https://orcid.org/ 0000-0001-9980-4946

Document Type

Conference Object


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Strategic Management Policy

Publication Details

This paper was presented at the Irish Academy of Management Conference, held at Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland, on 25th & 26th August 2021.


The purpose of this study is to examine the current Town Centre Management [TCM] practices within Ireland’s rural towns since the abolition of Town Councils in 2014. This new study finds that Ireland’s approach to TCM is much more complicated and multifarious, with varying practices across the samples. The findings highlight a fractured TCM partnership between the private sector (Retailers, Volunteering Groups, Citizens, and Business Owners) and the public sector (Local Government). This paper also presents findings that despite respected recommendations from semi-state bodies to drive town centre management by local ‘dynamic leaders’, no model has been developed to attract, support and retain such a person. This post-positivistic study with a descriptive qualitative design was drawn from a series of in-depth interviews with significant key stakeholders across a stratified sample of rural towns with experience in TCM practices. The results that emerge facilitate a theoretical management framework as a guide for town centre stakeholders to analyse the unique elements of their situation and implement a strategy towards a TCM scheme. This research demonstrates that TCM with the right leader (Town Manager/CEO) and support from local government is a viable solution to ensure the sustainability of our towns in rural Ireland.