Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
Edited by Alan Carsrud and Malin Brännback
Chapter 6: Looking into the future: valid multiple- and single-item measures in entrepreneurship research
As a discipline, entrepreneurship has grown dramatically in recent years. This coming of age is reflected in both substantive and measurement developments (Schwab, 1980). The former refer to studies addressing the nature of the relationships among constructs - independent and dependent variables. The latter refer to the operationalization of those theoretical concepts. Conclusions drawn in the entrepreneurship literature are only as robust as the methods employed in conducting the research (e.g. design, sampling, measurement, analysis and interpretation of results). Although methodological progress has been made, developments in measurement have lagged the substantive developments in entrepreneurship. This is troublesome because accurate and well-tested measures are essential for replicable substantive developments. Nowhere is the problem clearer than in the body of research on traits in entrepreneurship, and in the calls for abandonment of this line of research. To lay the groundwork for future development of this area, the present chapter offers guidance on measurement development and validation in entrepreneurship research. Assessing measurement validity in entrepreneurship research is a problematic issue as, for example, observed in recent reviews of the literature on entrepreneurs' behaviors (Bird and Schjoedt, 2009; Bird et al., 2012).
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