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Academic Collaboration in Entrepreneurship Research from 2009 to 2018: A Multilevel Collaboration Network Analysis


  • Rui Song

    () (College of Computer Science and Technology, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China)

  • Hao Xu

    () (College of Computer Science and Technology, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
    School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
    Key Laboratory of Symbolic Computing and Knowledge Engineering of Ministry of Education, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China)

  • Li Cai

    () (School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China)


Entrepreneurship research is widely regarded as an important basis for competitive advantage in a rapidly changing international business environment, enhancing capacities for sustainable business growth, economic activity, and the wealth of nations. In recent years, international cooperation has been considered to be one of the key factors promoting the sustainable development of entrepreneurial research. However, the evolution of the cooperative network of entrepreneurial research and the relationship between international cooperation and entrepreneurial research performance has not received the attention of most researchers. Therefore, we used a multilevel collaborative analysis method, i.e., country, city, institution and scholar, analyzing 2037 studies in this area from 2009 to 2018 from the Business Source Complete database by collaboration network analysis and bibliometric analysis. Our study tracked the evolution and cooperation trends in entrepreneurship research and detailed characteristics of international academic cooperation over the past decade, and we found the following: (1) The four types of cooperative networks have evolved over time, and generally conform to the distribution characteristics of the core periphery; cities, institutions, and researchers from central countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Germany occupy central positions in cooperation; they are scale-free networks and subject to the principle of priority connection. (2) The evolution of cooperative networks at different levels are non-conformal, there is a subtle relationship between micro-networks that can explain the distribution and changes in macro-networks. (3) International academic cooperation can promote the performance of entrepreneurial research, and cooperation has become the main theme of entrepreneurial research. These findings can help researchers to better study cooperative relationships in entrepreneurship research. Moreover, they can provide entrepreneurial decision support for national and local governments and contribute to the sustainable development of entrepreneurial research.

Suggested Citation

  • Rui Song & Hao Xu & Li Cai, 2019. "Academic Collaboration in Entrepreneurship Research from 2009 to 2018: A Multilevel Collaboration Network Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(19), pages 1-17, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:19:p:5172-:d:269313

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    References listed on IDEAS

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