Lifestyle entrepreneurs and spheres of inter-firm relations: The case of Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland

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A relatively small body of literature in tourism concentrates on the issues of small firms and entrepreneurs and 'this area of inquiry is vastly under-researched' (Thomas, 2004, p 1). A key piece of research (Rimmington et al, 1999) classifies entrepreneurs in the tourism sector, and one category that has received research attention has been that of lifestyle entrepreneurs. This article outlines the literature on lifestyle entrepreneurs and concludes that much of the focus to date has been on the individual entrepreneur. The paper investigates how lifestyle entrepreneurs interact with other entrepreneurs in the location where they operate, and their involvement in the local dynamics of the place. The area studied in this regard is Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland. Rather than focusing within the boundaries of the firm, the attention here is on the interaction between firms and within the location. The first section discusses the literature on lifestyle entrepreneurs and the nature of inter-firm relations; the second outlines the research objectives and the methodology; the third describes the location of the study; and the fourth outlines and analyses the findings of the research. In conclusion, the author considers what contribution this research makes to the literature and understanding of lifestyle entrepreneurs.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2007

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  • Published quarterly, this journal provides a worldwide forum for the exploration and dissemination of ideas and experience relating to the development and application of entrepreneurship. IJEI is interdisciplinary, publishing the highest-quality work in business and management and in the social sciences. Authors and readers are drawn from government, industry and universities. It has particular appeal to researchers and teachers in higher education, especially in business schools, and university departments of management, sociology and psychology.

    Each issue includes double-blind peer-reviewed papers; a case study with teaching notes, an 'Internet Review' section which identifies and reviews Websites on a selected topic, and book reviews. For key topics go to
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