Chapter 8: What Entrepreneurship Research can do for Business and Policy Practice
* INTRODUCTION Academic research can rarely deliver fully developed solutions to any practical problem, and entrepreneurship research is no exception. In order to be useful, scholarly knowledge has to be combined with domain- and situation-speciﬁc practical knowledge. Hence, the application of researchbased knowledge to practical problems requires a joint eﬀort. This holds true for direct communication in consulting and educational situations as well as indirect communication via scholarly articles, textbooks, or trade books. If the practitioner turns to the academic in the belief that she will get a clear and accurate answer to her particular questions she will be disappointed. If the academic believes she can give such answers without digging deeply into the particularities of the practitioner’s environment she is overly ambitious. The top half of Figure 8.1 illustrates this need for the blending of abstracted and speciﬁc knowledge in order to arrive at good solutions to practical problems. Academics and practitioners have diﬀerent types of knowledge interests. The academic’s duty is to observe generalities and to make abstracted sense of ‘reality’ (whether ‘reality’ refers to something that is objectively existing or socially constructed). This is the upper right-hand box. When confronted with a particular problem, the academic’s role and habit is to ask: This is a special case of what? Looking for generalities and potential for abstracted sense-making, she almost as a reﬂex wants to classify the problem at hand into categories that she knows something about. So she asks: This is a special...
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