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Advancing Crowdfunding Research - What do we know and what should we look for?

Special issue call for papers from Baltic Journal of Management

Guest Editors:
Rotem Shneor, University of Agder, Norway ([email protected])
Natalia Maehle, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway ([email protected])

Aims & Scope:
Crowdfunding is an important alternative channel for entrepreneurial and project funding, which has seen an exponential growth in recent years and reached a volume of EUR 270 billion in 2016, growing 208 per cent from EUR 130 billion in 2015 (Ziegler et al., 2018). Crowdfunding refers to the ability to obtain funding from large audiences, in which each backer provides a relatively small amount, instead of raising large sums from a small number of large investors and backers (Belleflamme et al., 2014), usually through the use of the Internet, and often without standard financial intermediaries (Mollick, 2014).

Crowdfunding can be viewed as community-enabled financing that draws on the principles of crowdsourcing but is adapted to the context of fund-raising. Thanks to its anchoring in communities (usually online-based), crowdfunding incorporates advantages that go well beyond the actual sums of funding raised from interested members. Additional benefits in this respect include access to valuable and timely feedback about concepts under development (Gerber et al., 2012), demonstration of project legitimacy (Frydrych et al., 2014), as well as direct access to and interaction with multiple stakeholders such as prospective customers, business partners, media, existing and future funders, etc. (Mollick & Kuppuswamy, 2014).

While multiple models of crowdfunding exist, the main models include lending, equity, reward and donation. Further elaborating and clarifying the definitions provided in Zielger et al. (2018), those models may be defined as follows. Peer-to-peer lending implies that individuals or institutional funders provide loans to borrowers with an expectation of repayment of the principle and a set interest within a certain timeframe. Equity crowdfunding implies that individuals or institutional funders buy an ownership stake in a company/ organisation. Reward crowdfunding implies that backers provide funding to individuals, projects or organisations in exchange for non-monetary rewards, products or services. Finally, donation crowdfunding implies a backer’s provision of funding to individuals, projects or organisations based on philanthropic or civic motives with no expectation of monetary or material rewards. Our special issue will cover studies examining all Crowdfunding models.

While research into various aspects of Crowdfunding has been growing in recent years, it remains novel and limited (Macht & Weatherston, 2015, Short et al., 2017) with many gaps and opportunities for research and development (McKenny et al., 2017). The current special issue wishes to address this situation by accounting for what we know from a little less than a decade of research and what remains to be discovered.

Suggested Themes:
Themes covered under the special issue may relate, but are not limited to the themes listed below. The themes may cover specific crowdfunding models (i.e. reward, donation, peer-to-peer lending, equity, revenue sharing, etc.), or a comparative analysis across models. The special issue welcomes papers concerned with theory development and/or theory testing, using both quantitative and qualitative research designs and methods.

Crowdfunding campaigns:
-   Factors influencing success and failure of crowdfunding campaigns,
-   Crowdfunding process: challenges and experiences,
-   The roles and effects of Social Media in Crowdfunding,
-   The roles and effects of legal regulations on Crowdfunding practice and growth,
-   The roles and effects of networks and networking in Crowdfunding practice,
-   Determinants and impact of financial aspects in Crowdfunding campaign management
    (i.e. budgeting, reward pricing, firm valuations in equity, risk valuations in lending, etc.),
-   Marketing strategies in the context of Crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding contributors:
-   Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for backing Crowdfunding campaigns,
-   Backer intentions and behaviour in Crowdfunding,
-   Investor behaviour in equity and/or lending crowdfunding,
-   The role of backers’ personality in Crowdfunding,
-   Using gamification for driving backers’ engagement in Crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding platforms and models:
-   Growth and internationalisation strategies of Crowdfunding platforms,
-   Platform strategies for trust facilitation in Crowdfunding,
-   Innovation strategies of Crowdfunding platforms,
-   Unique models and contexts of Crowdfunding practice and development,
-   Business models of Crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding contexts:
-   Cross-cultural and cross-country studies of Crowdfunding practice and motives,
-   Comparative studies of Crowdfunding in developed, emerging and developing countries,
-   Comparative studies of Crowdfunding in different sectors and industries,
-   Comparative studies of Crowdfunding behaviour in different age and gender groups.

Crowdfunding adoption:
-   Crowdfunding adoption and practice in traditional financial institutions,
-   Crowdfunding adoption and practice among entrepreneurs, artists and social activists,
-   Crowdfunding adoption and practice in large commercial and industrial organisations,
-   Crowdfunding adoption and practice in non-profit organisations.

Submission Deadline:

To be considered for publication in the special issue full manuscripts should be submitted by March 1st, 2019. However, it is recommended that authors send an abstract to the editors prior to submission to ensure the relevance and receive preliminary feedback before the submission deadline. Anticipated publication date of the special issue is 2020.

To nominate a reviewer, volunteer to review, or obtain additional information, please contact the editors of the special issue.

Manuscript Submission:
Manuscripts should be prepared following the author guidelines and submitted through ScholarOne Manuscripts

All articles will be double-blind peer reviewed by at least two anonymous referees.

References and recommended readings:
Belleflamme, P., Lambert, T. and Schwienbacher, A. (2014), "Crowdfunding: Tapping the right crowd", Journal of Business Venturing, Vol.29 No.5, 585-609.
Frydrych, D., Bock, A. J., Kinder, T. and Koeck, B. (2014), "Exploring entrepreneurial legitimacy in reward-based crowdfunding", Venture Capital, Vol.16 No.3, 247-269.
Gerber, E. M., Hui, J. S. and Kuo, P. Y. (2012), “Crowdfunding: Why people are motivated to post and fund projects on crowdfunding platforms“, in International Workshop on Design, Influence, and Social Technologies: Techniques, Impacts and Ethics proceedings of the conference, ACM, New York.
Macht, S. A. and Weatherston, J. (2015), "Academic Research on Crowdfunders: What's Been Done and What's To Come?" Strategic Change, Vol. 24 No.2, 191-205.
McKenny, A. F., Allison, T. H., Ketchen, D. J., Short, J. C. and Ireland, R. D. (2017), "How Should Crowdfunding Research Evolve? A Survey of the Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice Editorial Board", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 41 No.2, 291-304.
Mollick, E. (2014), "The dynamics of crowdfunding: An exploratory study." Journal of Business Venturing, Vol.29 No.1, 1-16.
Mollick, E. and Kuppuswamy, V. (2014), After the Campaign: Outcomes of Crowdfunding. Chapel Hill, NC, UNC Kenan-Flagler Research. 
Shneor R. and Flåten, B-T. (2015), “Opportunities for Entrepreneurial Development and Growth through Online Communities, Collaboration, Value Creation and Co-Creation Activities”, in Kaufmann, H. R. and Shams, R. (eds.), Entrepreneurial challenges in the 21st century, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke UK, 178-199.
Short, J. C., Ketchen, D. J., McKenny, A. F., Allison, T. H. and Ireland, R. D. (2017), "Research on Crowdfunding: Reviewing the (Very Recent) Past and Celebrating the Present", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 41 No.2, 149-160.
Ziegler, T., Shneor, R., Garvey, K., Wenzlaff, K., Yerolemou, N., Rui, H. and Zhang, B. (2018), Expanding Horizons: The 3rd European Alternative Finance Industry Report, Cambridge University Center for Alternative Finance, Cambridge.