The purpose of this paper is to explore commercial hospitality enterprise and its impact on settlement development in the American West during the 1800s, focussing on the story of the Fanthorp Inn in Texas, USA.
The paper outlines the theory relating to entrepreneurial opportunity and applies it to the historical case of the Fanthorp Inn, Texas, USA. The methodological approach of the paper is based on an in‐depth study into the development of one tavern using multiple sources of evidence.
First, opportunity on the frontier was controlled to the extent that it became objective in the Kirznerian sense. Second, commercial hospitality enterprise was used as a vehicle for settlement development in frontier America.
The paper is limited by its use of one case study and the scarcity of sources of historical evidence. Further studies could engage with different examples of frontier hospitality businesses and develop the method further.
The paper provides deeper understanding of settlement development in the American West during the 1800s and supplies a methodological framework with which further organisational research can engage with historical sources of data. The findings also suggest that opportunity exists relative to its context.
The paper explores hospitality as a context for entrepreneurial activity in the American West and uses a historical case study method.
MacLaren, A.C., Young, M.E. and Lochrie, S. (2013), "Enterprise in the American West: Taverns, inns and settlement development on the frontier during the 1800s", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 264-281. https://doi.org/10.1108/09596111311301630
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