Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship scholars alike are trying to make sense of the rapidly changing technological landscape. Digital transformation is taking entire industries by storm (Matt, Hess, & Benlian, 2015; Rogers, 2016), and entrepreneurs playing by the pre-digital playbook may find themselves unable to succeed in the new digital era. Similarly, entrepreneurship scholars attempting to analyze new entrepreneurship-related phenomena may require new lenses and frameworks that incorporate the affordances and constraints of digital technology (Leonardi, 2011; Nambisan, 2017).
Digital entrepreneurship as a topic of research can be defined broadly as the study of how digital technology impacts entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial processes and entrepreneurship-related phenomena. Within this broad scope, scholars have already started a flourishing line of research (Berger, von Briel, Davidsson, & Kuckertz, 2019) but a mountain of research questions still require further attention: How do new digital technologies change the nature of entrepreneurship and its outcomes? What new challenges and opportunities do digital technologies bring for entrepreneurs, investors, and entrepreneurship policy makers? How does digital technology change the nature of who can become an entrepreneur and who we think of as entrepreneurs? What is the impact of the new technological landscape in terms of which factors and which stakeholders become more or less relevant for entrepreneurship? Which gates open and who become the new gatekeepers of critical resources and opportunities? These are the types of questions we must tackle to better understand the new digital era of entrepreneurship.
Nambisan (2017) has suggested that digital technologies remove certain boundaries on entrepreneurial processes, outcomes, and agency. To tackle this changing nature of entrepreneurship, he suggests that new intellectual frameworks and theories not traditionally in entrepreneurship research may become relevant to entrepreneurship scholars. These include the theory of technology generativity (Zittrain, 2006), the theory of digital artifacts (Kallinikos, Aaltonen, & Marton, 2013), sociomateriality theory (Orlikowski, 2009), theories of digital platforms (Thomas, Autio, & Gann, 2014), and the theory of technology affordances and constraints (Leonardi, 2011) among others.
The idea of technological constraints specifically reminds us that digital technology will not only involve removal of previous boundaries, but also the imposition of new boundaries. For example, the dynamics of winner-take-all competition observed in digital platforms and marketplaces with network effects (Rysman, 2009) make it increasingly difficult for new entrepreneurial start-ups to challenge established leaders.
For this upcoming "Handbook of Digital Entrepreneurship" to be published by Edward Elgar Publishing, we invite scholarly contributions on digital entrepreneurship covering the state of the art in digital entrepreneurship and its various subtopics. All types of scholarly papers are solicited but three types of papers are specifically encouraged for this handbook: theory or commentary, review, and descriptive studies. Contributions should ideally provide an overview of a topic area that would be useful as an introduction to that area for the uninitiated. The aim is to produce a reference handbook that can be used both by academics aiming to familiarize themselves with the state of research and theory within topics and subtopics in digital entrepreneurship, as well as practicing entrepreneurs and managers aiming to familiarize themselves with leading edge practices and insights in digital entrepreneurship.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
Foundations of Digital Entrepreneurship
Digital Business Models and Sub-Types of Digital Entrepreneurship
Technologies of Digital Entrepreneurship (Technologies, AI, Blockchain etc.)
Society and Ecosystems of Digital Entrepreneurship (Networks, Structures, Incubators)
Strategy and Processes of Digital Entrepreneurship
Global Digital Entrepreneurship
All scholarly contributions are welcome and the handbook will include a variety of scholarly chapters. We especially encourage three types of papers: theory (including commentary), review, and descriptive studies.
Chapters shall be no longer than 8,000 words (including references), with a shorter length expected for commentaries. An introductory chapter by the editors will provide a background and review on the general digital entrepreneurship literature and phenomena, and a brief summary of the chapters selected for publication.
Please submit an abstract of at least 1000 words by November 1, 2020 directly via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the editors. More complete drafts or full chapters are also accepted, within the 8000 word length limit. There are no specific formatting requirements for abstract submissions, but authors invited for full chapter submission will be notified of formatting requirements at that stage.
Berger, E. S. C., von Briel, F., Davidsson, P., & Kuckertz, A. (2019). Digital or not – The future of entrepreneurship and innovation: Introduction to the special issue. Journal of Business Research.
Kallinikos, J., Aaltonen, A., & Marton, A. (2013). The ambivalent ontology of digital artifacts. Mis Quarterly, 357-370.
Leonardi, P. M. (2011). When flexible routines meet flexible technologies: Affordance, constraint, and the imbrication of human and material agencies. Mis Quarterly, 147-167.
Matt, C., Hess, T., & Benlian, A. (2015). Digital transformation strategies. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 57(5), 339-343.
Nambisan, S. (2017). Digital entrepreneurship: Toward a digital technology perspective of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 41(6).
Orlikowski, W. J. (2009). The sociomateriality of organisational life: considering technology in management research. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 34(1), 125-141.
Rogers, D. L. (2016). The digital transformation playbook: Rethink your business for the digital age: Columbia University Press.
Rysman, M. (2009). The economics of two-sided markets. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 23(3), 125-143.
Thomas, L. D., Autio, E., & Gann, D. M. (2014). Architectural leverage: putting platforms in context. Academy of Management Perspectives, 28(2), 198-219.
Zittrain, J. L. (2006). The generative internet. Harvard Law Review, 1974-2040.
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