A Guide to Steer Your Academic Career
Edited by Alain Fayolle and Mike Wright
Chapter 12: Publishing cases in entrepreneurship journals
The case method has long played an important role in organizational research as a way to both build and teach theory (Christensen and Carlisle, 2009; Eisenhardt, 1989; Lincoln and Guba, 1985). Classic case studies have provided foundational theory for many research streams, including worker motivations (Roethlisberger and Dickson, 1939), organizational structure (Chandler, 1962) and managerial decision making (Allison, 1971). Like other applied fields (for example, medicine and law), case studies also serve as critical pedagogical tools that immerse students in the richness and complexity of real-world decision making as well as provide them opportunities to learn from historical examples (Summer et al., 1990). As in others fields, entrepreneurship scholars have employed the case method to generate new theory and to educate aspiring entrepreneurs (Hindle, 2004; Perren and Ram, 2004). Some early entrepreneurship case studies provided key theory in research areas, including entrepreneurial motivation (McClelland, 1961), geographic clusters (Becattini, 1979), corporate entrepreneurship/entrepreneurial orientation (Miller, 1983) and new international ventures (Oviatt and McDougall, 1994). As the field has developed, scholars have continued to generate new theory using the case method. For example, in their review of research conducted in the 1990s, Chandler and Lyon (2001) found that 18 percent of articles in leading entrepreneurship journals employed qualitative techniques, with the majority employing either real-time or retrospective case study methods.Pedagogical cases provide an important tool that professors can use to lead students through the complex entrepreneurship process of opportunity identification, evaluation and exploitation (Shane and Venkataraman,2000).
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