International Handbook of Entrepreneurship and HRM
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International Handbook of Entrepreneurship and HRM

Edited by Rowena Barrett and Susan Mayson

This invaluable reference tool has been designed in response to the growing recognition that too little is known about the intersection between entrepreneurship and human resource management. Paying particular attention to the ‘people’ side of venture emergence and development, it offers unique insights into the role that human resource management (HRM) plays in small and entrepreneurial firms.
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Chapter 4: Interpretivist Approaches to Entrepreneurship

Catheribe Cassell and Sara Nadin


Catherine Cassell and Sara Nadin Introduction Entrepreneurship as one of the newest fields of management (Wortman, 1987) is interdisciplinary and has become the object of a large variety of research work (Cunningham and Lischeron, 1991). Research has been conducted at a variety of levels with a considerable diversity of foci. At a macro level research has focused on areas of financing entrepreneurial activities and characteristics of the economic environment (Kuratko and Hodgetts, 1998). At the micro level research has covered individual traits of the entrepreneur (for example, Allinson et al., 2000; Cromie, 2000), entrepreneurial behaviour in relation to creating new ventures (Stevenson and Jarillo, 1990) and the processes of strategy formulation and strategic direction. More recently there has been an increased interest in the links between entrepreneurship and HRM as this present collection testifies. This growing field is characterized by diversity in a number of ways. Apart from being diverse in content and scope, entrepreneurship has been informed by a number of insights from other social science approaches such as anthropology, economics and history. Indeed as Grant and Perren suggest, ‘much of the development of the field has been achieved by drawing on theoretical frameworks from outside’ (2002: p. 185). Despite this diversity the methodological underpinnings of the field have remained fairly uniform, with the majority of published research being located within a functionalist paradigm informed by a positivist epistemology. A number of authors have drawn attention to this situation. For example Grant and Perren (2002) conducted a meta-analytic...

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