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Economic Development, Entrepreneurial Embeddedness and Resilience: The Case of Pubs in Rural Ireland

Ignazio Cabras () and Matthew Mount

European Planning Studies, 2016, vol. 24, issue 2, 254-276

Abstract: Public houses, or “pubs”, have and always had an important role in the Irish culture, economy and society. Even more, pubs located in the Irish countryside represent vital networking places for local communities, and provide a significant contribution to local supply chains with their purchasing. Their decline in number, registered in recent decades, significantly affects local communities, determining the vanishing of many jobs and business opportunities in areas frequently characterized by small population catchments, infrastructural deficit and spatial remoteness. This paper explores the impact of pubs in creating economic development in rural areas of Ireland. The paper examines the current pattern of procurement and employment associated with pubs in the Irish countryside and its effects upon local supply chains. In addition, the paper investigates pubs' activities and publicans influence with regard to concepts such as entrepreneurial embeddedness and resilience. The authors present and discuss findings from an analysis conducted on a unique data set obtained with the use of a survey questionnaire, corroborated by information gathered from interviews with pub owners and managers. Results increase the level of knowledge about the formation of social networks and economic capital in rural Ireland, and provide valuable insights for practitioners and policy-makers about the role played by pubs within rural supply chains.

Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2015.1074163

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