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Using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis for a finer-grained understanding of entrepreneurship

Evan J. Douglas, Dean A. Shepherd and Catherine Prentice

Journal of Business Venturing, 2020, vol. 35, issue 1

Abstract: Entrepreneurship theory has largely been developed and tested using symmetrical correlational methods, effectively describing the sample-average respondent and subsuming individual differences. Such methods necessarily limit investigation of asymmetries that are evident in entrepreneurship, and provide only a single explanation that belies the multiple pathways to entrepreneurship observed in practice. This paper employs a case-based approach—fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA)—to identify configurations of antecedent attributes of individuals in groups within samples, thereby revealing asymmetries and multiple entrepreneurial pathways that are otherwise hidden in the data. We explain the application of fsQCA to reveal these common issues in entrepreneurship; demonstrate how fsQCA complements correlational methods and offers finer-grained understanding of individual entrepreneurial behavior; and offer a comprehensive research agenda to build new entrepreneurship theory.

Keywords: Fuzzy set; Entrepreneurship; Asymmetric data; Outliers; Configurations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2019.105970

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