Motivations for entrepreneurship in the tourism and hospitality sector: A social cognitive theory perspective

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54 Citations (Scopus)


A critical examination of the literature suggests that further work is needed to understand the relationship between small tourism and hospitality businesses and their external social-economic environments. In particular, the nature of personal and environmental factors influencing tourism entrepreneurship remains unknown. Focusing on one type of small business, guest houses, this study aims to examine entrepreneurs’ motivations from a dynamic perspective and explore the nature of personal and environmental factors affecting motivations for entrepreneurship. Taking a qualitative approach, four patterns of change in (or maintenance of) motivation are identified. Guided by social cognitive theory, this study finds that, among the relevant personal factors are cognitive beliefs, intrinsic needs, and demographic factors, while the environmental facilitators include changes in the tourism market, changes within the industry, and changes in setting/location. Finally, a model of small business operators’ motivations for engaging in entrepreneurship in the tourism and hospitality sector is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Business orientation
  • Lifestyle orientation
  • Small tourism and hospitality firm
  • Social cognitive theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

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