Entrepreneurship research
: evidence of the intellectual, social and collaborative nature of the domain

  • Diana Reader

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis explores the intellectual social and collaborative nature of the domain of entrepreneurship in two related ways. First it uses bibliometric techniques to investigate the constitution of entrepreneurship. Specifically, author co-citation analysis establishes a collective view of the structure of the entrepreneurship literature - as perceived by its research active members. The co-citation frequencies of 78 prominent entrepreneurship researchers were analysed using multivariate techniques. Cluster Analysis and Multidimensional Scaling were used to explore the intellectual structure of entrepreneurship research by identifying groups of scholars whose work falls into similar areas. Factor Analysis was then used to identify the underlying themes that characterize the domain. Second, the scholars within these nominal groupings were approached using individualized questionnaires to explore what social interactions might parallel, reflect or underpin the intellectual ones. The research is original in its contribution as this is the first time the technique of author co-citation analysis has been applied in the domain of entrepreneurship. To apply author co-citation analysis to a relatively immature, emerging domain of study is, in itself, original and tests the technique in a new and experimental way. Additionally, the use of qualitative data - based on the results of the author co-citation analysis - validates and yields further insight into the initial results thus advancing the technique in the bibliometrics domain. The study demonstrates that there are real and robust social and collaborative networks underlying the generation of the intellectual work which is cited jointly, by third parties. The latter authors may be unaware of these networks. Equally, the co-cited authors, while recognizing overlapping interests, may have difficulty in categorizing this commonality in their contributions. Entrepreneurship research is shown to be very much a social activity. As a whole, the thesis offers a novel insight into the nature of entrepreneurship derived from the domain's citing population.
    Date of Award2005
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Nottingham Trent University

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