Researching Informal Entrepreneurship In Sub-Saharan Africa: A Note On Field Methodology
Vol. Volume 5, Number 3 December/2000
Akin Fadahunsi Middlesex University, London, UK.
Research into informal entrepreneurship is couched in a framework of fuzzy concepts being operationalised for different purposes by researchers from different disciplines and with differing objectives. Using the author's research into the nature of West African cross-border trading as a contextual background, the paper presents a case for a greater use of qualitative research techniques borrowed from anthropology in the study of the processes of informal enterprise. The author's central argument is that their intensive and less structured approach are especially suited to activities, the study of which depend to a large extent on the establishment of trust between the researcher and the researched. It suggests, in particular, that participant observation is a preeminent tool in the study of such activities.
Informal Sector Entrepreneurship sub-Saharan Africa Research Methods Participant Observation