Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Putting the Agent into Research in Black and Minority Ethnic Entrepreneurship: A New Methodological Proposal

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Steve VincentORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


This paper considers what realist social theory (RST) can add to existing knowledge about black and minority ethnic (BME) entrepreneurs and outlines a methodology for exploring the role of the BME entrepreneur. For this group, embodied signifiers such as skills and abilities, cultural characteristics, social norms, and value systems combine with structural antecedents, such as financial, contractual, professional, and other national and regional institutional arrangements to create impediments on the progression of BME enterprises. Understanding such complex social arrangements presents significant ontological and methodological challenges. We argue that previous research has failed to capture the richness of the forms of agency BME entrepreneurs display and that, as a consequence, RST has much to offer this debate. The paper ends with a discussion of the methodological implications of analysing BME entrepreneurs in terms of their social agency.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Vincent S, Wapshott R, Gardiner J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Critical Realism

Year: 2014

Volume: 13

Issue: 4

Pages: 368-384

Print publication date: 18/08/2014

Online publication date: 21/04/2015

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Date deposited: 28/02/2018

ISSN (print): 1476-7430

ISSN (electronic): 1572-5138

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1179/1476743014Z.00000000038


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric