What We Know and What We Need to Know
Edited by Alain Fayolle
Chapter 2: Organizing entrepreneurship (research)
The goal of this chapter is to offer some thoughts about the nature of the field of entrepreneurship, and particularly about the future of entrepreneurship scholarship. I begin with a recollection of a suggestion I made to students at doctoral seminars in the 1990s that 'all academic research on entrepreneurship could easily be read within a couple of months'. (I was recently reminded of this statement by Daniel Hjorth when I told him I was much behind in my journal reading.) Then, there simply wasn't much scholarship to digest. For example, it is well worth procuring one of the first handbooks on entrepreneurship, Sexton and Vesper's (1982) Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship, to peruse the topics and to explore the depth of knowledge, then known, on the phenomenon of entrepreneurship. I was a doctoral student who was fortunate to attend the conference upon which the Encyclopedia was based, and it seemed to me that the entire body of entrepreneurship scholars could easily fit in a small sized classroom (which they did for that meeting). As Aldrich (2012) points out in his review and personal history of the entrepreneurship field, the study of entrepreneurship as a scholarly endeavor is relatively young. For example, the Journal of Business Venturing was started in 1985, and therefore reading every issue of the journal in the 1990s (that is, merely 101 volumes of articles) would take less than a couple of days.
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