Handbook of Research on New Venture Creation
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Handbook of Research on New Venture Creation

Edited by Kevin Hindle and Kim Klyver

This comprehensive Handbook provides an essential analysis of new venture creation research. The eminent contributors critically discuss and explore the current literature as well as suggest improvements to the field. They reveal a strong sense of both the ‘state-of-the-art’ (what has and has not been done in new venture creation research) and the ‘state-of-the-could-be’ (future directions the field should take to improve knowledge). The Handbook comprises nineteen chapters divided into four main sections: setting the agenda; theoretical perspectives; data and measurements; and new venture creation through contextual lenses.
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Chapter 3: Who’s Asking the Right Question? Patterns and Diversity in the Literature of New Venture Creation

Hans Landström and Fredrik Åström


Hans Landström and Fredrik Åström INTRODUCTION During the last 30 years, entrepreneurship has become one of the most popular fields of research in management studies, having grown more or less exponentially since the early 1990s. Although entrepreneurship research has a very long history – we can find early research with a focus on entrepreneurship as long ago as the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – more systematic research emerged during the 1980s, not least among management scholars. Initially the research was dominated by an interest in searching for the entrepreneur as an individual and attempting to reveal his/her personality and traits. However, this research was strongly criticized and by the late 1980s there was a systematic shift in entrepreneurship research, from a focus on the entrepreneur as an individual towards the entrepreneurial process and behaviour. One researcher played a very influential role in the above-mentioned shift. In his seminal article ‘Who is the entrepreneur? is the wrong question’ in 1988, William Gartner was one of the first to claim that entrepreneurship researchers ought to pay more attention to the behavioural aspects of entrepreneurship and in particular to the creation of new organizations. However, Gartner was not alone in his argumentation for a change of focus in entrepreneurship research. A similar line of reasoning was, for example, pursued by William Bygrave and Charles Hofer (1991), who stated that ‘the entrepreneurial process involves all the functions, activities and actions associated with the perceiving of opportunities and the creation of organizations to pursue them’...

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