Publication Details

Ranabahu Mudiyanselage, N. (2017). "Rapid" but not "raid": A reflection on the use of rapid ethnography in entrepreneurship research. Qualitative Research Journal, 17 (4), 254-264.


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explain how rapid ethnography (RE) is used to understand the business decision-making process of micro-entrepreneurs. The objective of this paper is to highlight the applicability of RE in entrepreneurship research and outline practical strategies that can be used by future RE researchers. Design/methodology/approach: This paper is written as a reflection using the author's experience in using RE. Findings: This paper highlights that RE can be used as a research technique in entrepreneurship research. The study shows how to incorporate technological advances into RE without violating the underlying ethnographic principles. The paper also explains how preparation, planning, technology-assisted techniques, non-traditional socialisation processes, and multiple and parallel data collection strategies enhance the effectiveness of RE. The paper outlines practical strategies for researchers such as collaborations, using field guides, clear schedules and time gaps in the data collection. Originality/value: Although RE is widely used in research related to human-computer interactions, medicine, education and marketing, RE in entrepreneurship research seems to be limited. Thus, this paper explores this gap and contributes to the scholarly field of entrepreneurship research by highlighting the methodological potential of RE. In addition, the paper contributes empirically to the qualitative research domain by explaining practical steps in using RE.

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