Siepel J., Dejardin M., "How Do We Measure Firm Performance ? A Review of Issues Facing Entrepreneurship Researchers", in Saridakis G. and Cowling M., eds., The Handbook of Quantitative Research Methods in Entrepreneurship, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
This paper aims to provide a succinct overview of the important challenges facing researchers seeking to perform firm level research, along with an overview of the different data sources that may be used, and some techniques that can be employed to ensure that data is robust. An emphasis is put on the linked importance of research design and choice of data. We discuss quantitative data and, more specifically, the measures used to observe firm performance, and present different types of data sources that researchers may use when studying firm level data, i.e. self-report data, official statistics, commercial data, combinations of data, and Big Data. We examine potential problems with data, from measurement to respondent and researcher errors. Finally, some key points and some avenues for future research are briefly reviewed.