Book Chapter

The impactful potential of critical realist methodologies in entrepreneurship studies



Wapshott R & Mallett O (2023) The impactful potential of critical realist methodologies in entrepreneurship studies. In: Higgins D, Jones P, Brentnall C & McGowan P (eds.) Nurturing Modalities of Inquiry in Entrepreneurship Research. Bingley: Emerald.

This chapter argues for the unrealised potential value of methodologies derived from a critical realist research philosophy in the field of entrepreneurship studies. Critical realism offers methodological alternatives that, through the generation of new insights into social relations, social structures and key generative mechanisms, can offer significant value for entrepreneurship researchers. Reflecting on their personal experiences researching from a critical realist perspective in entrepreneurship studies, the authors explore how this research philosophy can extend the field of inquiry and promote new perspectives. The chapter explores this in relation to the specific topic of enterprise policy and demystifies some aspects of critical realism by setting out some of its basic principles to demonstrate their potential to develop new insights. Further, this approach can create significant impact, for example through the development of effective interventions. The chapter concludes by identifying implications for enterprise policy development, implementation and evaluation.

realism; enterprise policy; methodology; evaluation

Output Status: Forthcoming

Place of publicationBingley

People (1)


Professor Oliver Mallett

Professor Oliver Mallett

Professor of Entrepreneurship, Management, Work and Organisation