Hospitality Entrepreneurship: A Link in the Career Chain
Purpose – This paper investigates the motivational factors behind the transition of successful hospitality entrepreneurs back to paid employment. The study focuses on small business owners because the majority of the New Zealand hospitality industry is represented by small to medium businesses. Methodology – Qualitative methods were employed to understand the reasons for the transition from entrepreneurship to paid employment. Data were collected through sixteen interviews, and analysed using narrative analysis to examine participants’ stories. Findings – Motivational factors were categorised into ten themes: family, work-life imbalance, health and stress, age, planned exit, security and stability of paid employment, education, expectations of others, lack of development, and intuition. Although a combination of motivational factors was expressed by all participants, work-life imbalance was identifed as a consistence influence on decisions to exit entrepreneurship. Research limitations/implications – Research is relatively sparse on the reasons for returning to paid employment from successful hospitality entrepreneurship, so this study provides a new understanding of this phenomenon, as well as the challenges of the work-life balancing issues in entrepreneurship. Although poor work-life balances were self-imposed, the multiple and conflicting expectations of business owners, partners, family, community and customers were identified as contributing influences on exiting owner-operated businesses. Originality/value – This is the first study of the motivations behind the decision to leave a successful New Zealand hospitality business and move into paid employment.