Initiative for Qualitative Research in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Initiative for Qualitative Research in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (INQUIRE) supports research that draws upon interviews, observations, and archival data to understand the complex social processes underlying the creation, development and growth of novel ideas, innovative business models, and new organizations.  INQUIRE provides a hub for the qualitative research community within Gies and a point of connection with qualitative researchers across campus and beyond.

Strong tradition of qualitative research at Gies

While qualitative research is relatively rare within business schools, it has a storied history at the University of Illinois and Gies College of Business. Gies College is one of a select few business schools with multiple faculty members and doctoral students who focus on this type of work.

Qualitative methods allow researchers to take an inductive, exploratory approach that generates fresh ideas and illuminates phenomena that are so new or dynamic that they are not captured in any databases.  Qualitative data provide insights and answer questions about organizations that traditional statistical analyses cannot. 

Connecting qualitative research, innovation, and entrepreneurship

INQUIRE supports qualitative researchers from across Gies Business, with a special emphasis on studies of innovation and entrepreneurship.  Entrepreneurship is a key engine of economic growth and societal impact.  In entrepreneurial settings, ideas evolve rapidly, individual participants come and go frequently, and much of the “action” is not captured in any formal records.  Interviews and observations enable researchers to capture processes that occur in these dynamic, uncertain environments.

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