EXPLORING LIFESTYLE ENTREPRENEURSHIP WITHIN LIFESTYLE SPORTS
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This thesis has explored the concept of lifestyle entrepreneurship within lifestyle sports. It has built on the current research and literature in the area which to date has offered only competing and simplified versions of who lifestyle entrepreneurs are, how they can be identified, and how they enact entrepreneurship. Lifestyle entrepreneurship is described as an emerging concept, which has attracted attention due to the evolving nature of work and employment rolls. The context in which entrepreneurship is enacted is an important aspect of understanding the who lifestyle entrepreneurs are and how they can be identified. Lifestyle sports was selected as the context in which to examine this group of entrepreneurs; this is an emerging sub-section of the sport context which is categorised by masculine hegemony and rejection of rules and regulations associated with traditional sport. Lifestyle sports are categorised as alternative to mainstream activities, and are said to have more lifestyle focus for the participants. With their shared use of the term ‘lifestyle’ these two concepts have apparent connections, and the influence of context in which the entrepreneurs’ were embedded was observed to be a key feature towards understanding. The aim of this thesis was to explore the notion of lifestyle entrepreneurship within lifestyle sports. It aimed to address the complex issues of identification of lifestyle entrepreneurs, how they negotiate their work and lifestyles, and what this results in for entrepreneurial practice. The thesis took a mixed methods approach to the collection of data, through a pragmatic paradigm that took a grounded theory approach to developing a new conceptual framework. A questionnaire (n=80) and semi structured interviews (n=21) explored how lifestyle entrepreneurship emerges, and focussed on the ‘becoming’ of the lifestyle entrepreneur, and the interplay of lifestyle, sport, and work. The thesis has contributed to the field of research by firstly providing a more robust approach to identifying who lifestyle entrepreneurs are, and how they can be identified. Secondly, this research has recognised the key contributions to the entrepreneurs’ decision making and lifestyle orientation, which has impacted on the types of lifestyle entrepreneurs that can exist. Further understanding this emerging group of entrepreneurs supports the ongoing theoretical interpretation, and develops current thinking on this topic.