Online social media such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are proliferating in society; they represent a subset of digital ecosystems in which "computer-mediated tools that make it possible for anyone to create, circulate, share, and exchange information in a variety of formats and with multiple communities" (Leonardi and Vaast, 2017: 150). People and organizations increasingly employ online social media (e.g., social networking sites, blog platforms, micro-blogging tools, wikis, and social tagging tools) to communicate with specific others or to broadcast messages. Considering the profound impact social media have had, and are expected to have, on people's behavior and the large potential social media hold for organizations, it is no surprise that social media is already affecting organizational behaviors and processes (Bird, Schjoedt, and Baum, 2012; Leonardi and Vaast, 2017).
As with individuals and organizations, a growing number of entrepreneurs are adopting social media in their venture efforts (e.g. Fischer and Reuber, 2011, Mumi, Obal, and Yang 2018). While entrepreneurs may use social media to assess their business concept, reach potential customers, employees, and investors, and more, social media is also generating a new group of entrepreneurs. Some bloggers-as well as vloggers-become, de facto, entrepreneurs as they seek to create, circulate, share, and exchange information with multiple communities in order to influence individuals in return for some forms of compensation. As such these entrepreneurs engage in digital entrepreneurship [although not all digital entrepreneurship activities are based on social media (e.g., Amazon)]. Despite the growing literature on digital entrepreneurship in general (e.g., Davidson and Vaast, 2010; Evans & Schmalensee, 2016; Nambisan, 2017; Sussan and Acs, 2016) and despite the widespread use of social media, relatively little research addresses social media in the context of entrepreneurship.
The overarching purpose of this special issue is to gain a better understanding of the multi-faceted implications of online social for entrepreneurship. More specifically, the purpose is to examine such fundamental questions in entrepreneurship research as: (1) why, when, and how opportunities for new venture creation arise from the use of social media (Shane and Venkataraman, 2000; Sussan and Acs, 2016) ; (2) why, when, and how social media facilitate the discovery, evaluation, and exploitation of opportunities (Autio, Dahlander, and Frederiksen, 2013; Shane, 2012; Shane and Venkataraman, 2000); and (3) how might social media thwart, impede or undermine entrepreneurial undertakings? With this special issue, we seek innovative research using multidisciplinary approaches that generates new, or builds on existing, debates and key questions to facilitate a larger, richer, and more robust understanding of social media's implication for entrepreneurship. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the actions and activities of both entrepreneurship and social media, one goal for this special issue is to attract submissions from scholars within the fields of entrepreneurship, computer information systems, strategy, economics and marketing to name just a few. Similarly, we intend to attract theory papers using varied lenses and empirical papers that cross all methodological designs and approaches.
Research on all areas of entrepreneurship addressing the implications of social media for entrepreneurship is welcome. This includes, but is not limited to, the following topics of interests:
This is an open call for papers. Again, we welcome submissions from scholars in all areas of research and in the international research community who have a particular interest in social media and entrepreneurship. Researchers interested in publishing in the Special Issue should submit their paper to the Special Issue editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All submissions are due no later than November 30, 2019.
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