Is entrepreneurship an emerging area of research? A computational response


  • Roney Fraga Souza Faculty of Economics, Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT), Cuiabá, MT, Brazil
  • Rosangela Ballini Institute of Economics, The State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil
  • José Maria Ferreira Jardim Silveira Institute of Economics, The State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil
  • Aurora Amélia Castro Teixeira Faculty of Economics, University of Porto (FEP), Porto, Portugal



Entrepreneurship, Citation Network, Research Front, Emerging Area


Objective: We aim to answer four questions. First, with the increasing number of publications, is there a concentration in specific subjects, or on the contrary, a dispersion, amplifying the span of themes related to entrepreneurship? Second, is there a hierarchy of subjects, in the sense that some of them constitute the “core” of entrepreneurship? Third, are they connected with other established research areas? Finally, it is possible to identify papers that are influential, acting as hubs in the cluster’s formation? Method: We developed an original version of the computational procedure proposed by Shibata et al (2008), which allows us to understand the diversity of the different sub-areas of the topic investigated, reducing the need for specialist supervision. Originality / Relevance: We developed and applied a method to capture the formation and evolution of research areas in entrepreneurship literature, via direct citation networks, allowing us to understand the iteration between the different research sub-areas. Results: The dispersion is a feature of entrepreneurship as field research, with a hierarchy between research areas, indicating an emergent organization in the expansion processes. We concluded that research on entrepreneurship consists of specialization, that is, by application in niches.

JEL Code: L26, O30, O38, O25


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Author Biographies

Roney Fraga Souza, Faculty of Economics, Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT), Cuiabá, MT, Brazil

holds a PhD in economic development from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in 2016. He is currently a professor of economics at the Federal University of Mato Grosso. Technology forecasting and scientific mapping are two of his research interests.

Rosangela Ballini, Institute of Economics, The State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil

holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the Federal University of São Carlos (1994), a M.Sc. in Science, concentration area Computer Science and Computational Mathematics, from the University of São Paulo (1996) and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, concentration area Automation, from the State University of Campinas (2000). She is currently an Associate Professor at the Institute of Economics of the State University of Campinas. She is interested in Mathematical and Econometric Methods and Models, particularly in the topics: time series analysis and forecasting, fuzzy systems, neural networks, neuro-fuzzy networks, dynamic models, simulation models.

José Maria Ferreira Jardim Silveira, Institute of Economics, The State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil

is an agronomist with an MS degree and a PhD in economics. He is currently a full professor at the Institute of Economics, UNICAMP, and deputy director of the Interdisciplinary Energy Research Center, UNICAMP. He has been a member of the Board of International Consortium of Applied Bioeconomy Research (ICABR) since 2012 and member of the Board Management of International Schumpeterian Society (ISS). He has been publishing articles in the areas of scientometrics, industrial organization, and the economics of innovation, using methodologies based on network analysis and simulation modeling (ABM), with almost 100 papers published.

Aurora Amélia Castro Teixeira, Faculty of Economics, University of Porto (FEP), Porto, Portugal

is a full professor at the University of Porto, Portugal, where she holds the Chairs of Macroeconomics and Innovation Management. She is Vice-President of the Scientific Council of FEP, the school of Economics and Management, University of Porto, and member of the General Council of University of Porto. She received her Ph.D. from SPRU – Science Policy Research Unit (University of Sussex, UK), and she was a visiting scholar at the IC2, Texas Austin University (USA) and Bocconi University (Italy). She is member of the editorial board of Journal of Academic Ethics (Springer).


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How to Cite

Souza, R. F., Ballini, R., Silveira, J. M. F. J., & Teixeira, A. A. C. (2021). Is entrepreneurship an emerging area of research? A computational response. Iberoamerican Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 11(1), e1742.