When truth is power: Institutional ethnography of a think tank

Honggen Xiao, Dai Bin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study offers an institutional ethnography of a tourism think tank in a large origin/destination economy. The roles of China Tourism Academy as advisors, academics, advocates, and brokers are discussed in the context of theory and practice, where government think tank researchers are found to be speaking truth both to and for power as they develop an ambition or sense of loftiness of serving and contributing to the state through doing research and mobilizing knowledge (zhishi baoguo). Although the inquirers' positions or perspectives should be acknowledged, this ethnography contributes to future research into think tanks or other knowledge agencies in different origin/destination societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438–450
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • China Tourism Academy
  • institutional ethnography
  • theory and practice
  • think tank
  • tourism policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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