Research practices in entrepreneurship: problems of definition, description and meaning.
Anderson, Alistair R.
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The dominant paradigm of entrepreneurship research practices, positivism, has brought about a fundamental paradox: researchers often try to analyse a phenomenon that cannot properly be defined. As a result, much entrepreneurship research is fragmentary and focuses narrowly on aspects of entrepreneurship. Nonetheless, there are very rich descriptive data on what people mean when they talk about ‘enterprise’. The argument is developed that interpretative methodologies – new lenses for seeing entrepreneurship – such as social constructionism, are required to extend people’s understanding. If the fragmentary positivistic approaches are imagined as pieces of a jigsaw, it can be seen how a social constructivist approach can provide an overview of how the pieces match, fit and come together. Following this way of thinking, the authors propose Giddens ’s structuration as an orienting framework for these interpretative lenses.