The Sunday Mail
THE philosophy of integrated thinking in tourism is largely defined by the dynamics of thinking differently, but neatly woven by the fabrics of brand protection to achieve nation-building.
The excitement involved in thinking differently should not be confused with the dangers of legitimatising the energy that destroys the reputation of the country brand.
Advanced nations in Europe and Asia are renowned for the tagline to protect the country brand, but in Africa, integrated thinking is yet to be embraced in its totality to achieve the goals of country brand protection.
Active protection of the country’s reputation is a good recipe for the success of the tourism industry in Zimbabwe.
Researchers in the field of tourism have established that integrated thinking is the active consideration of the various relationships involved in the operations of the functional units associated with the tourism brand.
The vision of the integrated thinking model is to unify the various parts of mainstream business practices to create value in the short, medium and long terms. The holistic view of integrated thinking is to unify the different constituent parts of the tourism sector to establish a focus on value-creation activities and reputation-building verdicts.
The position of integrated thinking in the tourism industry is the assertion that the sector is multifaceted and dynamic, and the products are intangible and fluid. As such, systems thinking is an important factor to incorporate into an integrated thinking model to maintain the reputation of the industry.
Systems thinking, thus, facilitates the integration of inputs from different perspectives through the process of integrated thinking to establish palatable and reputable outputs.
In the tourism industry, the major objective of integrated thinking is to establish a holistic representation of the cultural values of the nation, through an understanding of systems thinking, in order to protect the country’s reputation.
Tourism stakeholders rate the performance of the industry through insinuations and communicative suggestions that are crafted by actors.
This means actors who are not patriotic and not passionate about nation-building ignore principles of integrated thinking. They are criminals in the tourism sector through the production of reckless information that is meant to damage the reputation of the country and, ultimately, kill the industry.
In developed countries, integrative thinking is strictly based on nation-building and the protection of the country’s reputation.
It is a crime to destroy the reputation of a nation through social media activism to achieve a sinister agenda. The United States; as well as countries in Europe and Asia, among others, do not tolerate individuals whose interests do not protect the reputation of the country brand.
The interests of the nation are protected for the sake of visitors and tourists. And these are the basic principles of integrative thinking, adopted from the systems thinking theory.
Pioneers of reputation management research have coined the term “Novo Nordisk Way of Management” in recognition of Novo Nordisk, who initiated studies of integrated thinking in business.
Integrated thinking should not be confused with the suppression of information, but needs to be viewed from the communication metrics associated with sustainable business practices.
The influence of actors in the integrated thinking philosophy is ideally a value-creation process that is represented by the complex and interconnectedness of activities involved in nation-building.
In the tourism industry, citizens of a nation are the main actors in the value creation process. Developed countries are, therefore, prosperous because citizens feel proud of their country.
The same should apply to Zimbabweans. They should embrace the notion of integrated thinking to protect the reputation of the country.
Researchers have established that the concept of integrated thinking should be understood from the perspective of nation-building, despite notions of differences of opinion.
Integrated thinking accommodates the democratic values of differences of opinion among the people but harnesses the values that coincide with brand protection.
This means differences in people’s opinions should, ultimately, embrace integrated thinking principles to protect the nation’s reputation.
In the tourism industry, the emergence of information that generates certain impressions that are destructive to the country’s brand reputation violates the basic principles of integrated thinking.
The citizens are the ambassadors of the country’s reputation, and integrated thinking is a value-driven and logical way of brand protection.
This means supporters of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the US are trending on the values of delinquency because the nation’s reputation is at stake. Differences in opinion or freedom of speech models that do not coincide with the values of integrated thinking should be viewed as forms of delinquency.
The reputation of the country brand should be protected by its own citizens. Zimbabwe is marching towards Vision 2030, of achieving an upper middle-income economy, and this means reputational aspects of the nation are very significant.
To achieve Vision 2030 goals, citizens are encouraged to observe the notion of integrated thinking to protect the country’s reputation, as well as self-respect as Zimbabweans, hence the mantra “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo”.
Charles Mavhunga co-authored textbooks in business enterprising skills and is currently studying for a PhD in management at Bindura University of Science Education. He can be contacted at: [email protected]; Cell: +263772989816.