2019 RESEARCH PROJECT SUMMARY

Scholars don’t know about entrepreneurship; entrepreneurs do”. Exploring the deeper perceptions, ideologies and resistances to using entrepreneurship scholarship amongst nascent entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs do not often engage with or use entrepreneurship scholarship. This is despite research finding that engaged entrepreneurship scholarship can result in potential improvements for the entrepreneur and their business. This implies there are gaps between the (scholarship) activities undertaken by entrepreneurship academics and the relevance of that research for non-academic communities. Notwithstanding the growth in awareness of, and dialogue on, the relevance of entrepreneurship scholarship beyond the academy, a pressing knowledge gap persists therefore. That is, what negative perspectives and perceptions exist of entrepreneurship scholars and scholarship that inform non-engagement? Indeed without considering this aspect, understanding and knowledge of the concepts of relevance and impact, their measurement and meaning remains limited. Thus, investigation of the resistance – is it ideological or practical? – to engaging across the academic boundary, requires exploration. We intend to unpack controversial dialogue such as “scholars don’t know about entrepreneurship” to better understand and close the gap between what scholars’ research and what practice deems relevant and valuable. We propose to do this in a novel methodological way, working in partnership with start up incubators, using a longitudinal critical reflection approach that will access the perceptions, perspectives, and deeper reflections of two communities involved in the production and use of research in the entrepreneurship field. Through co-creation with incubator leadership, nascent entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship scholars, the project will contribute to discussions on relevance in entrepreneurship scholarship and practice and make sense of the importance, meaning and value of these concepts for theory and practice.

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