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The philosophy and practice of interpretivist research in entrepreneurship: Quality, validation and trust

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date01/2010
JournalOrganizational Research Methods
Journal number1
Volume13
Number of pages17
Pages67-84
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Knowledge production in entrepreneurship requires inclusivity as well as diversity and pluralism in research perspectives and approaches. In this article, the authors address concerns about interpretivist research regarding validity, reliability, objectivity, generalizability, and communicability of results that militate against its more widespread acceptance. Following the nonfoundationalist argument that all observation is theory-laden, context specific, and that there are no external criteria against which to assess research design and execution and the data produced, the authors propose that quality must be internalized within the underlying research philosophy rather than something to be tested upon completion. This requires a shift from the notion of validity as an outcome to validation as a process. To elucidate this, they provide a guiding framework and present a case illustration that will assist an interpretivist entrepreneurship researcher to establish and demonstrate the quality of their work.