Using Mixed-Methods Designs to Capture the Essence of Complexity in the Entrepreneurship Research: An Introductory Essay and a Research Agenda

Part of the FGF Studies in Small Business and Entrepreneurship book series (FGFS)


Although entrepreneurships is recognized as a complex field, existing research does not pay enough attention to capturing the essence of its complexity. I argue that mixed methods designs offer a solid foundation for bridging this gap. To build my argument, I review the key assumptions and dimensions that make entrepreneurship a complex scientific field, discuss the structure of complexity and compare and contrast different research paradigms in terms of their ability to capture complexity. I will then show that mixed methods designs based on the pragmatic paradigm are philosophically better suited than mono-method designs to capture complex phenomena in entrepreneurship. The paper concludes with an integrative framework to guide research and practice along this direction and discusses the implications of this view for studying complexity in entrepreneurship.


Complexity theory Mixed-methods design Pragmatism 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian Catholic University and the International College of Management Sydney (ICMS)SydneyAustralia

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