Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt
International Tourism Management


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ITM Master 1. Sem.
9685 Seminar
Strategic Management in Tourism, Hospitality and Events           

Mon 10.00-13.15 h


4 SWS Course

Workload: 60 h classroom work / 120 h self-study


ECTS points: 6



Critical understanding of theories, applications and limits of Strategic Management in Tourism, Hospitality and Events.



First session: Lecture Arlt

Second session: 7 Case Studies presented by student groups based on Evans (2015):



- Presentation Case Studies (60 min. including discussion) + 30 min. group exercise (with active part for all participants, for instance: prepared role play or prepared debate etc.)
(30% of mark)

- Written Examination (70% of mark)



All information given in this lecture is available at for download.

Please check the homepage of the website regularly for announcements about time changes etc.






Introduction I Lecturer / Students / Topic


4.10.  S05
14.00-14.45 h

Extra session (within Forum) Assignment distribution
Strategic Alliances Airline
Strategic Positioning DMO
Competitive Strategy Airline
Growth Strategy Hotel
Franchising Strategy Hotel
Strategies for Event Management co.
Turnaround Strategy for Tour Operator



Introduction II Strategic Management in Tourism



Introduction III Strategic Management in Hospitality and Events



Lecture and Case Study I



Lecture and Case Study II



Lecture and Case Study III


Lecture and Case Study IV



Lecture and Case Study V



Lecture and Case Study VI


Christmas Break



Lecture and Case Study VII



Final Discussion Strategic Management in Tourism, Hospitality, Events. Preparation Written Examination








GROUPS - FOR LATE ARRIVALS: PLEASE CHOOSE BETWEEN GROUP 1, 2, 5 and 6. Do not join group 3, 4 or 7!


14.11. - 1

Sasha Krypets, Sahan Yehyozade

21.11. - 2

Dasha Prokhorova

28.11. - 3

Luce Rodriguez Souza, Paymond  Bahreinian, Michala Volna, Isa Gabriel, Jiri Vostatek

5.12. - 4

Felis Halim, Ma Kwok Lai Katherine, Apostol, Walter Cornellio Dominguez, Fuod Shabyev

12.12. - 5


19.12. - 6.

Jock Qiulong Chen

9.1.17 - 7

Merle Patzner, Anne Heuermann, Olga Bezrek, Xi Zhang






 Strategic Management in Tourism





 For "new arrivals"


Introduction lecturer

  Tourism Scientist, sinologue, expert in Chinese outbound tourism
  Born in West-Berlin 1957, married to Swiss novelist, no kids
  Since 2007 living in Meldorf (cultural capital of Dithmarschen, located south of Heide)
  and Hamburg
  Studies in Berlin, Taiwan, Hong Kong
  M.A. Sinology, PhD Political Sciences FU Berlin

  Former owner of specialized tour operator companies
  (Outbound/Inbound East Asia-Europe)
  Consultant for European companies (mainly Transport, Logistics) in China
  Organizer of fairs and exhibitions in East Asia and in Europe
  Publisher, bookseller, journalist

  Since 1997 lecturer (Intercultural Management, Tourism) in Europe, East Asia, NZ
  Since 2002 professor for Leisure and Tourism Management (FH Stralsund)
  Since 2007 professor for International Tourism Management (FHW Westküste)

  Fellow of Royal Geographical Society (London) FRGS
Research Fellow of Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (Tokyo)
  Research Fellow of the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Study and Training of Leisure of
  Zhejiang University (Hangzhou/China)
  Director of China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) 
  Adjunct professor at Yanbian University of Science and Technology (Yanji/China)
  Visiting professor at Ningbo University (Ningbo/China)
  Visiting professor at University of Sunderland (Sunderland/UK)
  Visiting professor at Leeds Beckett University (Leeds/UK)
  Adjunct professor at Tai Poutini University (Greymouth/NZ)

  Blog at


  2008-2013 member of Konvent FHW FB Wirtschaft
  2008-2015 member of Senate of FHW
  2011-2013 Vice Dean FB Wirtschaft







Introduction participants:


- The way to the FHW

- Why ITM Master? Why Germany? Why FHW?

- Working experiences in tourism

- The way from FHW: Planned steps after successful finishing M.A.

- In 10 years: expectation, Dream job









What is Strategic management? (00:40-05:30)


Introduction PPP






Sunzi - Macchiavelli - Von Clausewitz






relevance of topic - Ask Mama Google Image:

Processes, Models, Pyramids, Chess pieces






Issues in second decade of 21st c.:

Black Swans,

Accelerating development,

Globalisation 4.0,

Into the unknown - Singularity


Additional issues in Tourism:
Many stakeholders, use of public space, strong international competition, production at same time of consumption, subjective quality criteria - details in next session





Typical curriculum Strategic Management:





Ten major thinking schools





 The Design School

The original view sees strategy formation as achieving the essential fit between internal strengths and weaknesses and external threats and opportunities (see SWOT analysis). Senior management formulates clear and simple strategies in a deliberate process of conscious thought - which is neither formally analytical nor informally intuitive - and communicates them to the staff so that everyone can implement the strategies. This was the dominant view of the strategy process at least into the 1970s given its implicit influence on most teaching and practice.

The Planning School

This school grew in parallel with the design school. But the planning school predominated by the mid-1970's and though it faltered in the 1980's it continues to be an important influence today. The planning school reflects most of the design school's assumptions except a rather significant one: that the process was not just cerebral but formal, decomposable into distinct steps, delineated by checklists, and supported by techniques (especially with regard to objectives, budgets, programs, and operating plans). This meant that staff planners replaced senior managers, de facto, as the key players in the process. Today, many companies get little value from their annual strategic-planning process. To meet the new challenges, this process should be redesigned to support real-time strategy making and to encourage 'creative accidents'.

The Positioning School

This prescriptive school was the dominant view of strategy formulation in the 1980's. It was given impetus especially by Harvard professor Michael Porter in 1980, following earlier work on strategic positioning in academe and in consulting, all preceded by a long literature on military strategy, dating back to 500 BC and that of Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War. In this view, strategy reduces to generic positions selected through formalized analysis of industry situations. Hence, planners became analysts.  This proved especially lucrative to consultants and academics alike, who could sink their teeth into hard data and so promote their "scientific truths" to companies and journals alike. This literature grew in all directions to include strategic groups, value chains, game theories, and other ideas - but always with this analytical bent.

The Entrepreneurial School

Much like the design school, the entrepreneurial school centered the process on the chief executive, but unlike the design school, and in contrast to the planning school, it rooted that process in the mysteries of intuition. That shifted the strategies from precise designs, plans, or positions to vague visions, or perspectives, typically to be seen through metaphor. The idea was applied to particular contexts – start-ups, niche players, privately owned companies and "turnaround" situations, although the case was certainly put forward that every organization needs the discernment of a visionary leader,

The Cognitive School

On the academic front, there was interest in the origin of strategies. If strategies developed in people's mind as frames, models, or maps, what could be understood about those mental processes? Particularly in the 1980's, and continuing today, research has grown steadily on cognitive biases in strategy making and on cognition as information processing. Meanwhile, another, newer branch of this school adopted a more subjective interpretative or constructivist view of the strategy process: that cognition is used to construct strategies as creative interpretations, rather than simply to map reality in some more or less objective way.

The Learning School

Of all the described schools, the learning school became a veritable wave and challenged the omnipresent prescriptive schools. Dating back to early work on "incrementalism", as well as conceptions like "venturing", "emerging strategy", (or the growing out of individual decisions rather than being immaculately conceived) and "retrospective sense making", (that we act in order to think as much as we think in order to act), a model of strategy making as a learning developed that different from the earlier schools. In this view, strategies are emergent, strategists can be found throughout the organization, and so-called formulation and implementation intertwine.

The Power School

This comparatively small, but quite different school has focused on strategy making rooted in power, in two senses. Micro power sees the development of strategies within the organization as essentially political, a process involving bargaining, persuasion, and confrontation among inside actors. Macro power takes the organization as an entity that uses its power over others and among its partners in alliances, joint ventures, and other network relationships to negotiate "collective" strategies in its interests.

The Cultural School

As opposite to the power school that focuses on self-interest and fragmentation, the cultural school focuses on common interest and integration. Strategy formation is viewed as a social process rooted in culture. The theory concentrates on the influence of culture in discouraging significant strategic change. Culture became a big issue in the United States and Europe after the impact of Japanese management (see Kaizen and Competitive Advantage: US versus Japan)  was fully realized in the 1980's and it became clear that strategic advantage can be the product of unique and difficult-to-imitate cultural factors.

The Environmental School

Perhaps not strictly strategic management, if one takes that term as concerned with how organizations use their degrees of freedom to create strategy, the environmental school nevertheless deserves attention for the light it throws on the demands of the environment. Among its most noticeable theories is the "contingency theory", that considers what responses are expected of organizations that face particular environmental conditions, and "population ecology", writings that claim severe limits to strategic choice.

The Configuration School

This school enjoys the most extensive and integrative literature and practice at present. One side of this school, more academic and descriptive, sees organization as configuration - coherent clusters of characteristics and behaviors - and so serves as one way to integrate the claims of the other schools: each configuration, in effect, in its own place, planning for example, in machine-type organizations under conditions of relative stability, entrepreneurship under more dynamic configurations of start-up and turnaround. But if organizations can be described by such states, then change must be described as rather dramatic transformation - the leap from one state to another. And so, a literature and practice of transformation - more prescriptive and practitioner oriented (and consultant promoted) – developed as the other side of the coin. These two very different literatures and practices nevertheless complement one another and so belong to the same school.




  Think of growing your business as growing a perfect human being – in all his or her complexity and integrity. Think of this human being as a multi-skilled sportsman who is to win various competitions, both individually - a 100 m sprint run, a tennis tournament, and a chess match – and as a team player – a relay-race, safari rally, and football. He is also to live a harmonious family, social and cultural life, grow his children and support his elders... Clearly, narrow strategies aimed at perfecting different functions of this person – body-building, thinking-building, or personality-building – would not create a perfect man. The same is also correct for the business strategy development in the new era of systemic innovation where good in parts is no good at all. The old linear and static approaches might work well for the old era of slow, linear and incremental change. The emerging era of rapid, systemic and radical change requires more flexible, systemic and dynamic  approaches to strategy formulation.

Thus today, corporate strategy formulation should be a combination of different currently practiced approaches described above – judgmental designing, intuitive visioning, and emergent learning; it should be about transformation as well as perpetuation; it has to involve individual cognition and social interaction, co-operative as well as conflictive; it must include analyzing before and programming after as well as negotiating during; and all of this must be in response to what can be a demanding environment.

Certain positive moves in this direction have been  seen recently. Some of the more recent approaches to strategy formulation take a wider perspective and cut across the above ten schools in eclectic and interesting ways, for example Learning and Design in the "Dynamic Capabilities" approach, or the "Dynamic Strategy" one based on knowledge working.




How to get bankrupt:

Five facets of Strategic Management

Strategic management comprises five key facets: goal-setting, analysis, strategy formation, strategy implementation, and strategy monitoring. These are the integral elements that, when applied together, distinguish strategic management from less comprehensive approaches, such as operational management or long-term planning. Strategic management is an iterative, continuous process that involves important interactions and feedback among the five key facets.







 Intro 2-2



  Contact: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt FRGS
Bachelor and Master Program International Tourism Management, Office Schanzenstr. 8, Tel. 0481 8555-513