Digital or Not


The Future of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Special issue of Journal of Business Research; Deadline 1 Dec 2018

Journal of Business Research – Special Issue Call for Papers

Digital or not – the future of entrepreneurship and innovation

Guest Editors

Elisabeth S.C. Berger*, Frederik von Briel†, Per Davidsson† & Andreas Kuckertz*

*University of Hohenheim
†Queensland University of Technology

Theme of the Special Issue

Influenced by the evolution of digital technologies we currently witness a dramatic transformation of established industries and the global business landscape at large. Not only entrepreneurs and innovators are therefore excited about the opportunities and implications deriving from this transformation, but also researchers from many different disciplines have taken interest in this phenomenon. In particular the intersection of digital technologies and entrepreneurship/or innovation provides ample research opportunities as digitization dissolves boundaries and shifts agency of traditional entrepreneurship (Nambisan, in press) and innovation processes and outcomes (Nambisan, Lyytinen, Majchrzak, & Song, 2017). While digital technologies can be understood as external enablers stimulating and fostering the new venture creation process (von Briel, Davidsson, & Recker, in press), they can take different roles and manifest in various forms such as products (Lyytinen, Yoo, & Boland, 2015), product or service platforms (Tiwana, Konsynski, & Bush, 2010), infrastructure tools or systems (Aldrich, 2014), or digital applications, components, or media content (Ekbia, 2009). In other words, many research opportunities exist to shed light on the role and influence of digital technologies on entrepreneurship and innovation.

For example, the influence of digitization on society and whether it is positive or negative remains largely unclear. While digital entrepreneurship is assumed to offer leveling potential regardless of social background, physical characteristics or gender, it might also isolate groups or individuals that lack required resources or capabilities (Dy, Marlow, & Martin, 2017; Berger & Kuckertz 2016a). Digitization might also change the nature of entrepreneurial activity as it affects for instance the founder-customer relation, given that reduced visibility or even invisibility of both parties impacts trust-building factors and signals (Kuester, Konya-Baumbach & Schuhmacher, 2018). At the same time, new digital data sources emerge that provide increased visibility to entrepreneurship researchers (Obschonka & Fisch, in press). Similarly, while the “sharing economy” has led to the birth of various successful start-ups based on digital platforms such as AirBnB, Instacart, and Uber, its long-term impact on industry competition, market developments, and society at large are yet to be determined.

Against this background, this special issue seeks to build the empirical and conceptual basis for the academic discussion on the relevance, nature and implications of digital entrepreneurship and innovation. Due to the multi-disciplinary nature of digital innovation and entrepreneurship, the special issue aims to bring together scholars from different disciplines to provide a multi-faceted perspective on the phenomenon. Potential topic areas for this special issue circling around digital technologies, entrepreneurship, and innovation include but are not limited to:

  • Data (e.g., big data, open data)
  • Economics (e.g., security regulations, governance, formal institutions, policies, infrastructure)
  • Finance (e.g., blockchain, fintech, social trading, crowdfunding)
  • Management (e.g., organizational boundaries, resource orchestration, routine transformation, lean start-ups as a consequence)
  • Marketing (e.g., social media, virtual communities)
  • Psychology (e.g., perception of digitization, impact of digitization on user/customer behavior, visibility and invisibility)
  • Regional development (e.g., entrepreneurial ecosystems, spillover effects)
  • Sociology (e.g., justice, gender effects, gender equality, exclusion/ isolation of individuals)
  • Strategy (e.g. strategies for digitization, evolutionary paths of digital ventures, technologies for co-creation, business model innovation, innovation collaborations for digital innovation)

Both empirical as well as conceptual papers are welcome. Due to the complex and interrelated nature of digital entrepreneurship and innovation, conventional research methods might be of limited use to capture the dynamics, interrelatedness and non-linearity (Berger & Kuckertz, 2016b) of this phenomenon; this call therefore explicitly invites the application of interesting and novel emerging research methods.

Submission Procedure

Submissions exclusively for the special issue should be submitted to the JBR online submission system by December 1st 2018. All submissions will be subject to the standard review process followed by JBR. All manuscripts must be original, unpublished works that are not concurrently under review for publication elsewhere. All submissions should conform to the JBR manuscript submission guidelines available at

The system will be open for submission between October 1st and December 1st 2018. The publication of the special issue is expected by 2019.

Interested authors are additionally invited to submit promising papers to a paper development workshop to be held at the G-Forum in Stuttgart, Germany, early in October 2018. The G-Forum is the oldest and largest entrepreneurship and innovation conference in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, attracting on a regular basis approximately 400 submissions from more than 20 countries. Full papers submitted and invited to the G-Forum 2018 can also be considered for the special issue if indicated to the conference organizers when submitting on the conference website at

Promising papers will then be invited to be uploaded to the JBR submission system, where they will enter the standard review process.


Aldrich, H. (2014). The democratization of entrepreneurship? Hackers, makerspaces, and crowdfunding. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. Philadelphia.

Berger, E. S. C., & Kuckertz, A. (2016a). Female entrepreneurship in startup ecosystems worldwide. Journal of Business Research, 69(11), 5163–5168.

Berger, E. S. C., & Kuckertz, A. (2016b). The Challenge of Dealing with Complexity in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology Research – An Introduction. In E. S. C. Berger & A. Kuckertz (Eds.), Complexity in entrepreneurship, innovation and technology research – Applications of emergent and neglected methods (pp. 1–9). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Dy, A. M., Marlow, S., & Martin, L. (2017). A Web of opportunity or the same old story? Women digital entrepreneurs and intersectionality theory. Human Relations, 70(3), 286–311.

Ekbia, H. R. (2009). Digital artifacts as quasi-objects: Qualification, mediation, and materiality. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(12), 2554–2566.

Kuester, S., Konya-Baumbach, E., & Schuhmacher, M. C. (2018). Get the show on the road: Go-to-market strategies for e-innovations of start-ups. Journal of Business Research, 83, 65–81.

Nambisan, S. (in press). Digital entrepreneurship: Toward a digital technology perspective of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.

Nambisan, S., Lyytinen, K., Majchrzak, A., & Song, M. (2017). Digital innovation management: Reinventing innovation management research in a digital world. MIS Quarterly, 41(1), 223–238.

Lyytinen, K., Yoo, Y., & Boland, R. J. (2016). Digital product innovation within four classes of innovation networks. Information Systems Journal, 26(1), 47–75.

Obschonka, M., & Fisch, C. (in press). Entrepreneurial personalities in political leadership. Small Business Economics.

Tiwana, A., Konsynski, B., & Bush, A. A. (2010). Platform evolution: Coevolution of platform architecture, governance, and environmental dynamics. Information Systems Research, 21(4), 675–687.

von Briel, F., Davidsson, P., & Recker, J. C. (in press). Digital technologies as external enablers of new venture creation in the IT hardware sector. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.

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