What We Know and What We Need to Know
Edited by Alain Fayolle
Chapter 17: Revisiting entrepreneurship research from a decisionmaking perspective
Entrepreneurship research has always been concerned with the notion of decision, either explicitly or implicitly. In this chapter I pose that, despite the richness of the field, most entrepreneurship scholars have treated the notion of decision implicitly in their work, whereas the few who treated the notion of decision explicitly focused on specific parts of the 'entrepreneurship elephant'. As a result, we are left with a fragmented body of literature that touches upon the fundamental questions of who, when, where, why, what and how, often studying one or two questions in depth, but separately. Such fragmentation is caused by specialization, which has clearly contributed to advance knowledge about entrepreneurship and facilitates our work as researchers, but makes it difficult to articulate a comprehensive view of such accumulated knowledge. In other words, while studying decision-making in entrepreneurship has to do with studying the who, when, where, why, what and how of the phenomena, doing so in a specialized manner has led our field to a fragmentation of research streams that are not well connected by any existing theoretical framework, and even less so from a decision-making perspective. In this chapter I try to articulate such an overarching framework, making an effort to revisit entrepreneurship research streams and research findings from a decision-making point of view.
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