Disruptive network innovation in free guided tours

Jane Widtfeldt Meged, Malin Zillinger

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article provides an analysis on how disruptive innovation is spurred by the dynamics of digital and analogue networks in the sharing economy. The analysis builds on a free guided tour company in Copenhagen. Data is collected in a bottom-up reiterative process, drawing on theories on disruptive innovation and network theory. Between 2013 and 2016, one of the free tour companies in Copenhagen was followed by means of participant observations, interviews with tour guides and interpretation of online documents. Results show that free guided tours based on tips alone and orchestrated within the frame of the sharing economy are not merely a product innovation. More importantly, they entail disruptive market innovations that circumvent traditional industry structures and ultimately produce disruptive organizational innovations where trust in network is the crux. Free guided-tour companies operate as communitarian organizations in extractive business models, and they are game changers in the field of guided tours, and ultimately in the field of tourism.
Translated title of the contributionNetværk som forudsætning for innovation af guidede ture
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)303-318
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2018


  • free guided tours
  • disruption
  • networked innovation
  • sharing economy
  • trust

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