Elgar Research Agendas
Edited by Friederike Welter and William B. Gartner
Chapter 6: Entrepreneurship in historical context: using history to develop theory and understand process
Historical contextualization can be defined as the analysis or interpretation of past event(s), in relationship to their time and place, in ways that address a question or problem that arises in the present. This chapter describes the interpretive and analytical processes involved in historical contextualization and discusses their relevance in addressing particular topics within the domain of entrepreneurship scholarship. Specifically, it examines several elements in the design of historically contextualized research, including (a) the differences between scholarly and everyday historical contextualization, (b) the purposes historical contextualization serves, and (c) the interpretive or analytical processes involved, including periodization and the application of historical logics. It then shows how historical contextualization can be used to address several topics of concern to entrepreneurship scholars, including (a) the opportunity identification process, (b) the formation of entrepreneurial teams and networks, (c) the effects of institutions on entrepreneurship, and (d) the relationship between entrepreneurship and processes of economic change.
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