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Enterprise in the American West: Taverns, inns and settlement development on the frontier during the 1800s

Andrew C. MacLaren (Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
Mark E. Young (Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)
Sean Lochrie (Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 1 March 2013

754

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

The paper explores hospitality as a context for entrepreneurial activity in the American West and uses a historical case study method.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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