Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Entrepreneurship and Small Business

Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Entrepreneurship and Small Business

Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series

Edited by Alan Carsrud and Malin Brännback

This thought provoking book builds on existing research traditions that make small business, entrepreneurship and family business a resource rich arena for study. It steps back to ask fundamental questions that every researcher should consider prior to engaging in data collection. It focuses on topics that have traditionally frustrated researchers including experimental methods in small business research, scale development, control variables and language issues in cross cultural research.

Chapter 6: Looking into the future: valid multiple- and single-item measures in entrepreneurship research

Leon Schjoedt, Maija Renko and Kelly G. Shaver

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, family business, research methods in business and management, research methods, research methods in business and management


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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