Achieving Progress in an Undefined Field

Candida Brush, Babson College, USA

(with Pieter A. Vanderwerf)


Investigators' practice of sampling from different populations has hindered the progress of empirical entrepreneurship research. Reaching agreement on a narrowed definition of the field would allegedly resolve the problem. However, this paper reports on a survey of emerging empirical fields that indicates that such fields typically narrow the range of populations they consider, and achieve an acceleration in empirical progress, without a consensus on the definition of the field. The paper therefore investigates how empirical research in entrepreneurship might become constructively focussed through an alternative approach: formalizing the criteria that investigators use in selecting their samples.


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