Professor Paul Lynch

Paul Lynch is Professor of Critical Hospitality and Tourism at Edinburgh Napier University.

Professor Paul Lynch of The Business School





The Business School




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Paul is a Fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and is a member and former Chair (Research) of the Council for Hospitality Management Education Executive committee. He is Visiting Professor at the University of Stenden, Netherlands (2008-present) and Hotelschool The Hague, Netherlands (2012-present). In addition he has experience of working for a tourism social firm offering holidays to people with special needs. Paul has senior management experience in hospitality management, and also in higher education where he has worked as a Head of Department. 

With colleagues in the United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand, Paul has pioneered the launch of a new intentionally interdisciplinary journal Hospitality & Society which seeks to provide a hospitable meeting-ground for the discussion, exchange of ideas and advancing theoretical developments relating to perspectives on hospitality. Paul is also currently on the editorial boards of the following journals: International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Administration; Tourism Review; Research in Hospitality Management.

Areas of expertise 

Paul is best known for his work on small hospitality and tourism accommodation businesses which has led him to critique normative perspectives on small hospitality and tourism enterprises seen through the lenses of small firms, family business, lifestyle entrepreneurship, home-based businesses or farm tourism. His research has given rise to the concept of ‘commercial homes’ or ‘commercial home enterprises’ which is attracting growing academic and industry interest. 

Paul’s research focuses upon critical and sociological perspectives on hospitality and tourism management and in the context of exploring commercial homes has led to his main areas of publications concentrating on small hospitality and tourism firm entrepreneurs, including female micro-entrepreneurs, enterprises, including social enterprises, tourism destination networks and networking, advanced qualitative research methods, hospitality and space, vicarious mobility. Deepening understanding of commercial home enterprises has drawn attention to the interactions between host and guest, host and home, the nature of hospitality and how the study of hospitality sheds light on people, work and society.

The study of hospitality therefore becomes a lens through which society is examined, for example, in relation to post-conflict tourism development or as a means of developing welcoming organisations that incorporate an openness towards creativity, innovation and learning. Paul’s most recent research focuses upon understanding the experience of mundane welcome.

Research projects

Paul has conducted research, consultancy and training on a number of projects with organisations including: Scottish Enterprise; Highlands and Islands Enterprise; Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers; Community Enterprise Trust, Edinburgh; S.Luca; VisitScotland.

Courses taught 

  • Postgraduate: Contemporary Issues in Hospitality Management; Advanced Qualitative Research Methods; Writing and Presenting Research.
  • Undergraduate: Experience Design and Management.
  • PhD Supervision A highly experienced and successful PhD supervisor, Paul is interested in supervising doctoral study projects on topics related to his areas of expertise and welcomes relevant enquiries.

Career history 

Prior to joining Edinburgh Napier University Paul worked at the University of Strathclyde (2004-2013) and Queen Margaret University College (1990-2004). His higher education career was preceded by employment in various managerial positions with the National Health Service as well as working for a tourism social firm offering holidays to people with special needs.

Qualifications Education

BA (Hons) French (Major) and Sociology (Minor) (University of Lancaster); MBA (University of Edinburgh); PhD (Queen Margaret University); Diploma of Health Services Management (Institute of Health Services Management).

Professional memberships and honours 

Fellow of Institute of Hospitality.

Key publications

  • Skokic, V., Lynch, P.A. and Morrison, A. (2016) Hotel entrepreneurship in a turbulent environment, International Journal of Hospitality Management, February, Vol 53, 1-11.
  • Schanzel, H. and Lynch, P.A. (2016) Family Memories of Social Hospitality Dimensions while on Holiday, Tourist Studies, 16(2): 133–150.
  • Causevic, S. and Lynch, P.A., (2012) Political (In) Stability and its Influence on Tourism Development: The Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tourism Management, 34: 145-157.
  • Causevic, S. and Lynch, P.A., (2011) Phoenix Tourism: Post-Conflict Tourism Role, Annals of Tourism Research, 38(3):780-800.
  • Lynch, P., Molz, J., McIntosh, A., Lugosi, P. and Lashley, C. (2011) Theorizing Hospitality, Hospitality & Society, 1(1): 3-24.
  • McIntosh, A., Lynch, P.A. and Sweeney, M. (2010) ‘My Home is my  Castle’: Defiance of the Commercial Home Stay Host in Tourism, Journal of Travel Research, 50(5): 509-519.
  • Tzschentke, N., Kirk, D. and Lynch, P.A. (2008) Going Green: An Examination of Decisional Factors in Small Hospitality Operations, International Journal of Hospitality Management, 27(1): 126-133.
  • Lynch, P.A. (2005) Sociological Impressionism In A Hospitality Context, Annals of Tourism Research, 32(3): 527-548.
  • Lynch, P.A.  (2005) The Commercial Home Enterprise and Host: A United Kingdom Perspective, International Journal of Hospitality Management, 24(4): 533-553.
  • Morrison, A., Lynch, P.A. and Johns, N. (2004) International Tourism Networks. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 16(3): 198-204.
  • Lynch, P.A.  (1998) Female Microentrepreneurs in the Host Family Sector: Key Motivations and Socio-economic Variables, International Journal of Hospitality Management, 17(3): 319-342.


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