Research and Evaluation

Inclusion and Resilience

ITLA is already involved in offshore research with Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University's (APU) Centre for Inclusive Leadership in Beppu, Japan to build a model for Inclusive Leadership in the Onsen tourism sector based on ours and other global models.

Our collaboration is pursuing and promoting academic research, teaching methods and business practices related to inclusive leadership. It aims to take the next step in making diversity and inclusion a core value by generating new thinking and research on inclusive leadership and building public awareness about the importance of inclusive leadership in making business and social impact.

Our research seeks to understand the benefits of inclusivity and diversity in developing social and business capital. It will test the need to cultivate not just a diverse workplace and customer/industry contacts but also an inclusive approach to their whole operations. There is growing recognition that leaders have a critical role to play in achieving this. In doing this, it is focused on how to develop the practical management and leadership skills that will ensure that inclusivity is promoted in the context of the onsen and tourism industries in the Oita region. However, while the language of diversity and inclusive leadership is increasingly used in the management and tourism literature there is little readily available practical guidance that is:

  • Evidence-based, drawing on the latest international and national research and practice;
  • Business-focused, demonstrating the connection between inclusive leadership and both business outcomes (e.g. innovation, performance) and individual outcomes (e.g. feelings of belonging and uniqueness); and
  • Comprehensive, clearly describing and connecting the three interrelated concepts of diversity, inclusion and inclusive leadership, and describing not just the characteristics of an inclusive leader but importantly also the knowledge, skills and the behaviors they need to build inclusion.

Our focus in Australia is to draw out the link between Inclusion and Resilience. Natural disasters, bushfires or adverse events in 2018 to 2020 inspired us to develop a Resilient Leadership model to support these communities.We believe there is a strong connection, supported by evidence-based research, between diversity, inclusion, resilience and wellness, alongside leadership. Diversity can lead to the development and improvement of specific capabilities that contribute to organisational resilience.

In conjunction with Tourism Whitsundays and Mackay Tourism we researched, designed and developed a joint Resilient Leadership program delivered in 2020. Secondly, we worked separately with Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited (GAPDL) and Bundaberg Tourism to design and develop derivatives of this to suit their needs delivered in 2020. In all cases we lodged comprehensive, well researched and ultimately successful funding applications to support the roll out.

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Evaluating Impacts

We produce targeted, relevant and project specific research or evaluations through our partnership with Third i Management, a research-based consultancy firm specialising in social impact evaluation, measurement, monitoring, and management. Our collaboration can simplify complex scenarios, produce comprehensive insights, and aid impact management for better destination or community decision-making. We achieve this by obtaining stakeholder and community input without the typical conflict or partisanship. Third i Management's Dashboard has in-depth findings presented in simplified graphs and flow-diagrams enabling clear communication and reporting.

We see much value in incorporating an evidence based approach within your next destination review, strategy workshop or tourism plan.

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