The purpose of this paper is to provide longitudinal case history data from an investigation into the practices of an enterprising individual associated with two firms in the UK tourism industry. The first business had to be closed down despite the partners employing turnaround strategies to recover from a lack of planning, since an effective work/life balance was not achieved; the second has proved to be more successful due to entrepreneurial learning in overcoming earlier errors.
The methodology involved multiple in‐depth interviews with the key business owner and his partners in the two respective businesses together with supplementary interviews with staff and viewing documentation for triangulation purposes.
The findings based on a longitudinal case history suggest that some enterprising individuals may learn from certain past mistakes but could still need others to support particular business practices for them to succeed. The results also suggest that, even if a badly performing business can be turned around, owner/managers must be aware of the potential social costs that can be incurred in implementing strategies. As such, it demonstrates the need to learn from experiences and plan for social as well as work‐related issues to maintain a work/life balance, particularly in a “lifestyle” business.
The implications of the findings suggest that advisors (including university teaching) involved with assisting entrepreneurs make them aware of the need for effective planning. In particular, that the widely reported hard work and long hours involved in running a business can take a toll on personal lives and the work/life balance of enterprising individuals must be managed.
The main aspect of originality of the paper comes from the study of social costs of running an entrepreneurial venture, but the longitudinal nature of the study provides a further aspect of originality in this field of research.
Crick, D. (2011), "Enterprising individuals and entrepreneurial learning: A longitudinal case history in the UK tourism sector", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 203-218. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552551111114941Download as .RIS
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