Both secondary and primary data have been utilized in this case study. The knowledge biography approach uses a data collection process which starts with a narrative interview with ‘the major responsible person of the innovation process’ (Butzin & Widmaier, 2010, p. 11). In this case, two semi-structured interviews were conducted with the social entrepreneur developing CBT in Mai Hich. The first interview generated background information for the case and the second interview was designed to obtain specific information regarding (1) the timeline of each knowledge phase, (2) the actors involved and (3) the key knowledge interaction events that occurred during the emergence and implementation of this social innovation. Interviews were conducted in Vietnamese and translated into English as Vietnamese is the lead author’s first language. Using participant observation techniques, the lead author also observed and noted the characteristics of knowledge exchange at two informal meetings between the social entrepreneur, local tourism businesses, and government officials.
Following these two interviews, secondary data (the business plan, project concept notes, press releases, news articles, etc.) were collected to identify the actors involved in CBT in Mai Hich. This data was readily available as the Mai Hich CBT is a pioneer of tourism social entrepreneurship, consequently its development was not only covered extensively by the media but was also very accessible via Internet searches. Finally, three television documentaries on Mai Hich (in Vietnamese with English subtitles) were analyzed as they contained semi-structured interviews of diverse actors talking about the development of CBT in Mai Hich.
The aforementioned data was triangulated and analyzed. Analysis involved identifying the major actors, their location and their contribution to the development process, in order to develop a comprehensive, multi-faceted case study that revealed a real and detailed story of CBT in Mai Hich (i.e., an innovation process).