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Berger, Elisabeth S.C.

Toward a configurational understanding of entrepreneurship using qualitative comparative analysis

Hin zu einem konfigurationalem Verständnis von Entrepreneurship unter Verwendung von Qualitative Comparative Analysis


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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:100-opus-12293
URL: http://opus.uni-hohenheim.de/volltexte/2016/1229/

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SWD-Schlagwörter: Entrepreneurship , Komplexität , Forschungsmethode
Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): Enterpreneurship , QCA , Configurational Analysis , Complexity
Institut: Institut für Marketing & Management
Fakultät: Fakultät Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften
DDC-Sachgruppe: Wirtschaft
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Hauptberichter: Kuckertz, Andras Univ.-Prof. Dr.
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 30.05.2016
Erstellungsjahr: 2016
Publikationsdatum: 04.07.2016
Lizenz: Hohenheimer Lizenzvertrag Veröffentlichungsvertrag mit der Universitätsbibliothek Hohenheim ohne Print-on-Demand
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: This doctoral thesis aims to promote a configurational understanding of entrepreneurship by showing the potential challenges involved in applying qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) as a research method to study complex phenomena in entrepreneurship.
In order to achieve this aim, the thesis presents four empirical studies, each of which has been presented repeatedly at scientific conferences and been developed further based on experts’ comments at presentations and from reviews. Three of the studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals or edited volumes and the fourth study is currently under review.
The introduction of the thesis establishes the link between complexity and entrepreneurship and argues that the discipline can benefit from a configurational perspective. This also requires research designs to consider methods that can embrace characteristics of complexity such as the irreducibility of elements, interdependencies, non-proportionality and dynamics. QCA is a promising research method originating from political science, which facilitates dealing with complex phenomena.
In the first study titled Is Qualitative Comparative Analysis an Emerging Method? – Structured Literature Review and Bibliometric Analysis of QCA Applications in Business & Management Research, I present a structured literature review which studies the state of the art of the application of QCA in business and management and conveys the particularities of the research method. Among the 96 reviewed articles, ten articles might be assigned to entrepreneurship, but those have so far not included analysis on a country level, rarely introduced other methods, or used larger sample sizes.
Three studies then apply QCA as a research method intending to show the benefits of adopting a configurational approach to entrepreneurship both at a macro and a micro level.
In the second study titled What drives entrepreneurship? A configurational analysis of the determinants of entrepreneurship in innovation-driven economies, QCA is applied to analyze the configurations of institutional frameworks across 23 innovation-driven economies that foster high
levels of opportunity-driven and necessity-driven entrepreneurship. By applying fsQCA for the cross-country comparison, the study moves from focusing on one construct to embracing the complexity of all three dimensions. Apart from revealing the causal conjuncture between conditions explaining entrepreneurial activity, it also shows that for entrepreneurial activity causation needs to be understood as equifinal and asymmetric.
In the third study titled The more the merrier? Economic freedom and entrepreneurial activity I ask how elements of economic freedom need to be designed in economies in order to foster entrepreneurial activity. This study illustrates the asset of applying QCA in a cross-country setting. Despite small sample sizes, the study identifies patterns of the configurations of economic freedom that explain high or low levels of entrepreneurial activity. The results also stress the aspect of equifinality with regard to how to design elements of economic freedom and thereby point to the questionable nature of rankings of economic freedom, which imply more economic freedom is equivalent to a promise of more growth and development.
In the fourth study titled Overcoming the Matthew effect in status-dominated environments – a configurational analysis of venture capital investments, the authors apply QCA on a micro-level using a large longitudinal sample by investigating what combination of deal resources accumulated by venture capital partners leads to high deal performance. The aim is to analyze if new entrants can nonetheless overcome the burden of being new. The results point to a path that enables even new entrants to the status-dominated market to succeed. Applying QCA in this context provides an alignment between theory and research design, as other research methods such as regression or cluster analysis suggest eliminating outliers and would have prevented us from identifying this rare path of how new entrants can overcome the Matthew effect.
In sum, this thesis has provided a review of past applications of QCA in business & management and three empirical studies highlighting the new insights and benefits of taking a configurational perspective and applying a research method that complies with it to study complex phenomena in entrepreneurship. While this thesis has made a major contribution to promote a configurational understanding of entrepreneurship by setting out designs on how to study in the face of the growing complexity faced by entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship research, I have also emphasized the challenges still to be overcome in order to establish the configurational perspective of entrepreneurship.
Kurzfassung auf Deutsch: Die Dissertation widmet sich der Frage, wie komplexe, unternehmerische Phänomene mit Hilfe eines konfigurationalen Ansatzes besser erklärt werden können. Speziell wird dabei das Potential der Anwendung der Forschungsmethode Qualitative Comparative Analysis für die Entrepreneurship Forschung untersucht.

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