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Deborah Blackman and Miguel Imas INTRODUCTION In Chapter 3 Hans Landström and Fredrik Åström included a close examination of the seminal work of the doyen of new venture creation researchers, William Gartner, and his strong belief that the creation of an organization is a complicated and intricate process, influenced by many factors, which challenges us to develop research questions and methodologies that do justice to the complexity and heterogeneity of entrepreneurship and new venture creation. When they asked Gartner, in interview, what he thought we had learned about the process of new venture creation he replied: Honestly, we have learned very little. One reason is methodological concerns. For example, we have used very broad and crude ways of measuring the entrepreneurial processes, and we do not have a great deal of rich and detailed data on how people go about starting businesses over time – that is really a fundamental flaw in the area. (Ch. 3, p. 52) In this chapter we will suggest that some of Gartner’s key concerns can be addressed through a transgressive knowledge-based approach to researching entrepreneurship and new venture creation. In an illuminating passage in The Character of Physical Law (1992), Physics Nobel Prize laureate Richard Feynman introduced us to the controversy of electrons’ behaviour and the scientific knowledge produced to explain such complexity at the outset of quantum theory. Feynman pointed out that when electrons were first discovered they behaved exactly like particles or bullets, in a very simple way. Later, however, new...
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