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A review of methodological diversity within the domain of international entrepreneurship

Farhad Uddin Ahmed () and Louis Brennan ()
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Farhad Uddin Ahmed: Swansea University
Louis Brennan: Trinity College Dublin

Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 2021, vol. 19, issue 2, No 5, 256-299

Abstract: Abstract Based on a review of articles published from 1990 to 2017, we provide insight into the overall positioning of the international entrepreneurship (IE) literature in terms of methodological issues and diversity. We also explore the impact of recommendations in earlier literature on methodology in subsequent research published after 2011. Finally, we evaluate methodological issues and diversity in studies undertaken to date in the context of emerging and developing countries. The research undertaken involved the review and analysis of one hundred and fifty eight studies. Methodologies were systematically analysed under different categories. We found that IE studies are to a great extent confined to mainstream international business and marketing journals. Our findings also demonstrate that IE studies focused on developed countries dominate those from emerging and developing countries, and remain highly skewed towards the European region. The preponderance of high-tech and knowledge-intensive firms as study samples is evident from our analysis. The subjective and objective ontological underpinnings remain the dominant philosophical stance among IE researchers. We also found that IE studies are almost equally dominated by both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. The increasing popularity of case study over other data collection strategies is evident. Although our analysis demonstrates that the domain of IE is still fragmented with knowledge gaps remaining that stem from country context, industry or sector context, ontological diversity, research approach and data collection and interpretation techniques, some progress has been made to the development of IE as a distinct body of knowledge. The findings of our study provide important implications for improving methodological rigor in future IE scholarship.

Keywords: International entrepreneurship; Methodological diversity; Methodological comparisons; Born global firms; International new ventures; Emerging and developing countries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C18 F23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10843-021-00291-x

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