Original Research

Innovation in small accommodation businesses: A comparative study of Zimbabwe and South Africa

Lovemore T. Chipunza
Acta Commercii | Vol 20, No 1 | a796 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v20i1.796 | © 2020 Lovemore T. Chipunza | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 May 2019 | Published: 08 April 2020

About the author(s)

Lovemore T. Chipunza, Department of Business Management, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa


Orientation: The accommodation sector has been identified as the most competitive and innovative segment of the tourism offer. However, the uncertainty with regard to persistent fierce competition that often shrouds small accommodation businesses (SABs) from their large business counterparts necessitates the identification and understanding of sustainable drivers of innovation to ensure their survival.

Research purpose: The main purpose of this study was to examine and compare the influence of selected drivers (market and learning orientations [LOs]) on innovation in SABs in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Motivation of the study: This study was motivated by the absence of empirical evidence in establishing and comparing the relationship between market and LOs and innovation in SABs in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Research design, approach and method: This study used a descriptive cross-sectional comparative research design. Using simple random sampling, two samples each of 139 from SABs in Manicaland in Zimbabwe and the Free State province in South Africa were analysed using one-way ANOVA, Pearson product-moment correlations and regression analysis.

Main findings: The results demonstrate that market and LOs influence innovation in SABs in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Practical/managerial implications: In view of the strong association between market and LOs and innovation, owners or managers of SABs should embrace and invest more in these orientations to stimulate sustainable innovative behaviour.

Contribution/value-add: This study adds richness to extant research by affirming market and LOs as drivers of innovation in SABs in Zimbabwe and South Africa.


innovation; market orientation; learning orientation; small accommodation businesses; developing economies


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