Family Business Essay

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Alina M. Zapalska, Dallas Brozik • Managing family businesses in the tourism and... Zb. rad. Ekon. fak. Rij. • 2007 • vol. 25 • sv. 1 • 141-165 141 Original scientific paper UDC 334.71: 338.48 :338.24 Managing family businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry: the transitional economy of Poland* Alina M. Zapalska1, Dallas Brozik2 Abstract This study’s objective is to examine the nature of tourism and hospitality family businesses that operate in the transitional Polish economy and to analyze the environment for development and growth of these entrepreneurial firms in the reforming economy. In order to evaluate and compare firms’ development relative to selected external environmental factors affecting entrepreneurial operations, on-site surveys and personal interviews were conducted with Polish entrepreneurs who own and operate family businesses within tourism and hospitality industry. The environmental conditions are grouped into four external environmental factors: political and legal environment, financial environment, non-financial environment, and socio-economic environment, and analyzed based on Kazanjian’s (1988) and Gnyawali and Fogel’s models (1994). The paper also analyzes the competencies of the owners of the entrepreneurial firms that are important for the firm’s success throughout the firm’s life cycle. Based on this study results, policy implications are made for assisting the tourism and hospitality firms’ growth and development in transitional economy. Key words: Transitional economy, tourism, development, entrepreneurship JEL classification: M29, P29 * 1 2 Received: 29- 03- 2006; accepted: 23-04-2007 PhD, Professor of Economics, Department of Management, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 27 Mohegan Avenue, New London, CT 06320-8101, USA. Scientific affiliation: Economics. Phone: 860-444-8334. Fax: 860-701-6179. E-mail:

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