FsQCA in entrepreneurship research: Opportunities and best practices

Shahrokh Nikou*, Jozsef Mezei, Eric W. Liguori, Ayman El Tarabishy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper offers step-by-step guidance and best practices for using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (FsQCA) in entrepreneurship research. We analyzed publications in which FsQCA was utilized as the primary methodological choice, focusing our scope on 10 top entrepreneurship journals. Our review reveals that inconsistencies exist regarding how to use the method, what processes to follow, and how to interpret results. Specifically, there is a need for an improved understanding regarding (a) considerations for performing direct calibration, (b) performing (necessity) analysis for both the outcome of interest and its negation, and (c) assessing the sensitivity of the resulting configurations to the selected threshold and cutoff values. To illustrate best practices, we conclude by analyzing GEM data from 43 countries to demonstrate how to best use the method, what to consider, and how the findings change if best practices are not followed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1531-1548
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Small Business Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • configurational theory
  • entrepreneurship
  • FsQCA
  • Fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis
  • GEM


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