Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

From 1980 to 2010: An Overview about the Brazilian Scientific Production in Entrepreneurship

Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

From 1980 to 2010: An Overview about the Brazilian Scientific Production in Entrepreneurship

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Entrepreneurship is a research field that has been growing quite considerably in the last fifty years. A range of studies was conducted since the 1950s, generating a research tradition in this field. Starting from different focuses of analysis, those studies have comprised economic, psychosocial and even political approaches. These studies also indicate the eminent character of this research area in the contemporary scholarly literature about Management. This growing level of activity in the field has led to attempts of establishing it as a discipline in its own right (see, for instance, FRIED, 2003; MACMILLAN 1991, 1993).

Nevertheless, the delimitation of this study field is not precise, and the question behind it has been discussed in recent papers, as by Shane & Venkataraman, (2000), Gartner (2001), and Moroz & Hindle (2012), for instance. Some aspects related to the nature of the studies in entrepreneurship as well as some perspectives of the field refer to some of the main issues that are in debate (DAVIDSSON et al, 2001; LOW, 2001; GARTNER, 2001; ALDRICH & MARTINEZ, 2001; CHANDLER & LYON, 2001).

In the Brazilian context, studying the definition of the boundaries of Entrepreneurship might seem innocuous, since the experience in conducting investigation in this field remains still quite recent. However, from the 1990s on, a movement of valorization and multiplication of the studies about entrepreneurship has started to be advanced in Brazil.

That said, the purpose of this paper is, first, to map the literature on entrepreneurship over the last forty years in Brazil, in order to investigate aspects related to the nature, the focus and the methodology of the studies, elements that may have led to their publication. Second, from that analysis, we discuss some future perspectives for new studies in the field.

The paper starts proposing a general overview of the research in entrepreneurship. Following that, in the second section we present the methodology of our study and, in the third section, we discuss our results. In the conclusion we highlight a couple of recent developments in the field of Entrepreneurship in Brazil and we suggest future directions for the academic consolidation of this field.

RESEARCHING ENTREPRENEURSHIP: DILEMMAS AND PERSPECTIVES

The amplitude of themes which recent studies on entrepreneurship focus on has led researchers to discuss the very limits of this field of knowledge (BRUYAT & JULIEN, 2000; GARTNER, 1990; 2001; SHANE & VENKATARAMAN, 2000), as well as to stress the need for paradigms that should guide studies in this area (CHELL & HAWORTH, 1988).

In fact, this concern was originated from the diversity of approaches in the field of entrepreneurship. Thus, different themes constitute the body of studies in the area, such as the characteristics of entrepreneurs' behavior, the management of small firms, the creation of new ventures, family businesses, incubators, innovation, franchises, among others. On the one hand, according to Low (2001), this diversity illustrates a vulnerable position of the studies on entrepreneurship yet, on the other hand, it refers to the numerous perspectives existent in the field.

Despite this fact, researchers from this field have agreed about the importance of applying a multidisciplinary perspective (LOW, 2001; UCBASARAN et al., 2001) to the studies on entrepreneurship. They have made use of approaches from psychology (GARTNER, 2001; FRESE, 2009) and sociology (REYNOLDS, 1991), enlarging the scope of the area.

One of the controversial aspects is the definition behind the concept of "entrepreneur" (BRUYAT & JULIEN, 2000) for different approaches are adopted to describe the entrepreneurial behavior, (KETS DE VRIES, 1985; CHELL et al, 1991; BARON, 1998) and to explain the psychological characteristics of entrepreneurs, as an attempt to develop typologies. …

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