Previous literature echoes the notion that destination marketing organizations (DMOs) play a critical role in ensuring a desired tourism development scenario. To date, the performance measurement of destination marketing organizations is paralleled to financial indicators or operations, ignoring the presence and quality of relationships among DMOs and tourism stakeholders. Based on the premise of social capital theory, it is argued that social capital and the inter-organizational relationships between DMOs and tourism stakeholders can influence the success of tourism efforts in a destination, which in return is a contributing factor to the DMOs success as an organization. Furthermore, broader literature indicates that inter-organizational relationships moderate the influence of social capital in the success of the organizations. Yet, there is no empirical evidence on how these factors influence the success of U. S. DMOs. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the role of social capital and inter-organizational relationships and their impact on the DMO and its success. A quantitative approach was employed for this study. The targeted population was DMO stakeholders in the United States. A web-based survey was designed and administered, adapting established scales from prior literature. Social capital was measured by its cognitive, relational, and structural dimensions, while inter-organizational relationships were measured by their trust, power symmetry, and commitment dimensions. A previously validated measurement instrument of success was also utilized as stakeholder satisfaction for measuring DMOs' success. Data were cleaned with SPSS v 24.0 and analyzed with Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM). The results of the study indicate that both cognitive social capital and relational social capital have a positive impact on the success of the DMO. Additionally, the study indicates that the structural aspect of social capital was found not to influence the success of the DMO. The study results also showed that inter-organizational relationships did not moderate the relationship between social capital and DMO success. However, two of the components of IOR indicated a positive impact on DMO success. The results of the study offer practitioners and academicians valuable insights into the indicators that influence the mechanism of DMOs success. Furthermore, the study contributes to the advancement of tourism literature by broadening the understanding of the success of destination marketing organizations. Lastly, the study shed light on the prominence of stakeholder-oriented marketing approaches for DMOs, highlighting the synergy created by these relationships.


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Graduation Date





Murphy, Kevin


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Degree Program

Hospitality Management


CFE0009168; DP0026764





Release Date

August 2022

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management