveness of each institution in question. How to retain
examined holistically, the ranking is basically consistent those faculty members with high research potential is
with the proposition. It was revealed that nine of the evidently a critical part of administrators responsibility.
scholars obtained their doctoral degree between A geographical analysis of the afliated institutions
19952004, 23 between 19851994, 17 between reveals that the distribution of afliated institutions is quite
19751984, and 8 before 1975. More than 70% of doctoral similar to that of doctoral degree-granting universities. Up
degrees were granted between 19751994. In contrast, the to 32 (82.1%, 32 out of 39) afliated institutions are
doctoral degrees granted in the latest 10 years only make located in the same 4 English-speaking nations, specically,
up about 16%. The under-representation (or affect on 17 in USA, 6 in United Kingdom, 5 in Australia, and 4 in
rankings) for individuals who graduated before 1975 is Canada. If New Zealand is also counted, the 5 English
acknowledged, given that the publications before 1985 are speaking nations host 34 (87.2%, 34 out of 39) afliated
not counted, and in addition, a certain proportion of the institutions. Obviously, language is still a contributing
scholars who graduated before 1975 may have slowed factor for the domination of English speaking nations.
down, or even ceased their research activities, due to death, After all, the scholars serving in the higher education
retirement, or health reasons. institutions of these nations have no problem with English
and thus have a better chance to be successful through
publication in English language publications. In addition
4.3. Affiliation to the language factor, universities in these nations also
offer a series of tempting benets, such as world-leading
Table 3 presents information regarding the afliation of research facilities and highly competitive salaries &
the leading scholars, which was collected in January 2006.4 benets. Thus they can attract talent from all around the
We note that the 55 leading scholars are fragmentally world.
distributed in 39 institutions.5 It is not surprising that all An examination of the afliations at the secondary and
these institutions are academic institutions. Since non- tertiary levels also reveals some interesting ndings. At the
academics have no motivation or pressure to continually tertiary level, up to 42 (76.4%, 42 out of 55) leading
conduct original research, it is much less possible, or scholars are afliated with units that embrace a team of
probable, for them to develop into a leading scholar. colleagues with common interests in tourism issues and
Although it is admitted that the afliation decision of provide tourism-related degree programs. The attractive-
academics is dependent on multiple factors, the number of ness of these places to leading scholars may be that they
leading scholars holding tenure, indicates to some extent, provide a location where tourism scholars can seek a sense
the overall attractiveness of institutions to leading scholars. of common achievement and feel at home, since the
At present (the time when the data were collected), both presence of a distinct tourism department or program may
Texas A & M University and James Cook University be a good indication that tourism education and research
employed 4 leading scholars, Hong Kong Polytechnic are highly recognized. At the secondary level, up to 25
University 3, and each of the University of Surrey, leading scholars are concentrated in the faculty, college, or
University of Calgary, Arizona State University, Univer- school of business/management, 12 in independent schools
sity of Waterloo, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State of tourism and hospitality, and 18 in others. Given the
University, University of Central Florida, Temple Uni- close disciplinary relevance of business/management to
versity, and University of Strathclyde 2. The remaining 27 tourism and the fact that schools of business/management
have been among the best-remunerated faculties at
Since the afliation of individual scholars could be changed in the advanced education institutions, it is not surprising that
future, the validity of data concerning current afliation is only
guaranteed until January 2006. business/management schools have attracted the largest
Drs. Oppermann and Faulkner passed away respectively in 1998 and body of leading scholars. It is encouraging that schools of
2002. So we only have 55 scholars for the analysis of afliation. tourism and hospitality have absorbed the second largest
484 W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490

Table 3
Information on the afliation of the 57 leading scholarsa

Name Employer institution Secondary unit Tertiary unit Ph.D.

program in

Fesenmaier, Daniel Temple University, School of Tourism and Hospitality National Lab for Tourism and Yes
United States Management eCommerce
Ryan, Chris University of Waikato, Waikato Management School Department of Tourism and Hospitality Yes
New Zealand Management
Crompton, John L. Texas A&M University, College of Agriculture and Life Department of Recreation, Park & Yes
United States Sciences Tourism Sciences
Witt, Stephen F. Hong Kong Polytechnic School of Hospitality and Tourism School of Hospitality and Tourism Yes
University, China Management Management
Uysal, Muzaffer Virginia Polytechnic Pamplin College of Business Department of Hospitality and Tourism Yes
Institute and State Management
University, United States
OLeary, Joseph Texas A&M University, College of Agriculture and Life Department of Recreation, Park & Yes
United States Sciences Tourism Sciences
Morrison, Alastair Purdue University, College of Consumer and Family Department of Hospitality and Tourism Yes
United States Sciences Management
Ritchie, J. R. Brent University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business Tourism Management Area Yes
Perdue, Richard Virginia Polytechnic Pamplin College of Business Department of Hospitality and Tourism Yes
Institute and State Management
University, United States
Pearce, Douglas Victoria University of Victoria Management School Tourism Management Area Yes
Wellington, New Zealand
Oppermann, Martin
Pizam, Abraham University of Central Rosen School of Hospitality Rosen School of Hospitality Yes
Florida, United States Management Management
Getz, Donald University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business Tourism Management Area Yes
Pearce, Philip James Cook University, School of Business Department of Tourism Management Yes
McKercher, Bob Hong Kong Polytechnic School of Hospitality and Tourism School of Hospitality and Tourism Yes
University, China Management Management
Wall, Geoffrey University of Waterloo, Faculty of Environmental Studies Deptartment of Geography Yes
Williams, Peter Simon Fraser University, School of Resource and Centre for Tourism Policy and Research Yes
Canada Environmental Management
Crouch, Geoffrey La Trobe University, School of Business Department of Accounting and No
Australia Management
Law, Rob Hong Kong Polytechnic School of Hospitality and Tourism School of Hospitality and Tourism Yes
University, China Management Management
Timothy, Dallen J. Arizona State University, College of Public Programs School of Community Resources and No
United States Development
Moscardo, Gianna M. James Cook University, School of Business Department of Tourism Management Yes
Faulkner, Bill
Cohen, Erik Hebrew University of Faculty of Social Sciences Department of Sociology and No
Jerusalem, Israel Anthropology
Sheldon, Pauline J. University of Hawaii, School of Travel Industry School of Travel Industry Management No
United States Management
Butler, Richard W. University of Strathclyde, Strathclyde Business School Scottish Hotel School Yes
United Kingdom
Crotts, John C. College of Charleston, School of Business and Economics Department of Hospitality and Tourism No
United States Management
Woodside, Arch G. Boston College, United Carroll School of Management Department of Marketing No
Prentice, Richard University of Sunderland, School of Arts, Design, Media and Tourism Studies Program No
United Kingdom Culture
Smith, Stephen L. J. University of Waterloo, Faculty of Applied Health Department of Recreation and Leisure Yes
Canada Sciences Studies
Sirakaya, Ercan Texas A&M University, College of Agriculture and Life Department of Recreation, Park & Yes
United States Sciences Tourism Sciences
W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490 485

Table 3 (continued )

Name Employer institution Secondary unit Tertiary unit Ph.D.

program in

Cooper, Chris University of Queensland, Faculty of Business, Economics School of Tourism and Leisure Yes
Australia and Law Management
Dwyer, Larry University of New South Faculty of Commerce & School of Economics No
Wales, Australia Economics
Riley, Michael University of Surrey, United School of Management Organization Behaviours & Human Yes
Kingdom Resource Management
Teye, Victor B. Arizona State University, College of Public Programs School of Community Resources and No
United States Development
Ross, Glenn F. James Cook University, School of Business Department of Tourism Management Yes
Hope, Christine A. University of Bradford, School of Management Operations and Information No
United Kingdom Management Group
Lee, Choong-Ki Kyung Hee University, College of Hotel and Tourism School of Tourism No
South Korea Management
Baum, Tom University of Strathclyde, Strathclyde Business School Scottish Hotel School Yes
United Kingdom
Bramwell, Bill Shefeld Hallam University, School of Sport and Leisure Centre for Tourism and Cultural Yes
United Kingdom Management Change
Roehl, Wesley Temple University, School of Tourism and Hospitality Research Center (Tourism and Yes
United States Management Hospitality)
Page, Stephen J. University of Stirling, Faculty of Management Tourism Management Program Yes
United Kingdom
Go, Frank M. Erasmus University, Rotterdam School of Centre for Tourism Management No
Netherlands Management
Kozak, Metin Mugla University, Turkey School of Tourism and Hotel School of Tourism and Hotel No
Management Management
Milman, Ady University of Central Rosen School of Hospitality Rosen School of Hospitality Yes
Florida, United States Management Management
Weaver, David University of South College of Hospitality, Retail, and School of Hotel, Restaurant and No
Carolina, United States Sport Management Tourism Management
Sonmez, Sevil F. Emory University, School of Medicine Department of Family and Preventive No
United States Medicine
Petrick, James F. Texas A&M University, College of Agriculture and Life Department of Recreation, Park & Yes
United States Sciences Tourism Sciences
Chen, Joseph S. Indiana University, School of Health, Physical Department of Recreation and Park Yes
United States Education and Recreation Administration
Kerstetter, Deborah Pennsylvania State College of Health and Human Department of Recreation, Park & Yes
University, United States Development Tourism Management
Fennell, David A. Brock University, Canada Faculty of Applied Health Department of Recreation and Leisure No
Sciences Studies
Gilbert, David C. University of Surrey, School of Management The Marketing Group Yes
United Kingdom
Long, Patrick University of Colorado at Leeds School of Business Center of Sustainable Tourism No
Boulder, United States
Snepenger, David Montana State University, College of Business Department of Marketing No
United States
Prideaux, Bruce James Cook University, School of Business Department of Tourism Management Yes
Vogt, Christine A. Michigan State University, College of Agricuture and Natural Department of Community, Yes
United States Resources Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource
Baloglu, Seyhmus University of Nevada, Las William F. Harrah College of Department of Tourism & Convention Yes
Vegas, United States Hotel Administration Administration
King, Brian Victoria University, Faculty of Business and Law School of Hospitality, Tourism and Yes
Australia Marketing
Validity guaranteed until January 2006.

body of leading scholars. The rapid growth of this kind of still just in a small number of universities. Notably, up to
school around the world sends a positive signal that 37 (67.3%, 37 out of 55) leading scholars are working
tourism is being recognized as a distinct discipline, though at institutions with a doctoral program in tourism. The
486 W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490

Table 4
Leading employers of leading scholars within 19852004

Employer institution Num of leading scholars

At presenta Historical zenith (19852004)

Texas A & M University, USA 4 5

University of Surrey, UK 2 5
James Cook University, Australia 4 4
Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China 3 4
University of Calgary, Canada 2 4
Arizona State University, USA 2 4
University of Waterloo, Canada 2 3
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA 2 3
University of Central Florida, USA 2 3
Temple University, USA 2 2
University of Strathclyde, UK 2 2
Validity guaranteed until January 2006.

Table 5
Statistics on multi-authorship of leading scholars in the eight selected journals

Num of authors Annals JTR TM JTTM JTS JoST TA TRR Total

1 59 50 74 18 16 12 13 33 275
2 85 116 90 44 9 28 17 22 411
3 30 50 46 36 10 7 12 4 195
44 1 16 8 3 7 2 7 3 47
Total 175 232 218 101 42 49 49 62 928

presence of a doctoral program may indicate a focus on scholars6 enter the list, and this just constitutes 10.5% of
tourism-related research activities, and thus foster the the whole sample. Determining an explanation for the
growth of leading scholars. This proposition is somewhat severe under-representation of females in the group of
supported by the result of another study in the eld of leading scholars was not a goal of this study, so we will not
accounting, showing that the presence of a PhD program is attempt to provide any supercial views here.
positively related to productivity in top journals (Mathieu
& McConomy, 2003). 5. Discussion and conclusion
4.4. Multi-authorship This study is a systematic investigation of individual
academic leadership in tourism research. By counting the
Between 1985 and 2004, the 57 leading scholars have publications in 8 recognized tourism journals between 1985
published 928 research articles in the eight selected tourism and 2004, we have identied 57 of the most prolic scholars
journals (no repeat). Table 5 shows the detailed statistics over the past two decades, each of whom has published at
on the multi-authorship of these articles in each journal. least 11 articles. Their general prole was further revealed
About 30% of the articles were published in the name of a through detailed examination of their educational back-
single author, 44% in the name of two, 21% in the name of ground, afliation, multi-authorship, and gender. Based
three, and 5% in the name of four or more. Co-authorship upon previous literature, this study adds more value by
is the most common type for all of the eight journals. We exploring a greater variety of journals over a longer time
can see that although collaborative research makes up as frame and by collecting additional information on each of
high as 70%, leading scholars usually cooperate with only the leading scholars.
one research collaborator. The data analysis has generated some interesting ndings
about leading scholars. Having published 43 articles in the
4.5. Gender 8 selected journals, Dr. Daniel Fesenmaier of Temple
University was the most productive tourism scholar
Although more male scholars were expected, the over-
whelming dominance of male scholars in the list of leading 6
They are Drs. Moscardo, Sheldon, Hope, Sonmez, Kerstetter, and
scholars is still beyond expectation. Only six female Vogt.
W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490 487

between 1985 and 2004. If multi-authorship is considered have a serious interest in tourism education and research, it
and adjusted for, Dr. Chris Ryan of the University of would be a good strategy to set up a tourism-specic
Waikato was the No. 1 scholar by publishing 24.87 department or center, and locate it at the school of tourism
equivalent single-authored articles. All the leading scholars & hospitality or business/management. For young students
hold a doctoral degree, but their disciplinary origins are who intend to pursue a graduate degree in tourism, our
quite diverse. Specically, the most three popular dis- data provide them with a useful source to seek appropriate
ciplinary origins are geography, leisure/recreation, and programs and supervision. At present, although most
business/management. The doctoral degrees of the 57 doctoral programs in tourism around the world have set an
leading scholars were granted by 40 universities, the admission requirement that the applicant should possess a
majority of which are located in the four English-speaking tourism-relevant degree (either baccalaureate or master),
countries, i.e., USA, United Kingdom, Canada, and how relevant is relevant is often not specied. The
Australia. Texas A & M University is the leading disciplinary origins of leading scholars we have identied
contributor by having graduated seven leading scholars. provide a possible guideline in this respect, for both the
More than 70% of leading scholars obtained their doctoral potential applicants and the doctoral programs. In addi-
degree between 19751994. As for afliation, all the leading tion, our data and ndings are also relevant for accredita-
scholars are full-time faculty members at university or tion organizations and associations, and for universities to
college, and they are fragmentally distributed at 39 facilitate their candidate search process. For example, the
different institutions. The Texas A&M University and International Academy for the Study of Tourism, one of
James Cook University are the leading employers of the most respected associations in tourism, still employs the
leading scholars, each of which has now attracted 4 traditional personal nomination process to consider and
scholars. In historical retrospect, the leading employers of induct new members. This study may be helpful by
leading scholars were Texas A&M University (5), Uni- providing an additional way to identify potential new
versity of Surrey (5), James Cook University (4), Hong members.
Kong Polytechnic University (4), University of Calgary (4), The limitations of this study lie mainly in the denition
and Arizona State University (4). The geographical and measurement of academic leadership. In this study,
distribution of the afliations was quite similar to that of academic leadership was dened as the superior cap-
degree-granting universities. They are highly concentrated ability of tourism scholars to communicate their research
in the same 4 English-speaking countries, i.e., USA, United works in accredited tourism journals. In terms of this
Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Leading scholars have a denition, it is logical to measure academic leadership by
common interest in working at tourism-specic depart- the quantity of publications in reputable journals in the
ments or centers, which are mostly in the charge of either eld. However, it should be acknowledged that very
tourism & hospitality schools or business/management worthwhile scholarly contributions are also being made
schools and provide tourism-related doctoral programs. through publication in other peer reviewed tourism
Collaboration is a dominant theme in the research journals not included in this study. As Professor C.
activities of leading scholars, but they usually cooperate Michael Hall has very aptly made us aware, he publishes
with only one collaborator. There is a severe under- in certain journals or outlets because I want to commu-
representation of females in the list of leading scholars. nicate something to a particular audience and believes that
Only six out of 57 are female scholars. to be the best avenue (Hall, 2005, p. 655). The authors of
The data and ndings of this study can be used in this paper both admire and share this philosophy and
multiple ways. For university administrators, they can believe that future research should seek to nd a way to
obtain some understanding, from the list of leading accommodate it in efforts to identify and acknowledge the
scholars, of the relative quality of their tourism faculty contributions of leading scholars. In addition, other
body on a worldwide scale. Leading scholars should be worthwhile contributions include a wide variety of research
viewed as a precious asset and be competed for. Their work such as conference presentations, proceedings, books,
contributions to the afliated institution not only lie in monographs, book chapters, dissertations, trade journal
their prolic research activities, but also in their leadership articles, etc. In this regard, we believe that the omission of
and commitment to the building of world-class tourism books within the process of identifying leading scholars,
programs, especially graduate programs. With their aca- can be particularly misleading and dangerous. While
demic achievement, they often can magnetize a team of we recognize that we are venturing into somewhat
colleagues and high-quality postgraduate applicants. Our dangerous territory in seeking to address this short-
data and ndings can be used as a reference for university coming, we believe it is ultimately necessary. As an
administrators to critically review their faculty administra- example, the above referenced Professor Hall does not
tion policies regarding how to recruit, retain, or foster emerge as a leading scholar based on our methodology
leading scholars. For instance, this study has revealed that but obviously (in our view), he has had a signicant
leading scholars prefer to work in tourism-specic depart- inuence on the eld through his books, which represent an
ments or centers, and at tourism and hospitality schools or important means of synthesis and comment as well as
business/management schools. For those universities that dissemination of ideas.
488 W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490

Equally, although not a tourism scholar by most quality and the innovativeness of publications. In fact, this
measures, individuals such as Professor John Urry, has had is an inherent problem for any ranking exercise (Losekoot
a signicant inuence due to the publication of his book, et al., 2001). What we are really measuring is academic
The Tourist Gaze. We will not venture further in this leadership in a quantitative sense, rather than a qualitative
regard, but we do wish to leave readers with the message sense. As Page (2005) has cautioned, overdue emphasis on
that we believe that the kind of methodology we have used productivity might result in abundant less-rened research
to identify leading scholars should be complemented by with mediocre and mundane ndings. Therefore, quality
further work which will provide other measures of and innovativeness should be included as a critical element
scholarly leadership to ll out the presently incomplete in the criteria of ranking. However, since high-quality
picture. and innovative are quite subjective concepts, it is
In addition, tourism research is widely published in a obviously unfair and less rigorous as well, if we input our
diversity of journals, many of which are not necessarily personal, non-authoritative perceptions of quality and
tourism-related. But in counting journal articles, we only innovativeness into the ranking process. Although quality
examined 8 tourism-specic journals. Thus, our results may and innovativeness were not fully considered in this study,
fail to fully capture the overall academic importance and they have been controlled in some sense. This can be
inuence of individual scholars, and as such, may need to understood from two perspectives. For one thing, research
be expanded upon in future research. While we believe our articles published in journals must have successfully gone
methodology generally captures an adequate holistic through a rigorous review process, which, we believe,
picture of scholarly leadership in leading tourism journals, guarantees that they are of sufcient quality for accep-
we are sensitive to the fact that certain highly acknowl- tance. Second, the choice of journals was made with
edged scholars may have been omitted from our list since discretion. It was largely based on a critical review of
they have made their contributions in more narrowly previous journal quality assessment literature. Of course,
focussed disciplinary journals on the topic of tourism. we acknowledge that the journal screening just has
Examples are Douglas Frechtling from the USA, as well as alleviated the quality problem, rather than eliminated it.
John Fletcher and Stephen Wanhill from the UK. Since A better quality-based evaluation framework is still
they have published extensively in the economic literature desperately needed. Citation analysis, which assumes that
(as well as tourism journals), thus diluting their contribu- there is a correlation between the citation count of an
tions (according to our measures), they arguably do not article and its quality, has been widely advocated and
appear as highly ranked in terms of scholarly leadership, as practiced as a promising tool in this respect, although at
some might think they deserve to be. While we have the same time it has been criticized ercely for citation
dared to highlight the above individuals, we want to biases such as incomplete citing and overcomplete citing
make clear they are cited only as examples, and are in no (Hauffe, 1994). Also, we might seek insights from various
way intended to be viewed as an exhaustive listing. other scholarship recognition practices. The Nobel Prize
Although a more comprehensive consideration of all the nomination and selection process provides an excellent
research contributions of scholars might contribute to a model for accrediting individual achievements by the
more systematic, objective evaluation, we argue that the quality of work. In tourism, we have had a number of
most direct and practical choice at this time is to focus on a prestigious awards set up by international organizations in
limited number of tourism-specic journals. The primary the eld, by associations such as the Travel & Tourism
difculty of a more comprehensive evaluation lies in the Research Association (TTRA), and the International
data collection. Since information on publications other Society of Travel & Tourism Educators (ISTTE), as well
than tourism journal articles is not always readily as publishers, journals, governments and industry/profes-
accessible, relevant information is extremely hard to seek sional organizations. These awards may also be good
and conrm. Sometimes, even for the scholars themselves, indicators of academic leadership in the broadest sense. In
they may not know exactly what they have published. summary, we assert that we should use all the information
Thus, the preciseness of the data may never be fully we can obtain in every situation in order to be more
achieved. This may be the main reason why to date nearly complete in an assessment of scholarly leadership in
all the research on tourism scholars and institutions is tourism.
always attached to tourism journal articles. Even if we were In addition to the above-mentioned limitations, we also
100% sure that we had obtained all the information have to acknowledge the fact that the 20-year time frame
needed, it is another problem to compare and decide on the covered by this study was intended to focus on a reasonable
relative value of the publications of a different nature. For career time frame for most academics. This said, it overlooks
these reasons, it would be a more feasible strategy to the early career contributions of certain long serving
examine a single type of publications each time, and then academics (for example, if we may be permitted, the senior
horizontally compare the results in order to achieve a author of this paper), and may also be biased against newer
comprehensive understanding. academics, some of whom may be prolic in recent years, but
Another major limitation of this study, as also indicated who have not yet had sufcient time to fully establish their
previously, is the failure to sufciently consider the type, track record. So, if we examined a shorter period of time, for
W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490 489

Table 6
An expanded list of leading scholars in tourism research between 19852004 (ordered alphabetically)

Name Afliationc Name Afliation

Category Ia
Airey, David University of Surrey, UK Kim, Samuel Sejong University, South Korea
Backman, Sheila J. Clemson University, USA Littrell, Mary A. Iowa State University, USA
Beaman, Jay Auctor Consulting Associates, Ltd., Litvin, Stephen W. College of Charleston, USA
Burns, Peter University of Brighton, UK MacKay, Kelly J. University of Manitoba, Canada
Chon, Kaye Hong Kong Polytechnic University, McCleary, Ken W. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA
PR China
Choy, Dexter J. L. University of Hawaii, USA Morley, Clive L. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
Forsyth, Peter Monash University, Australia Shackley, Myra Nottingham Trent University, UK
Gartner, Williams C. University of Minnesota, USA Shaw, Robin Deakin University, Australia
Graefe, Alan R. Pennsylvania State University, USA Smeral, Egon Austrian Institute of Economic Research, Austria
Gursoy, Dogan Washington State University, USA Tosun, Cevat Mustafa Kemal University, Turkey
Hobson, J. S. Perry Southern Cross University, Australia Turner, Lindsay Victoria University, Australia
Hsu, Cathy H. C. Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Var, Turgut Texas A&M University (Emeritus), USA
PR China
Hudson, Simon University of Calgary, Canada
Category IIb
Buckley, Ralf Grifth University, Australia Hsieh, Sheauhsing Progressive Insurance, USA
Hall, C. Michael University of Otago, New Zealand Qu, Hailin Oklahoma State University, USA
Henderson, Joan C. Nanyang Technological University, Timmermans, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Singapore Harry
Scholars in Category I refer to those who have published 910 articles in the eight selected journals within the time frame of 19852004, including at
least ve articles in Annals, JTR and TM. These scholars can be considered a natural addition to the list in Table 1.
Scholars in Category II refer to those who have published at least 11 articles in the 8 selected journals within the time frame of 19852004, but have
published less than ve articles in Annals, JTR and TM.
Validity guaranteed until January 2006.

example, the latest 10 years, it is not surprising that some would be valuable to have a more in-depth and detailed
young scholars already in the list would upgrade their examination of the institutional recruitment and adminis-
position and some of those not in the present list will tration policies of those universities that have attracted a
eventually get in. However, in acknowledging such a few leading scholars. Their good practices then can be
potential bias, we also wish to point out that longer-term made available to other sister institutions that have the
academics may not have been fully committed to tourism same serious interests in tourism education and research. In
research throughout the entire 20-year period, especially this sense, the recently launched WTO TedQual Certica-
considering that tourism research was not highly recognized tion System, while presently imperfect, provides an initial
during the early years of the period covered. In contrast, with guideline. Third, due to limited time and funding, most
the growing signicance and wide recognition of tourism data used in this study came from second-hand sources,
research around the world, nowadays, it may be argued that such as journals, personal web pages, biographies, data-
newer academics have a much clearer career ladder in mind, bases, etc. Although the data are sufcient for present
and can fully devote themselves to tourism research. We will analysis, we believe that a more in-depth investigation of
not go further in addressing this bias issue, but we do want to leading scholars, either by means of a survey or by personal
emphasize here that variation in the ranking list is to be interviews, might offer more insights and greater under-
expected if we expand or narrow the time frame under standing. For example, we might collect information
examination. regarding industry experience, supervision of graduate
The above discussion provides some clues for future students, editorial board service, etc., and see whether
research on academic leadership. First, a wider variety of there is any correlation between these factors and scholarly
publications should be examined and the ndings cross- leadership, as measured in this study. Finally, we believe it
compared so that more validity is guaranteed. For would also be useful to examine the nature and intensity of
example, Park and Meng (2004) have made an initial scholarly contributions of leading scholars over the course
analysis of the institutional presentation contributions to of their career. Such an examination could provide insights
the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA)s and understanding that potentially could be both helpful
annual conference. Similar analysis certainly can be applied and encouraging to junior scholars as they seek to launch,
to individual scholars. Second, as mentioned earlier, it build and maintain their academic careers.
490 W. Zhao, J.R.B. Ritchie / Tourism Management 28 (2007) 476490

6. Notes qualitatively oriented study that seeks to achieve a more

holistic understanding of scholarly contributions to the
The following is a list of the journals and issues covered eld of tourism. Interested readers are strongly encouraged
by this study. to collect, analyze and interpret this type of additional
Journal From To

Annals of Tourism Vol. 12(1), Vol. 31(4),

Research (Annals) 1985 2004 References
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