Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Helle Neergaard and Claire Leitch
A good study can help anticipate the future, not because it predicts but because it provides a road map or guide (Hoepfl 1997: 57). It has been said that ‘researchers should use tools and techniques that will really bring out a deeper understanding and appreciation about entrepreneurial work as it is enacted in practice and in thought’ (Short et al. 2010: 10). While entrepreneurship provides opportunities for researchers, it has also been confronted by challenges and criticism. Short et al. (2010: 9) argue that increased reliance on prominent guides to qualitative research such as Lincoln and Guba (1985), Yin (2003), Gephart (2004) and Miles and Huberman (1994) could remedy the mixed impressions entrepreneurship research has received. We are fortunate in entrepreneurship research because we may have more control in selecting contexts that are theoretically grounded. We can often also select purposeful samples, those that reflect the phenomenon, or aspect of the phenomenon, we want to understand. We contrast this favourably to approaches which have to begin with a representative sample; we have the luxury of theoretical choice. Yet in spite of this advantage, too much poor quality work is labelled as grounded theorizing. It is unsurprising then that grounded theory has been criticized on several grounds: it is rarely done properly, there seem to be several different grounded theories, in the sense it is meant to be used, it is actually very difficult to do and in reality often does not work very well.
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