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Come on out of the ghetto, please! – Building the future of entrepreneurship research

Ted Baker (Rutgers Business School – Newark and New Brunswick, Newark, USA) (Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Cape Town GSB, Cape Town, South Africa)
Friederike Welter (IfM Bonn, Bonn, Germany) (University Siegen, Siegen, Germany)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 13 March 2017




The purpose of this paper is to make the argument that previously marginalized but now flourishing subfields of entrepreneurship research continue to provide insights that can form the basis for future entrepreneurship research that is more broadly practical and critical. What is currently core or “mainstream” in entrepreneurship research would then be seen as an important but rare special case.


The essay briefly explores a number of illustrative themes that have emerged and become important in women’s entrepreneurship research (acknowledging that some similar themes have emerged in other subfields). These themes are used to suggest how broader application of such insights to theory-building about entrepreneurship in general – rather than “just” to “women’s entrepreneurship” – might greatly enrich the field.


The authors’ arguments suggest that research focused on ghettoized subfields such as women’s entrepreneurship challenge the assumptions of what entrepreneurship is and what it contributes. For example the richer perspective on motivations, goals, and outcomes and on the possibilities of emancipation that currently animate research on women’s entrepreneurship can improve the understanding of all entrepreneurship.


Too much of current entrepreneurship research is both of limited practical value for “practitioners” and of little “critical value” for scholars interested in how things might work better. The authors argue that by broadening the set of goals, motivations, contexts and accomplishments that are taken as legitimate targets of study, entrepreneurship research can become both more practical and more critical and thus more broadly useful and legitimate.



Baker, T. and Welter, F. (2017), "Come on out of the ghetto, please! – Building the future of entrepreneurship research", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 170-184.



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