Friederike Welter , David Urbano, Turki Alfahaid, Abdullah Aljarodi, Elsa Breit, Andreas Buhrandt, Débora de Castro Leal, Sina Feldermann, Jonas Janisch, Philipp Köhn, Tatiana Lopez, Anne Löscher, Anna Müller, Max Paschke, Philipp Julian Ruf, Julia Schnittker and Christine Weigel
What does relevance and impact in entrepreneurship mean, why should we care about making research relevant especially as early career researchers and which challenges do researchers face in order to realise impactful and relevant research? These are the questions raised in Chapter 1. The discussion helps us to understand and to distinguish the concepts of relevance and impact. Early career and leading researchers reflect on their tasks in both academic and non-academic worlds and are critically re-thinking the current ways of defining scholarly impact through well-known measurements. The authors suggest the encouragement of research that is meaningful for different target groups such as practitioners, academic organisations and wider society.
Chapter 2 presents a brief comment on how to choose a topic that might be relevant for entrepreneurship research. The background, experience, context, and literature might help to identify the right conversation to be part of, and contribute to theory, policy and practice. An introduction to the chapters in Part II is also presented.
Achieving academic relevance is probably the most challenging part of being an early career researcher. Chapter 3 discusses why social science will always be unable meet significant global challenges – answers to the big questions seem always out of reach. The chapter examines how early career researchers in this research field can use this condition as an opportunity to identify relevant research topics and avoid those that may be irrelevant.
Family businesses are seen as cornerstones of the German economy and operate within the context, norms and regulations of German legislation. Chapter 4 asks several questions: What kind of business is regarded as a ‘family business’? How is the term ‘family business’ defined? Which one of the existing definitions is the correct one? Many researchers have spent much time dealing with these kinds of questions. By contrast, the German legislature issued its own definition of the term ‘family business’ in 2016. The definition is relevant not only for research purposes but also for the family businesses themselves, because it implies a tax concession for businesses which fulfil the legislator’s definition. The chapter covers the German legislator’s definition of the term ‘family business’, the resulting tax exemptions and their inconsistencies.
Chapter 5 focuses on foreign or reserve currency shortage and its implications for development prospects. It is argued that the problem of foreign exchange shortages is persistent, causing problems for some Developing and Emerging Economies’ (DEEs) by inhibiting their potential for growth. The provision of reserve currencies is necessary for financing structural change and the conduct of monetary and fiscal policies which proves particularly important in times of crises. However, unfavourable trade structures make it hard to acquire enough foreign currency as exports of primary commodities are a poor source of foreign exchange. If the foreign exchange finance gap is closed via foreign loans, the issue of debt sustainability arises. The chapter uses the case of Ethiopia to illustrate the dilemma consisting of dependence on foreign exchange, an undiversified trade structure and risks of overindebtedness.
As the introduction to Part III of this book, Chapter 6 proposes that relevant research is one that contributes to ‘conversations’ in different groups (academia, policymakers, professionals and society) and at different levels (e.g. international, national, regional and local groups), with contributions that are interesting for main ‘conversants’, and using a suitable style for each group.
Doing a thesis with an ethnographic approach for a single case study in small business research is both an adventure and a walk on a tightrope. To get significant results a researcher has to gather extensive knowledge and develop a rich set of data about the case. Nevertheless, to gain access to the needed kind of data and information a certain level of involvement and trust between the researcher and members of the enterprise is inevitable. Thus, researchers have to go out and become a part of the field itself. However, this might lead to potential bias. Therefore, researchers have to rigorously reflect their actions and their role in the research process; documenting their experience and developing strategies to distance themselves from the case. Chapter 7 outlines the research process, using the example of a longitudinal in-depth single case study to provide insights into and recommendations for research practice.
Chapter 8 demonstrates the relevance of research drawing on the example of a research project that studies young women educated in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and are now working in these fields. As STEM fields are still male-dominated, the interviewees miss an exchange of experiences with like-minded individuals, which is why they perceive the research project outlined here as relevant. Among these interviewees, an online survey was conducted in order to find out how research (projects) need to be designed to be perceived as relevant for practice by the target group. The recommendations derived can help early career researchers to improve the relevance and impact of their research (project).
Abdullah Aljarodi, Tatiana Lopez and Turki Alfahaid
As researchers, the relevance of our studies is a constant issue of concern and for maximum impact it is imperative to consider context in research. In qualitative research, this context is considered one of the most important aspects. However, quantitative research is not clear about the ways context is integrated into analyses. Therefore, the aim of Chapter 9 is to show how the topic of context has been addressed in quantitative research in entrepreneurship. It also identifies the main challenges and provides some guidelines for future research.