open access publication

Article, 2024

Micro-foundations of absorptive capacity in platform economy-based tour guiding companies

In: Tourism Management, ISSN 0261-5177, Volume 100, 10.1016/j.tourman.2023.104812

Contributors (2)

Jorgensen M.T. (0000-0002-6202-1654) (Corresponding author) [1] Danieli I. [1]


  1. [1] Roskilde University
  2. [NORA names: RUC Roskilde University; University; Denmark; Europe, EU; Nordic; OECD]


This study investigates individual absorptive capacity (ACAP) in a platform economy-based tour guiding company. In such companies, guides are not employees but work as freelancers that sell their services to the company. The study's objective is to explore the knowledge-sharing dynamics between lower company management, who depend on the guides' knowledge for product development, and guides, who need incentives to share their knowledge with a company that they work with, rather than for. Methodologically, the study is based on data collected through embeddedness in a relevant case company, consisting of in-depth interviews, as well as participant and direct observation. The study characterizes central ACAP processes in the study context, pointing to five specific categories of micro-foundations that drive or hinder these processes: experience and knowledge, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, (meta-)routines, social integration mechanisms and leadership. Finally, recommendations are provided on how to improve ACAP processes in these types of companies.


Absorptive capacity, Micro-foundations, Motivation, Tour guides, Tourism