At the recent Academy of Management meetings, I was lucky enough to attend a Professional Development Workshop on "Business Creation Panel Studies: an International Overview." Most of the data presented was looking at the concept of nascent entrepreneurship, but the Australian and Latvian presentations also dealt with some other populations. There is a great deal of similarity among the different projects presented, as is apparent from the slides below; however, for a number of reasons the presenters seemed to feel that there was still room for international comparative research and perhaps, eventually, a harmonized data file.
One of the most interesting parts of sitting in on this session for me was hearing the experience of each principal investigator in gathering support for their project, dealing with vendors, getting data, and then analysis. Indeed, a couple of themes emerged across presenters which were of note on the pure logistics of organizing a panel survey. This is my own summary, not something which was presented at the event:
- Funding - Many of the organizers experienced exogenous shocks to their funding source in the course of carrying out the surveys. Even without shocks, most of the principal investigators talked about the expensive nature of panel data collection and the importance of securing funding early.
- Vendor - In all but one case, I believe, these panel surveys were collected using an outside vendor under direction from the academic principal investigator. While it was not the case for each country, more than half seemed to have had some pretty significant vendor issues during the process. Indeed several had switched vendors during the course of the panel data collection.
- Sample - In each case, I don't think the principal investigators ever felt they were able to truly get a large enough sample of nascent entrepreneurs. This is typically a function of cost and sheer difficulty of screening the adult population (or some other source) in order to find people in the process of starting a business.
So, with thanks to the presenters in this session for their gracious permission to post the slides to Data Maven, here in the order they presented are the slides from the workshop.
Business Creation Panel Studies: An International Status Report
Recent Overview Paper on Nascent Entrepreneurship
Per Davidsson and Scott R. Gordon
(Presented by Paul Reynolds)