Advancing our research agenda for entrepreneurship and contexts

RESearch Track

Track Co-Chairs:
Friederike Welter, University of Siegen and Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn
Kerstin Ettl, University of Siegen

Description of the track

More and more studies highlight the influence of contexts on entrepreneurship – context matters! Moreover, it is not ‘the one context’ but contexts that matter for entrepreneurship. These contexts are multiple and diverse and therefore contextualizing is not easy, but messy, noisy, complex and challenging. At the same time, ‘contexts’ allow us to create real-life impressions of entrepreneurship, which enrich our theories and implications and allow scholarship to become much more relevant and also much more interesting. The current challenge for us as entrepreneurship researchers is, to advance our research agenda for entrepreneurship and contexts. This advancement is by no means a fixed agenda. For that reason, we invite entrepreneurship scholars interested in contextualizing their own research efforts to participate in this IECER track. We invite you to talk with us about your experiences and points of view and to bring in your own perspectives to contribute to the general discussion.

We welcome researcher from different disciplines with different methodological and content related foci to enhance our understanding of the following topics/questions and to continue the journey towards contextualizing entrepreneurship:
  • What does it mean to contextualize entrepreneurship? How can we develop contextualized theory?
  • Which methods and research approaches will help us to contextualize in our empirical studies?
  • What kind of contexts influence and interact with entrepreneurship? Context is more than ‘environment’, more than ‘situations’, includes but is not limited to temporal, historical and spatial aspects. However, what exactly is it?
  • Contexts are ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ of us, ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’. So far most context-related entrepreneurship research has focused on the ‘objective’ side of contexts, easy to identify, observe, measure and study. We want to learn more about the ‘invisible’ and ‘subjective’ facets of contexts – what are these facets? How can we capture them adequately in future research? Which methods allow us to do that?
  • Contextualizing is about acknowledging and working with variations in/of entrepreneurship instead of trying to equalize everything. It is a challenge for scholars to reconsider the nature of generalizability in entrepreneurship contexts. Rather than look for similarities among various contexts as a way to generalize, we might find more insights by seeking to ascertain those differences and unique attributes of the contexts we study. What looks a context sensitive research approach like?
  • Which role do we as researcher play in contextualizing and interpreting entrepreneurship and contexts?

We encourage contributions that address one or more of the listed topics above, using qualitative analyses and case studies, empirical analyses and developing theoretical frameworks. The track is also open to research addressing other adjacent and related topics. We explicitly welcome young scholars and scholars, who want to discuss work in progress in early stages. We are looking forward to fruitful discussions and thought exchange.

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