UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Researching Transformative Entrepreneurship

Module content

This module provides an overview of research design and methods suitable for studying transformative entrepreneurship. As part of this module you will learn about: paradigms and research design; methods for data collection, selection and analysis (ethnography, interviews, case studies, corpus construction, discourse analysis, digital research methods); positionality, ethics and subjectivity; engaged scholarship, inclusive and participatory approaches; and quality. The course is centred on qualitative research methods, but quantitative methods will also be discussed. A key objective of the module is to prepare you for the Dissertation. The learning process includes a range of online materials, classes, cases, experiential learning, as well as individual and group work.

Illustrative module outline

  1. Why research transformative entrepreneurship?
  2. Epistemology, paradigms and terminology
  3. Research design and research questions
  4. Foundations: Ethnography, interviews, documents and numbers
  5. Data collection, selection and analysis
  6. Sampling: Inclusive representation of people and ideas
  7. Engaged scholarship: Action, inclusive and participatory approaches
  8. Digital research methods
  9. Positionality, ethics and responsibility
  10. Quality matters: Communicating confidence and relevance

Module restriction

This module is for students of MSc Prosperity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and MSc Global Prosperity only.

Indicative Reading

Akemu, O. & Abdelnour, S. 2020. Confronting the Digital: Doing Ethnography in Modern Organizational Settings. Organizational Research Methods, 23(2) 296-321.

Anderson, A.R., & Starnawska, M. (2008). Research Practices in Entrepreneurship: Problems of Definition, Description and Meaning. The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 9(4): 221–230.

Bagnoli, L. & Megali, C. (2011). Measuring performance in social enterprises. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 40, 149-165.

Chandra, Y., Jiang, L.C., Wang, C-J. (2016) Mining Social Entrepreneurship Strategies Using Topic Modeling. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0151342.

Deetz, S. (1996) Crossroads—Describing Differences in Approaches to Organization Science: Rethinking Burrell and Morgan and Their Legacy. Organization Science, 7(2): 191-207.

Flyvbjerg, B. (2006) Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research. Qualitative Inquiry, 12(2), 219–245.

Bauer, M. and Gaskell, G. (2000) Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound. Sage, London.

Johansson, A.W. (2004). Narrating the Entrepreneur. International Small Business Journal, 22(3): 273–293.

Mulgan, G. 2010. Measuring social value. Stanford social innovation review, 8(3): 38–43.

Newth, J. (2018), “Hands-on” vs “arm’s length” entrepreneurship research: Using ethnography to contextualize social innovation, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 24(3): 683-696.