USING MULTIPLE PARADIGM RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES TO GAIN NEW INSIGHTS INTO ENTREPRENEURIAL MOTIVATIONS
Much of the extant entrepreneurship research has focused on studying the field using positivist research methodologies and little attention has been paid to interpretive methodologies or the use of multiple paradigms. The focus of the paper is on illustrating how we applied a multiple paradigm research methodology to an existing research problem. Specifically, the research was concerned with gender differences in motivations for becoming an entrepreneur. We explain how a multiple paradigm research methodology enabled us to gain new insights into an aspect of entrepreneurship where results of the prior research were not only contradictory, but also lacked a focus on theoretical development. Our research process involved two phases. First, a mail survey which was designed to replicate existing studies was administered to 289 entrepreneurs. The second phase involved in-depth face-to-face interviews with 50 entrepreneurs (25 men and 25 women) who responded to the mail survey. Theoretical contributions regarding entrepreneurial motivation are detailed, as are some more general implications of using multiple paradigm research methodologies in other entrepreneurship and organizational research.
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