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Entrepreneurial networks across the business life cycle: The case of Alpine hospitality entrepreneurs

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>13/06/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number6
Volume28
Number of pages27
Pages (from-to)1177-1203
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Purpose
This paper aims to deliver a detailed understanding about the dynamics of entrepreneurial networks along the enterprise life cycle of hospitality enterprises.
Design/methodology/approach
Case study research was conducted, using in-depth interviews with hospitality entrepreneurs and additional material (e.g. website information). The data were analyzed applying the qualitative method GABEK (GAnzheitliche BEwältigung von Komplexität – holistic processing of complexity) which enables researchers to reveal concepts and attitudes of interviewees.
Findings
Networks of hospitality entrepreneurs shift from local ties to industry-specific actor groups to local and non-local ties to actor groups inside and outside the industry. Throughout the enterprise life cycle, entrepreneurs prefer strong ties. The transition from one family generation to the next and changes in the competitive environment are important triggers of network configurations.
Research limitations/implications
Future research should reproduce the findings and investigate the proposed relationships in representative samples from different regions and industries. The influences of different actors within networks provide fertile research opportunities.
Practical implications
Networks provide viable means for tackling the challenges of growth in the hospitality industry. The research provides managerial implications for how networks should be configured for meeting resource dependencies of different development stages.
Originality/value
Building on resource dependency theory, this research emphasizes which challenges the enterprise life cycle imposes upon network management in the hospitality industry. While past research has focused upon the early stages of the enterprise life cycle, this study investigates also later stages. Furthermore, triggers of network management are identified.