Chapter 2: The Domain of Entrepreneurship Research: Some Suggestions
* DEVELOPMENT – AND LACK THEREOF – IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP RESEARCH There is progress in entrepreneurship research. Important works in entrepreneurship increasingly appear in highly-respected mainstream journals (see Busenitz et al., 2003; Davidsson et al., 2001). There is conceptual development that attracts attention (for example, Shane & Venkataraman, 2000) and handbooks are compiled, providing the ﬁeld with more of a common body of knowledge (Acs & Audretsch, 2003a; Westhead & Wright, 2000; Shane, 2000a). Further, there is evidence of methodological improvement (Chandler & Lyon, 2001) and accumulation of meaningful ﬁndings on various levels of analysis (Davidsson & Wiklund, 2001). Moreover, due to time lags in publication the reported improvements are likely to be underestimated. This author’s experience as organizer, reviewer and participant in core entrepreneurship conferences on both sides of the Atlantic (for example, Babson; RENT) suggests that much of the lower end of the quality distribution has either disappeared from the submissions or is screened out in the review process. Much more than used to be the case a few years back, we ﬁnd among the presented papers research that is truly theory-driven; research on the earliest stages of business development, and research that employs methods suitable for causal inference, that is, experiments and longitudinal designs. This is not to deny that there is confusion, signs of identity crisis, or widespread frustration among entrepreneurship researchers because of a sense that the ﬁeld of entrepreneurship research has not come ‘far enough, fast enough’ (Low, 2001, p. 17) or that we are ‘getting more pieces of the puzzle, but no...
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