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Free Content Research practices in entrepreneurship

Problems of definition, description and meaning

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Abstract:

The dominant paradigm of entrepreneurship research practices, positivism, has brought about a fundamental paradox: researchers often try to analyse a phenomenon that cannot properly be defined. As a result, much entrepreneurship research is fragmentary and focuses narrowly on aspects of entrepreneurship. Nonetheless, there are very rich descriptive data on what people mean when they talk about 'enterprise'. The argument is developed that interpretative methodologies – new lenses for seeing entrepreneurship – such as social constructionism, are required to extend people's understanding. If the fragmentary positivistic approaches are imagined as pieces of a jigsaw, it can be seen how a social constructivist approach can provide an overview of how the pieces match, fit and come together. Following this way of thinking, the authors propose Giddens's structuration as an orienting framework for these interpretative lenses.

Keywords: CONSTRUCTIONISM; ENTREPRENEURSHIP RESEARCH; GIDDENS'S STRUCTURATION; INTERPRETATIVE METHODOLOGIES; POSITIVISM

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/000000008786208731

Publication date: November 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Published quarterly, this journal provides a worldwide forum for the exploration and dissemination of ideas and experience relating to the development and application of entrepreneurship. IJEI is interdisciplinary, publishing the highest-quality work in business and management and in the social sciences. Authors and readers are drawn from government, industry and universities. It has particular appeal to researchers and teachers in higher education, especially in business schools, and university departments of management, sociology and psychology.

    Each issue includes double-blind peer-reviewed papers; a case study with teaching notes, an 'Internet Review' section which identifies and reviews Websites on a selected topic, and book reviews. For key topics go to www.ippublishing.com.
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