The Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods provides perspectives on topics relevant to research in the field of business and management
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Journal Issue
Volume 17 Issue 3 / Sep 2019  pp102‑191

Editor: Ann Brown

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A Detailed Guide on Converting Qualitative Data into Quantitative Entrepreneurial Skills Survey Instrument  pp102‑117

Anastacia Mamabolo, Kerrin Myres

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Mixed‑methods research designs are increasingly popular, especially in the management domain because they hold the potential to offset the weaknesses inherent in mono‑method, qualitative or quantitative designs. In entrepreneurship research, the domain in which this study is located, mixed‑method studies are conducted mostly according to a sequential‑exploratory design with an aim of developing and validating theory in a single research study. In some studies, the qualitative phase is used to develop a questionnaire, which is more common. However, the actual process of converting qualitative data into operationalised constructs and survey items is usually not clearly articulated. This creates an opportunity to contribute to a better understanding of the process of transitioning from a qualitative to a quantitative study. This paper proposes such an approach, using an example of a study of the skills entrepreneurs use to start and run their businesses. In the qualitative phase, interviews were conducted with 20 entrepreneurs and 6 national experts to discover the skills required by entrepreneurs to start and manage their businesses. Data analysis, using computer assisted qualitative data analysis software, resulted in nine groups of skills considered important in performing entrepreneurial activities. Based on qualitative analysis, the study provides a detailed account of the process of converting qualitative data into a quantitative survey questionnaire, which will enhance the effectiveness of mixed‑methods designs. The developed entrepreneurial skills questionnaire was tested and validated on a sample of 235 entrepreneurs. The article concludes with implications for mixed‑methods researchers who want to develop new instruments, and scholars conducting research on entrepreneurial skills. 


Keywords: entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial skills, mixed-methods, qualitative, quantitative


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EJBRM Editorial for Volume 17 Issue 3 2019  pp191‑191

Ann Brown

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