Programme Director: Hans Landström
Over the past five decades, entrepreneurship as a scientific field has grown significantly – from a small emerging “venture” in the 1970s to a global industry today, with thousands of scholars around the world who consider themselves entrepreneurship researchers and teachers (Landström, 2020). And, the field continues to grow. An extensive number of individuals are attracted by entrepreneurship, for example, master students taking their degree in entrepreneurship, PhD students writing their thesis on different entrepreneurship issues and, not least, a large number of scholars from other fields who migrate into the field.
The main statement in this research programme is that “History matters in entrepreneurship research”. Science is based on the assumption that knowledge is essentially cumulative, i.e., new research is built on earlier knowledge (Kuhn, 1970). In all research fields, it is essential to obtain an understanding of the accumulated knowledge. This is particularly important in rapidly growing research fields, such as entrepreneurship. Not only becomes history important for the knowledge accumulation of the field. Reflecting on the past will allow us to think ahead. This is particularly important in times of major changes in society, for example, increased digitalization, concerns around an environmental and sustainable society, pandemics and health care problems, etc. that will revolutionize entrepreneurship in the future, and thus the research within the field. However, as in successful ventures in general – successful business opportunities tend to combine an opportunity focus with a resource orientation (Wiklund, 1998) – it is not sufficient to identify new research opportunities unless they are securely rooted in previous knowledge.
With these arguments in mind, the research programme on “Entrepreneurship as a Research Field” includes the following research projects: