Entrepreneurship Research in Europe
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Entrepreneurship Research in Europe

Outcomes and Perspectives

Alain Fayolle, Paula Kyrö and Jan Ulijn

In this vital new book, leading international scholars highlight the unique characteristics and rich variety of European research in entrepreneurship. They pursue several different perspectives and focus on the key issues and most significant developments in the field.
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Chapter 6: Current State of Methodology in Entrepreneurship Research and Some Expectations for the Future

Paula Kyro and Juha Kansikas


1 Paula Kyrö and Juha Kansikas NEED FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP SPECIFIC METHODOLOGY The need to advance methodology in entrepreneurship research has varied from a very philosophical basis to more practical recommendations (for example Bygrave, 1989a, 1989b; Davidsson, 2001; Sexton and Smilor, 1986). Among contemporary contributors representing a philosophical perspective we can mention William D. Bygrave (1989a; 1989b) with his two articles ‘The entrepreneurship paradigm I and II’ in the Journal of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. The basic argument behind his thought is that advancing methodology relates to its ability to describe and understand human behaviour. The contemporary paradigm debate also combines methodological considerations with the conceptual needs, claiming that both discipline-specified theories and methodology are needed (for example Bygrave, 1989a, 1989b; Davidsson, 2001; Sexton and Smilor, 1986). Often it is recommended that methodological solutions be sought from other fields of science, as suggested by Macmillan and Katz (1992) from epidemiology, criminology, history, archaeology and palaeontology, and by Stewart (1991), from anthropology. The empirical studies depicting the current outlook of methodological choices, as interplay between methods and theories, can be found in the 1980s and at the beginning of the 1990s. Among these we can mention the studies of Wortman (1986), in the interface between entrepreneurship and small businesses, of Churchill and Lewis (1986), borrowing ‘lenses’ from the younger though somewhat more mature fields of strategy and marketing and of Brush (1992) in women entrepreneurship. Their data have consisted of journal articles and conference papers. This study is participating in this methodological...

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