Mixed Methods in Venture Capital Research: An Illustrative Study and Directions for Future WorkLudvig Levasseur, (IIMB), Sofia Johan (Florida Atlantic University), and Jon Eckhardt (University of Wisconsin Madison)
Forthcoming in the British Journal of Management
Professor Mike Wright, a prolific entrepreneurship scholar who unexpectedly passed away last year, has shed light on the importance of Venture Capital (VC) financing for entrepreneurial firms. Indeed, beyond the fact that venture capitalists can provide strategic, financial, administrative, and marketing advice, prior works have found that VC funded firms are usually more innovative and profitable. Although entrepreneurship scholars have investigated the domain of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance (including venture capital) using diverse research methods, quantitative (i.e., statistical) methods have got the lion’s share. In this paper, the researchers highlight that mixed methods research, which combines quantitative and qualitative (i.e., nonstatistical) methods and data, can help to advance our knowledge and understanding of venture capital.
Urging scholars to conduct mixed methods research projects in entrepreneurial finance and venture capital, the researchers contend that, by conducting such projects, scholars would be able to investigate broader research topics and gain a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurship domain. Moreover, scholars would be able to investigate that domain through contextual and processual perspectives. Last, by teaming up with other scholars who are also practitioners (e.g., a university professor who is also a venture capitalist or an entrepreneur), scholars would be able to pursue research that practitioners find relevant and important.
The researchers contribute to the existing body of knowledge in at least three ways. First, using a paper on VC learning as a fine illustration of how mixed methods can be used in entrepreneurial finance and venture capital research, they highlight how qualitative data and methods can complement initial quantitative data and methods and the benefits of that qualitative part. Second, they develop some mixed methods-related future directions. Third, in a more critical perspective, they discuss current research methods and practices. In sum, they argue that it is fruitful for scholars interested in researching venture capital to conduct mixed methods research and they hope scholars will use these methods more in their future works.