Critical Hospitality Symposium, Critical Hospitality Symposium II: Hospitality IS Society

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Lifestyle entrepreneurs’ quality of life: what really matters?
Maria Jao Vieira

Last modified: 2018-07-02


Lifestyle entrepreneurs (LsEs) tend to be described within the tourism and hospitality literaturewith an emphasis on the style of life they want to achieve while running their businesses(Lashley and Rowson, 2010; Skokic and Morrison, 2011). The lifestyle label is often relatedto a desire to open a small business where its owner can take into consideration aspects likefamily, lifestyle and commercial concerns (Saxena, 2015). The label is also associated with thepossibility of blending lifestyle and work as if they are one and the same (Holland and Martin,2015), and to an ambition of achieving a certain quality of life (QoL) aligned with personalpreferences and values (Ateljevic and Doorne, 2000). Although it seems relatively consensualamongst authors that LsEs main motivation is not profit nor desire for growth (Shaw andWilliams, 1998; Ioannides and Petersen, 2003), knowledge about the group is scarce and tendsto be focused on the motivations to open small tourism businesses (Thomas et al., 2011).

Considering the apparent agreement that exists in the literature regarding QoL as one of themain drivers for LsEs to engage in tourism related entrepreneurial ventures (Shaw andWilliams, 2004; Getz and Petersen, 2005), it becomes relevant to understand how thisparticular group perceives QoL and how they self-assess their own QoL. Having a deeperknowledge about LsEs perception of QoL might be helpful in advancing the knowledge aboutthis special group of tourism entrepreneurs.

The aim of this presentation is to introduce the conceptual model of QoL of LsEs that emergedfrom the thematic analysis of 36 in-depth interviews with LsEs owners of B&B’s in Portugal,conducted as part of an ongoing doctoral study. The findings suggest that there are seven issuesimportant to LsEs perception of QoL. Self-realization, business management, interpersonalrelationships, and finance are the ones that matter the most. The implications of the findingsand how they challenge the label LsE will be discussed.


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