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Researching Entrepreneurship: Conflictual Relationships in a Team-Based Project

Creating Entrepreneurial Space: Talking Through Multi-Voices, Reflections on Emerging Debates

ISBN: 978-1-78769-578-8, eISBN: 978-1-78769-577-1

ISSN: 2040-7246

Publication date: 17 June 2019

Abstract

Teamwork has become increasingly prevalent both in undertaking research projects and in preparing papers for publication. While there are some reflections on the process of teamworking in the organisational studies literature, there is little published work in the area of entrepreneurship. Most existing studies distinguish between problems associated with task-based conflict and relationship-based conflict. In this chapter, the author provides an ethnographic account of a team involved with preparing a proposal and, subsequently, undertaking a small firm research project. The Evolution of Business Knowledge (EBK) was a major Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) initiative which funded 13 distinct projects. During the nine-month period of preparing and refining the research proposal, the team worked together extremely effectively. There were periods of intense knowledge sharing, which enabled the team to develop an impressive and successful bid to study the ‘EBK in 90 small firms’. A major dispute between team members, during the early stages of the fieldwork, led to a period of both task-based and relationship-based conflicts, which threatened to undermine the project. As a result of my first-hand experiences with the EBK project, the author suggests that accounts such as this will help those who find themselves operating in dysfunctional teams make sense of the underlying tensions associated with ‘academic knowledge creation’.

Keywords

Citation

Jones, O. (2019), "Researching Entrepreneurship: Conflictual Relationships in a Team-Based Project", Higgins, D., Jones, P. and McGowan, P. (Ed.) Creating Entrepreneurial Space: Talking Through Multi-Voices, Reflections on Emerging Debates (Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research, Vol. 9B), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 173-196. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2040-72462019000009B010

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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