Dr David Higgins, University of Liverpool
Dr Catherine Brentnall, Manchester Metropolitan University
Professor Pauric McGowan, Ulster University

RMPI is a track about Research Methods, Practice and Inquiry/Impact. It aims to be a space to energise discussion and innovate thinking and practice around how we inquire, in order to develop the skills, confidence and impact of researchers and the ISBE community.

This track encompasses all aspects of the entrepreneurship/small business research spectrum, and all related issues such as education, training, business support, teaching and learning.

This year’s conference theme is Entrepreneurship research, policy and practice for a more equitable world. In relation this this, the RMPI track welcomes attempts to explore, share and exemplify modes of inquiry, methodological strategies and methods which support research and impact for a more equitable world.

More broadly, contributors can consider how their practice, methods and modes of inquiry can create positive impact, challenge what has come before and illuminate ways forward.

Overall, the aim of this track is to –

  • stimulate discussion and explore challenges around current and new approaches to inquiry…
  • share and develop research approaches and advance knowledge….
  • develop researchers’ skills and confidence to pursue impactful research…

The track welcomes and encourages papers from a variety of perspectives/disciplines in order to challenge and innovate mainstream methods, practices and theories within the entrepreneurship, small business and all related sub-fields.

Specifically, the track invites participants to develop (but does not limit itself to):

  • contributions which go beyond describing the research process but critically engage with inquiry/methodological issues and concerns as they relate to doing social research.
  • Reflect on the purposefulness/appropriateness of specific approaches to provide robust arguments/challenge in relation to a particular method or methodology.
  • Critically review new and innovative methodological approaches and research design alternatives.
  • Critique aspects of quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods of data collection and analysis.
  • Review the wide variety of epistemological and ontological positions and their use/implications re different theories and logics in any entrepreneurship/SME discipline
  • positive impacts for scholarship and practitioners utilising different languages when conversing with research populations and audiences.
  • facilitate the expression of ‘the voice’ of those normally excluded from entrepreneurship/SME research.
  • develop format and style of presenting research and findings, for example, embracing writing differently, and/or other approaches which embrace methodological plurality and diversity.
  • purposeful and exciting possibilities for disseminating the knowledge produced by scholars beyond the academic milieu.

The track offers an opportunity to gain insight and inspiration about (and challenge) research practice and methods in a supportive space.  We are particularly interested, given the social, technological and environmental themes the conference theme can be applied to, how contributors may consider and re/think RMPI dimensions in thoughtful, creative, and radical ways.