Changing paradigms of business and management in the metaverse

Closes:
Guest editor(s)
Abhishek Behl, Justin Zhang,

Introduction


Using Augmented Reality technology, the Metaverse is a virtual world experienced by users in the first person (Zhu et al., 2022; Hirsch, 2022). The term was coined by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson in his 1992 novel "Snow Crash." (McFarlane, 2022; Zhu et al., 2022; Belk et al., 2022; Hirsch, 2022; Arpaci et al., 2022; Huggett, 2020). As the Internet has expanded and social media apps have proliferated, virtual worlds have become increasingly popular (Arpaci et al., 2022; Huggett, 2020). Artificial intelligence (AI) advancements have led to people shifting their lives to virtual settings (Dwivedi et al., 2022). It is an interactive, immersive, and collaborative virtual environment shared across online audiences (Needleman, 2021). Individuals interact on digital platforms through customised characters to perform, play, and socialize in the Metaverse (Duan et al., 2021). While Metaverse is described as a newly discovered technological product, it is actually a transformation process that illustrates how people can utilize technology and integrate it into their lives (Lee, 2021). In virtual reality, users are less conscious of their bodies, which may alter their perception of time (Duan et al., 2021; Arpaci et al., 2022). A virtual universe and the notion of creating a second existence raise social and psychological challenges, but they are viewed as the world's new reality and even a digital explosion (MacCallum & Parsons, 2019). Metaverse technology is a huge risk for organizations but becoming involved and a contender for management is a huge opportunity (Kang, 2021).  

Technology enthusiasts can see metaverse as an opportunity (Dwivedi et al., 2022). The adoption of new technology is always associated with a variety of risks (Shankar et al., 2021). The linked nature of the Metaverse raises privacy concerns (Dwivedi et al., 2022). Data and personal information can simply be stolen by targeting non-accessible systems (Dwivedi et al., 2022; Indarta et al., 2022). People may be hesitant to use the Metaverse extensively as a result (Kim, 2021; Dwivedi et al., 2022; Indarta et al., 2022). Furthermore, very little research has been conducted on the Metaverse. The metaverse trend is gaining traction among leading tech companies. Platforms and content providers such as Roblox and Zepeto are part of the metaverse ecosystem, along with feature providers e.g., avatar technology.  

Due to firms' increased adoption and adaptation of metaverse, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technologies, e-marketplace competition has also been disrupted (Dwivedi et al., 2022; Indarta et al., 2022). COVID-19 is also associated with fluxes (Zaman et al., 2022; Tan & Salo, 2021; Polas et al., 2022). Others, however, have either copied business models or lost the bus in innovating their models (Kim, 2021; Dwivedi et al., 2022). As a strategic asset, AI can also benefit small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). According to the study, adopting BT means accepting and using AI to provide services such as manufacturing, order reservation, and payment. Most businesses worldwide are small and medium-sized enterprises (Tan & Salo, 2021; Polas et al., 2022). In general, SMEs lack knowledge about how to adopt AI and BT. A challenging business environment has forced SMEs to compete against established and emerging competitors, as well as to meet rising consumer expectations (Polas et al., 2022). Only a few empirical studies have examined BT adoption behavior and the sustainability of business, particularly for SMEs (Dwivedi et al., 2022; Zaman et al., 2022; Austin 2021). 

The metaverse is often referred to as Web 3.0 (Cook et al. 2020), changing the way we interact with the digital world (Austin 2021). Due to its complexity, there is no clear consensus on how to define or describe this concept (Smart, Cascio, and Paffendorf 2007). According to the metaverse (Zhu et al., 2022; Belk et al., 2022; Hirsch, 2022), avatars (or embodied selves), synchronization, being three-dimensional (or virtual), interoperability, and interactive, immersive, and social experiences. In the metaverse, people interact synchronously using avatars in interoperable persistent virtual environments (Zhu, 2022; Belk, 2022). Changes in definition may occur as the metaverse evolves. 

There seems to be a convergence of all these technological advances merging into a metaverse called Web 3.0 (Zhu et al., 2022; Belk et al., 2022; Hirsch, 2022). It is important to note that there are multiple definitions, concepts, and platforms that claim to be real (Caulfield 2021). In spite of the fact that the metaverse will not replace the Internet as a whole, people will view it as an integral part of their digital lives in the future (Smart, Cascio, and Paffendorf, 2007). In the future, advertising will certainly play a significant role in society, as Zuckerberg predicted (Associated Press, 2021). The ability to understand how businesses are evolving their offerings in the metaverse is vital as the space continues to develop. Both theoretically and practically, this area has been largely underexplored (Zhu et al., 2022; Belk et al., 2022; Hirsch, 2022). It is not known whether metaverse theories have been tested in the metaverse space (Belk et al., 2022; Hirsch, 2022). The proposed SI aims to understand the transition and transformation of businesses by using both indicative and deductive research methods. As a result, there won't be a distinct pre-metaverse and post-metaverse era (Ball 2021). 

 

List of topic areas

This special issue calls for papers on the below suggested topics: 

  • Theoretical advancements in metaverse 
  • Bright and dark side of metaverse in business applications 
  • Metaverse and shared/platform economy 
  • Technological advancements in metaverse 
  • Metaverse v/s Metaworse - Case specific and sector specific analysis 
  • Metaverse and digital twins  
  • Humanizing metaverse using problematizing; theorizing and contextualizing research 
  • Measuring and enhancing business value of metaverse 
  • Consumer psychology and engagement in the world of metaverse 
  • Responsible and explainable metaverse
  • Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Stakeholder Management in Metaverse 
  • Economies of Scale of Metaverse in Businesses 

 
This Special Issue aims to publish papers that work on theory advancements or theory development using empirical studies, case-based approach, experimental research methods, etc. We do not encourage bibliometric based analysis, however reviews like umbrella review; scoping review; meta ethnographic reviews would be given consideration.  

 
Guest Editors

Abhishek Behl,
Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India  
[email protected]
 

Justin Zhang
University of North Florida, USA,
[email protected] 
  

 
Submission Information 

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/md    

When submitting please choose the special issue: “Changing paradigms of business and management in the metaverse” as the article type from the drop-down menu. 

All papers must follow the guidelines outlined by the journal for submission, available at: https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/md#author-guidelines  

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.   

Interested authors are welcome to discuss their research ideas in the form of an extended abstract by contacting the guest editors. The abstract should be written with Emerald's style in mind. The idea of proposing an abstract is to share preliminary feedback with the interested authors. For any questions, interested authors can contact the corresponding guest editor: Abhishek Behl ([email protected])

 
Key Deadlines

Submissions Open: 30 March 2023

Submission Due Date: 30 June 2023 

Final Editorial Decision: 30 December 2023 

Expected Publication:  2024 


References 

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Belk, R., Humayun, M., & Brouard, M. (2022). Money, possessions, and ownership in the Metaverse: NFTs, cryptocurrencies, Web3 and Wild Markets. Journal of Business Research, 153, 198-205. 
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