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Applying Mixed Methods in Entrepreneurship to Address the Complex Interplay of Structure and Agency in Networks: A Focus on the Contribution of Qualitative Approaches

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

Abstract

Networks define a key entity in entrepreneurship and have spurred an enormous amount of research. Nonetheless, research lacks studies on entrepreneurial contexts and opportunities. This is due to the common separation of research on networks between the macro-level of structure, conducted by quantitative methods, and the micro-level of agency, conducted by qualitative methods. Mixed methods provide ways to bridge this separation of structure and agency and grasp the complexity of entrepreneurial action from a multidimensional perspective. Hence, mixed methods are crucial for conducting studies to answer urgent questions of the research field and inform theory building. This chapter guides researchers in applying mixed methods of network research in entrepreneurship. It gives an overview of different research designs with several examples and recommendations. The chapter focuses on the integration of qualitative approaches into mixed methods because first of all, they have been neglected and training is required, and secondly, qualitative approaches show promise to address current gaps in entrepreneurship research.

Keywords

Entrepreneurship Mixed methods Networks Qualitative methods Study design 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Innovation Management and EntrepreneurshipUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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