Entrepreneurship Research in Management and Organization Studies: A Contribution-Based Assessment of the Literature

By Gupta, Vishal K.; Ibrahim, Sajna et al. | New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, Spring 2016 | Go to article overview

Entrepreneurship Research in Management and Organization Studies: A Contribution-Based Assessment of the Literature


Gupta, Vishal K., Ibrahim, Sajna, Guo, Grace, Markin, Erik, New England Journal of Entrepreneurship


It has been about three decades since the Academy of Management accorded division status to the field of entrepreneurship (Bygrave, 2007). In these years, entrepreneurship research has proliferated (Chiles, Bluedorn, & Gupta, 2007). Despite its loosely defined nature, entrepreneurship as a field of inquiry has become increasingly accepted by researchers and academics worldwide (Baker & Welter, 2014). An increasing number of journal articles, special issues, and conference presentations in management and organizational studies have been devoted to entrepreneurship, suggesting its increasing acceptance within the research community.The purpose of this study is to "take stock" of entrepreneurship-related research by examining the actors who are contributing to research published in leading journals.

As a body of literature develops, it is useful to take inventory of the published studies. This is particularly critical in a field like entrepreneurship, which has grown rapidly in a relatively short time and has become known for its eclectic nature, attracting interest from a variety of disciplines (Ireland &Webb, 2007). Periodical reflections on the way a field of academic inquiry is developing is essential to derive maximal benefits from existing research, and to propel future investigations into new directions. One way to understand the state of extant research is to identify the institutions and people that have shaped the development of the field. Academic fields characterized by the participation of diverse groups of contributors in the research process tend to be more conducive to the emergence and diffusion of novel sampling frames, hypotheses development, statistical techniques, and research methodologies. Conversely, fields that are more insular-whether naturally or due to deliberate actions of incumbent players-tend to become inward-directed and self-referential with little tolerance for multiple perspectives and divergent approaches.

In the present study, we provide an understanding of the impact of individual researchers and academic institutions on entrepreneurship research published in leading management and organizational journals. We focus our efforts on research published between 2000 and 2015 (both inclusive) to identify leading contributors to the entrepreneurship literature. Given that there is no overwhelming consensus on what constitutes entrepreneurship research, we rely on Busenitz et al. (2003)'s well-regarded conception to seek relevant articles for our purpose. Thus, our research will systematically and comprehensively evaluate the influence of researchers and institutions who have facilitated the growth and development of entrepreneurship. Given that "new interesting issues and works seem to emerge all the time"in entrepreneurship research (Landstrom, 2014: 34), our reflective effort should help better understand the actors who are able to maintain their influence over a considerable period of time.

Conceptual Framework

Entrepreneurship, conceived broadly, is probably as old as civilization itself (Neergaard & Ulhoi, 2007), but the academic field of entrepreneurship is relatively young. Despite its short history, entrepreneurship is tremendously popular in academia, attracting scholars from a range of disciplines and from around the worldwide. Almost every major university in the United States now has programs and courses in entrepreneurship, and international schools and colleges are following suit.The growing popularity of entrepreneurship is also reflected in the scholarship in this area, as research has become more diverse, more rigorous, more complex, and more prominent. As a consequence, entrepreneurship research has now achieved acceptance with various stakeholders (e.g., deans and tenure committees) and is considered a legitimate field of inquiry.

The impressive growth of entrepreneurship research engenders the need to understand and learn about the researchers and institutions that have been instrumental in furthering the field. …

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