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


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

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

Professor da Faculdade de Economia da Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso (FE/UFMT), e desde 2017 é editor da Revista de Estudos Sociais. Possui graduação em Ciências Econômicas pela Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso - UFMT (2009), mestrado em Agronegócios e Desenvolvimento Regional (2010) na mesma instituição, com período de intercâmbio na Universidade Federal de Pernambuco – UFPE pelo programa PROCAD. Cursou doutorado no programa de Desenvolvimento Econômico da Universidade Estadual de Campinas - UNICAMP (2016), com período de doutorado sanduíche na Universidade do Porto - UP, Portugal. Tem experiência nas áreas de Análise de Redes Econômicas e Sociais, Economia Computacional e Mapeamento de Trajetórias Tecnológicas, via artigos científicos e patentes.


Adai, A. T., Date, S. V., Wieland, S., & Marcotte, E. M. (2004). LGL: creating a map of protein function with an algorithm for visualizing very large biological networks. Journal of molecular biology, 340(1), 179-190.

Arias, A. V., Restrepo, I. M., & Restrepo, A. M. (2016). Intención emprendedora en estudiantes universitarios: Un estudio bibliométrico. Intangible Capital, 12(4), 881-922.

Baumol, W. J. (1990). Entrepreneurship: Productive, unproductive and destructive. 98 J. Pol. Econ, 893.

Bettinelli, C., Sciascia, S., Randerson, K., & Fayolle, A. (2017). Researching entrepreneurship in family firms. Journal of Small Business Management, 55(4), 506-529.

Bornmann, L., & Mutz, R. (2015). Growth rates of modern science: A bibliometric analysis based on the number of publications and cited references. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 66(11), 2215-2222.

Busenitz, L. W., Plummer, L. A., Klotz, A. C., Shahzad, A., & Rhoads, K. (2014). Entrepreneurship research (1985–2009) and the emergence of opportunities.

Casson, M., & Casson, C. (2014). The history of entrepreneurship: Medieval origins of a modern phenomenon. Business history, 56(8), 1223-1242.

Chen, J. K. (2015, August). Entrepreneurship research dynamics (1992–2013): Aim at entrepreneurial, innovative firms and business operations. In 2015 Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET) (pp. 953-960). IEEE.

Cornelius, B., Landström, H., & Persson, O. (2006). Entrepreneurial studies: The dynamic research front of a developing social science. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 30(3), 375-398.

Cornelius, B., & Persson, O. (2006). Who's who in venture capital research. Technovation, 26(2), 142-150.

Debicki, B. J., Matherne III, C. F., Kellermanns, F. W., & Chrisman, J. J. (2009). Family business research in the new millennium: An overview of the who, the where, the what, and the why. Family Business Review, 22(2), 151-166.

Evans, D. S., & Jovanovic, B. (1989). An estimated model of entrepreneurial choice under liquidity constraints. Journal of political economy, 97(4), 808-827.

Evans, D. S., & Leighton, L. S. (1990). Some empirical aspects of entrepreneurship. In The economics of small firms (pp. 79-99). Springer, Dordrecht.

Fang, S., & Wang, T. (2009, September). Entrepreneurship Research of China: Assessment Based on HN Index and H Index. In 2009 International Conference on Management and Service Science (pp. 1-4). IEEE.

Ferreira, J. J., Fernandes, C. I., Peres-Ortiz, M., & Alves, H. (2017). Conceptualizing social entrepreneurship: perspectives from the literature. International review on public and nonprofit marketing, 14(1), 73-93.

Ferreira, J. J. M., Fernandes, C. I., Peris-Ortiz, M., & Ratten, V. (2017). Female entrepreneurship: a co-citation analysis. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 31(2), 325-340.

Ferreira, J. J., Ferreira, F. A., Fernandes, C. I., Jalali, M. S., Raposo, M. L., & Marques, C. S. (2016). What do we [not] know about technology entrepreneurship research?. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 12(3), 713-733.

Frantzi, K., Ananiadou, S., & Mima, H. (2000). Automatic recognition of multi-word terms:. the c-value/nc-value method. International journal on digital libraries, 3(2), 115-130.

Ganzaroli, A., Orsi, L., & De Noni, I. (2013). The evolution of the social understanding of ethnic entrepreneurship: results from a bibliometric analysis of the literature. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 20(4), 383-401.

Garcia-Lillo, F., Claver-Cortés, E., Marco-Lajara, B., & Úbeda-García, M. (2017). Mapping the intellectual structure of research on ‘born global’firms and INVs: A citation/co-citation analysis. Management International Review, 57(4), 631-652.

Gartner, W. B. (2001). Is there an elephant in entrepreneurship? Blind assumptions in theory development. Entrepreneurship Theory and practice, 25(4), 27-39.

Gartner, W. B., Davidsson, P., & Zahra, S. A. (2006). Are you talking to me? The nature of community in entrepreneurship scholarship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 30(3), 321-331.

Ghio, N., Guerini, M., Lehmann, E. E., & Rossi-Lamastra, C. (2015). The emergence of the knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 44(1), 1-18.

Grégoire, D. A., Noel, M. X., Déry, R., & Béchard, J. P. (2006). Is there conceptual convergence in entrepreneurship research? A co–citation analysis of frontiers of entrepreneurship research, 1981–2004. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 30(3), 333-373.

Guimera, R., & Amaral, L. A. N. (2005). Functional cartography of complex metabolic networks. nature, 433(7028), 895-900.

Van der Have, R. P., & Rubalcaba, L. (2016). Social innovation research: An emerging area of innovation studies? Research Policy, 45(9), 1923-1935.

Hébert, R. F., & Link, A. N. (1989). In search of the meaning of entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 1(1), 39–49.

Henrique, B. M., Sobreiro, V. A., & Kimura, H. (2018). Building direct citation networks. Scientometrics, 115(2), 817-832.

Jones, K. S. (1972). A statistical interpretation of term specificity and its application in retrieval. Journal of documentation.

Kirzner, I. M. (1973). Entrepreneurship and competition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Knight, F. H. (1921). Risk, uncertainty, and profit. Boston, ma: Hart, schaffner. Houghton Mifflin.

Kraus, S. (2011). State-of-the-art current research in international entrepreneurship: A citation analysis. African Journal of Business Management, 5(3), 1020.

Kraus, S., Filser, M., O’Dwyer, M., & Shaw, E. (2014). Social entrepreneurship: an exploratory citation analysis. Review of Managerial Science, 8(2), 275-292.

Landström, H., Harirchi, G., & Åström, F. (2012). Entrepreneurship: Exploring the knowledge base. Research Policy, 41(7), 1154-1181.

López‐Fernández, M. C., Serrano‐Bedia, A. M., & Pérez‐Pérez, M. (2016). Entrepreneurship and family firm research: A bibliometric analysis of an emerging field. Journal of Small Business Management, 54(2), 622-639.

Lu, R., Lu, Q., Lv, D., Huang, Y., Li, S., Jian, Z., & Reve, T. (2020). The evolution process of entrepreneurship studies in the 21st century: Research insights from top business and economics journals. Journal of Economic Surveys, 34(4), 922-951.

Marshall, A. (1919). Industry and trade. Macmillan.

Martens, C. D. P., Lacerda, F. M., Belfort, A. C., & de Freitas, H. M. R. (2016). Research on entrepreneurial orientation: current status and future agenda. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research.

Mascarenhas, C., Marques, C. S., Galvão, A. R., & Santos, G. (2017). Entrepreneurial university: towards a better understanding of past trends and future directions. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy.

Meyer, M., Libaers, D., Thijs, B., Grant, K., Glänzel, W., & Debackere, K. (2014). Origin and emergence of entrepreneurship as a research field. Scientometrics, 98(1), 473-485.

Minniti, M., & Lévesque, M. (2008). Recent developments in the economics of entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 23(6), 603–612.

Morris, S. A., Yen, G., Wu, Z., & Asnake, B. (2003). Timeline visualization of research fronts. Journal of the American society for information science and technology, 54(5), 413-422.

Namatame, A., & Chen, S. H. (2016). Agent-based modeling and network dynamics. Oxford University Press.

Newman, M. E. (2004). Fast algorithm for detecting community structure in networks. Physical review E, 69(6), 066133.

Newman, M. E., & Girvan, M. (2004). Finding and evaluating community structure in networks. Physical review E, 69(2), 026113. (10.1103/PhysRevE.69.026113

Pato, M. L., & Teixeira, A. A. (2016). Twenty years of rural entrepreneurship: A bibliometric survey. Sociologia Ruralis, 56(1), 3-28.

Persson, O., Danell, R., & Schneider, J. W. (2009). How to use Bibexcel for various types of bibliometric analysis. Celebrating scholarly communication studies: A Festschrift for Olle Persson at his 60th Birthday, 5, 9-24.

Ratinho, T., Harms, R., & Walsh, S. (2015). Structuring the technology entrepreneurship publication landscape: Making sense out of chaos. Technological forecasting and social change, 100, 168-175.

Montoya Restrepo, I., Valencia Arias, A., & Montoya Restrepo, A. (2016). Mapeo del campo de conocimiento en intenciones emprendedoras mediante el análisis de redes sociales de conocimiento. Ingeniare. Revista chilena de ingeniería, 24(2), 337-350.

Rey-Martí, A., Ribeiro-Soriano, D., & Palacios-Marqués, D. (2016). A bibliometric analysis of social entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Research, 69(5), 1651-1655.

Rotolo, D., Hicks, D., & Martin, B. R. (2015). What is an emerging technology? Research policy, 44(10), 1827-1843.

Silveira, J. M. F. J. (2019). ANÁLISE ECONÔMICA DA AGRICULTURA: NOVOS TEMAS DEMANDAM NOVOS ENFOQUES?. Revista de Economia e Agronegócio, 17(1), 1-7.

Schildt, H. A., Zahra, S. A., & Sillanpää, A. (2006). Scholarly communities in entrepreneurship research: A co–citation analysis. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 30(3), 399-415.

Schmitz, A., Urbano, D., Dandolini, G. A., de Souza, J. A., & Guerrero, M. (2017). Innovation and entrepreneurship in the academic setting: a systematic literature review. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 13(2), 369-395.

Schumpeter, J. A. (1982). Teoria do desenvolvimento econômico: Uma investigação sobre lucros, capital, crédito, juros e o ciclo econômico. Abril Cultural.

Servantie, V., Cabrol, M., Guieu, G., & Boissin, J. P. (2016). Is international entrepreneurship a field? A bibliometric analysis of the literature (1989–2015). Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 14(2), 168-212.

Shane, S. (2000). Prior knowledge and the discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities. Organization science, 11(4), 448-469.

Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. (2000). The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Academy of management review, 25(1), 217-226.

Shibata, N., Kajikawa, Y., Takeda, Y., & Matsushima, K. (2008). Detecting emerging research fronts based on topological measures in citation networks of scientific publications. Technovation, 28(11), 758-775.

Shibata, N., Kajikawa, Y., Takeda, Y., Sakata, I., & Matsushima, K. (2011). Detecting emerging research fronts in regenerative medicine by citation network analysis of scientific publications. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 78(2), 274-282.

Su, J., Zhai, Q., & Landström, H. (2015). Entrepreneurship research in China: internationalization or contextualization? Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 27(1-2), 50-79.

Teixeira, A. A. (2011). Mapping the (in) visible college (s) in the field of entrepreneurship. Scientometrics, 89(1), 1.

Traag, V.A; Waltman, L and Van Eick, L.G. (2019) From Louvain to Leiden, guaranteeing well-connected communities. Nature, Scientific Reports.

Uzzi, B. (1997). Social structure and competition in interfirm networks: The paradox of embeddedness. Administrative science quarterly, 35-67.

Vita, L. De, Mari, M., & Poggesi, S. (2014). Women entrepreneurs in and from developing countries: Evidences from the literature. European Management Journal, 32(3), 451-460.

Volery, T., & Mazzarol, T. (2015). The evolution of the small business and entrepreneurship field: A bibliometric investigation of articles published in the International Small Business Journal. International Small Business Journal, 33(4), 374-396.

Von Hayek, F. A. (1937). Economics and knowledge. Economica, 4(13), 33-54.

Wu, H. C., Luk, R. W. P., Wong, K. F., & Kwok, K. L. (2008). Interpreting tf-idf term weights as making relevance decisions. ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS), 26(3), 1-37.

Wu, Y. C. J., & Wu, T. (2017). A decade of entrepreneurship education in the Asia Pacific for future directions in theory and practice. Management Decision.

Xia, T., Shumin, Z., & Yifeng, W. (2016). Status quo and outlook of the studies of entrepreneurship education in China: statistics and analysis based on papers indexed in CSSCI (2004–2013). Chinese Education & Society, 49(3), 217-227.

Zhai, Q., Su, J., & Ye, M. (2014). Focus on China: the current status of entrepreneurship research in China. Scientometrics, 98(3), 1985-2006.




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), In layout editing process.