A BIOGRAPHICAL STUDY OF ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL AS INSIGHT INTO ENTREPRENEURIAL MARKETING ENDEAVOUR
This paper focuses on a biographical approach to entrepreneurial marketing research. Conventional research methodologies such as in-depth interview and questionnaires have a range of advantages, disadvantages and bias. Biographical research can result in the generation of longitudinal data which can be triangulated with data and theory from these more conventional approaches in order to enhance understanding of entrepreneurial marketing behaviour. In marketing, formal prescriptions of stepwise, linear processes dominate and in entrepreneurship the focus is often on new venture formation rather than in growing the firm. Previous research by the authors has focused on the creativity of individuals, groups and organisations using a combination of conventional research methods and the biographical approach. The paper builds on this research by investigating the entrepreneurial marketing endeavour of perhaps the best known British engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Although Brunel was first and foremost an engineer he was also a shrewd business person who demonstrated understanding of entrepreneurial marketing procedures. Comparing the findings with previous research results, it can be seen that a set of core entrepreneurial marketing constructs hold true over long periods of time. These factors can then be taken into consideration when developing more creative, entrepreneurial marketing theory for the firm.
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