Digital Entrepreneurship

“Digital Entrepreneurship” respectively describes the act of establishing new companies specifically in the Digital Economy (Kollmann, 2006, 2020; Matlay, 2004). It is a positive development that the topic of "Digital Entrepreneurship" receives increased attention (e.g. Ghezzi & Cavallo, 2020; Nambisan, 2017) as research in this important field enhances knowledge. At this point, however, it must be noted that several recent studies mistakenly regard "Digital Entrepreneurship" as a newly emerging field (e.g. Beliaeva et al., 2019; Kraus, Palmer et al., 2019; Kraus, Roig-Tierno et al., 2019). In so doing, these contributions neglect previous research contributions on this topic, which clearly laid the foundation for all subsequent considerations and discussions (Jones et al., 2021). Thus, the assumption that the research field of "Digital Entrepreneurship" is a new phenomenon must be disagreed with. It can rather be understood as a new common ground that merges the wording in this field, which has previously generated fragmented designations. The following three articles are intended to provide an initial approach to the topic area of "digital entrepreneurship" so that the past, present and future can be connected. They provide only an initial entry point, which must be further explored via the actual articles and the literature cited therein. This is intended to provide a foundation for further research to continue to address this important topic area. "Digital Entrepreneurship" is a significant field for entrepreneurship research in the future, but the findings of the past should not be disregarded.  

 

Eras of

Digital

Entrepreneurship

Tobias Kollmann • Lucas Kleine-Stegemann • Katharina de Cruppe • Christina Then-Bergh

Full Titel

Eras of Digital Entrepreneurship:

Connecting the Past, Present and Future

Journal

Business & Information Systems Engineering

 

DOI

10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6

 

Publication Date

2021-12-06

 

The article is available online here https://doi.org/10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6

or as a PDF here https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6.pdf

Abstract

While recent research continues to emphasize the importance of digital entrepreneurship, the historical terminology of this field is often overlooked. Digital entrepreneurship tends to be considered a new phenomenon despite emerging in the early 1990s. Building on a scoping literature review, this study analyzes 1354 publications that use nine different terms interchangeably to describe the phenomenon of digital entrepreneurship. Based on the number of publications per year, three eras in the historical development of digital entrepreneurship research are outlined. Digital technologies are identified as external enablers, and certain practical events are considered to be influencing factors. The results show that recent research has not adequately recognized the contributions of previous publications and that the understanding of digital entrepreneurship is quite similar with regard to the terms used and over time. This study shows how emerging digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and big data analytics, might shape the future of digital entrepreneurship research. The study occupies the intersection between entrepreneurship and information systems literature and its main contribution is to provide new insights into the eras of digital entrepreneurship from the past to the present and into the future.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6

Background

However, while there has been a pronounced interest in literature on the topic of digital entrepreneurship today, this area has its origin in the emergence of internet technology as the first relevant enabler of digital venture creation (Kollmann 1998; Kollmann et al. 2009). Early developments in internet technology prompted conceptual and empirical research into digital ventures (e.g., Poon and Swatman 1997; Kollmann 1998). In this context, previous literature features several terms, including “Internet Entrepreneurship,” “E-Entrepreneurship,” and “Techno-Entrepreneurship,” which have often been used as synonyms for “Digital Entrepreneurship,” leading to confusion over the years (Zaheer et al. 2019). Nevertheless, most studies attempting to characterize this research field have overlooked the longitudinal evolution of terminology and focused on digital entrepreneurship in isolation, referring to it as if it were an emergent and barely researched field (e.g., Grégoire and Shepherd 2012; Kraus et al. 2019). This article problematizes the in-house assumption that Digital Entrepreneurship is a new phenomenon (Sandberg and Alvesson 2011; Alvesson and Sandberg 20112014) and explores its evolution. 

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6

History

We examined the number of publications for each term per year from 1990 to 2020 to understand in which period a specific term was particularly important. Likewise, we identified digital technologies that took on the specific role of enablers for the field of digital entrepreneurship, as well as important practical events that influenced the number of publications. We then matched the number of publications per term with such digital technologies and practical events to show the historical development of digital entrepreneurship along a timeline (see Fig. 1). 

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6

History of Digital Entrepreneurship

Seed-Era (1990-2000)

The Seed-Era marks the beginning of historical development in the field of digital entrepreneurship and is primarily characterized by the establishment of internet technology. After about 20 years of development, this technology was finally accessible to the general populace in 1993 (Schatz and Hardin 1994). The fundamental advantages of internet technology, especially in terms of efficiency and effectiveness (Weiber and Kollmann 1998), enabled a wide range of entrepreneurial opportunities through “doing business electronically” (European Commission 1997, p. 2). The first developments in the field of the “internet economy” (Feindt et al. 2002, p. 51) were accompanied by emerging research on these topics (Kollmann 1998). The first terms to describe the impact of internet technology on the field of entrepreneurship were “virtual entrepreneurship,” used in the publications of Henricks in 1993 (1993ba), and “digital entrepreneurship,” used by Rosenbaum and Cronin (1993). Other terms, such as “Internet Entrepreneurship” (e.g., Crawford 1994) and “Technopreneurship” (e.g., Adeboye 1996), were also used. The appearance of those terms shows that certain pioneers planted the seed – giving this era its name – for this field of research. However, during this period, no term could acquire far-reaching acceptance.

 

By the late 1990s, the initial opportunities provided by the Internet had been explored, and new business opportunities had emerged (Kollmann 1998). Both practitioners and theorists were confident then, referring to the start of a “promising revolution” (Kollmann 1998, p. 44). Therefore, the new economy was defined by the emergence of ever more companies creating electronic value through information via data networks (Weiber and Kollmann 1998; Shapiro et al. 1999; Amit and Zott 2000; Kollmann et al. 2016) including Amazon and Google by the late 1990s. Rather than relying on business models built on traditional value chains (Porter 2001), these companies understood at an early stage the potential of business models built on electronic value (Amit and Zott 2001), leading to the so-called dot-com boom (Senn 2000; Ofek and Richardson 2003).

 

However, in 2000, the dot-com bubble burst (McFedries 2002), causing investors to lose the money they had staked on the share prices of Internet companies continuing to rise (Zook 2008). In research, the overall peak of publications was reached during the same year with a total of 89 publications, 67 of which used the term “internet entrepreneurship” (see Fig. 1). This peak also marked the end of the Seed-Era as the number of publications reached a turning point. The most frequently used term during the Seed-Era was “internet entrepreneurship” (in 115 out of 163 publications), corresponding to the availability of internet technology that made research in this field possible in the first place. This finding further reinforces how internet technology shaped this era.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6

Startup-Era (2001-2015)

The Startup-Era is one of transition that saw the emergence of many new ways of using internet technology. Examples include new digital technologies, such as open source, social media platforms, mobile, LTE, and cloud computing. After a short recovery period following the bursting of the dot-com bubble, users quickly accepted the new market developments, while new platforms offered them not only more ways to interact with one another via electronic data networks (Cormode and Krishnamurthy 2008; Kollmann et al. 2016) but also the option to take a more active part in the Internet and share almost all forms of data (Richter et al. 2017).

 

In research, the beginning of the Startup-Era was initially characterized by a significant reduction in publications, most likely owing to the collapse of the dot-com bubble. During the entire era, the number of publications increased only very slowly, and the publication peak of 89 publications in 2000 was never achieved. The analysis of terms used during this second era (15 years in total) shows that the term “internet entrepreneurship” remained the most used (mentioned in 274 out of 631 publications in total); however, other terms, such as “Technopreneurship” (88 publications) and “E-Entrepreneurship” (59 publications), were gaining traction. Such usage of multiple terms during the era, in the sense of an identification phase, reflects the status quo in practice.

 

The various terms used in publications in the Startup-Era (e.g., “Internet Entrepreneurship,” “E-Entrepreneurship,” or “Technopreneurship”) mainly focused on the digitalization of business processes (e.g., value chains), business models (e.g., Veit et al. 2014), and business environments (Kollmann 2006; Thérin 2007). In this context, research increasingly considered the interconnectivity and networks between actors (e.g., Matlay and Westhead 2005; Gruber and Henkel 2006; Steinberg 2006; Batjargal 2007; Häsel et al. 2010). This also reflected a development in practice – the increase in the involvement of users with the Internet (Provost and Fawcett 2013).

 

Compared to the Seed-Era, the Startup-Era was characterized by a partial rethinking. In research, discourse on the role of new opportunities, such as open-source software based on internet technology, especially in the field of entrepreneurship, slowly increased. An example was Gruber and Henkel (2006) reflecting on how the domain of open-source software would affect new venture creation processes. Other studies addressed similar aspects (e.g., Zutshi et al. 2006; von Kortzfleisch et al. 2010). However, research on the impact of digital technologies and the new possibilities they engendered remained scarce. Even highly ranked academic journals did not publish articles dealing with this topic, which is why studies increasingly appeared in practice-oriented handbooks (e.g., Thérin 2007; Kollmann et al. 2010).

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6

Expansion-Era (2016-20xx)

The last era from 2016 to 20xx is characterized by a turbulent turnaround and the arrival of many new digital technologies that are penetrating the global market (Rippa and Secundo 2019; Kollmann 2020ab). These technologies introduce digitalization into every aspect of people’s lives. In this context, the processing of large amounts of data (i.e., big data), now underpins many new digital technologies (Dhar et al. 2014; Kollmann 2019), as is particularly evident in the power of the five GAFAM firms, which dominate the collection, processing, and transfer of large amounts of electronic information (Marr 2016).

 

Similar disrupting developments have also been reflected in research. Although the number of publications initially declined from 78 in 2015 to 62 in 2016, 2017 saw an increase to 88. Interestingly, and yet differing from the previous eras, the frequency of publications focusing on the term “Internet Entrepreneurship” decreased steadily, whereas publications using the term “Digital Entrepreneurship” increased (see Fig. 1). This can be identified as a result of the emergence of new digital technologies during this era.

 

At the same time, research is again subject to reappraisal. The growing popularity of emerging digital technologies has caused scholars to focus on the link between digital technologies and entrepreneurship under the guise of the term “Digital Entrepreneurship,” and to recognize that “digital technologies are not merely a context in studying entrepreneurship” (Zaheer et al. 2019, p. 2) but “serve as an active ingredient” (Nambisan et al. 2019, p. 2). An increasing number of publications place digital technologies center stage by integrating them into a framework encapsulating digital entrepreneurship (Recker and von Briel 2019) and even creating digital entrepreneurship ecosystems (Sussan and Acs 2017; Elia et al. 2020).

 

As it turns out, the field of digital entrepreneurship is increasingly being seen as a holistic research domain in its own right. In this holistic system, in which digital technologies are considered ubiquitous (Steininger 2019), scholars acknowledge the growing popularity of digital technologies and attempt to include every aspect of them and explore entrepreneurship in a digital context (Nambisan 2017). There is as yet no sign of that approach abating. At the same time, since 2020 the emphasis on digital technologies has been fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the resulting economic crash reached levels unseen since the great depression of the 1930s, the use of digital technologies and internet traffic increased by about 60 percent (Soto-Acosta 2020). However, the boundaries of entrepreneurship are increasingly blurred, as reflected in a trend for digital technologies facilitating what has been termed “everyday everyone entrepreneurship” (van Gelderen et al. 2021, p. 1260), allowing each individual to exploit opportunities and be an entrepreneur. 

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6

Terms

We also created a net with bubbles positioned chronologically to represent the relevant terms and to illustrate when most publications containing them appeared by year. The size of the bubbles reflects the total number of citations of the respective term field to convey the relevance of those terms to research (Massaro et al2016). That number of citations was based on Google Scholar, which offered the only means of identifying up-to-date citations for all articles (Stewart and Cotton 2013). Next, we counted how often publications using one term (e.g., “Digital Entrepreneurship”) mentioned other terms (e.g., “E-Entrepreneurship”) within their titles, abstracts, keywords, subjects, and/or references. We show how the different terms in the field of digital entrepreneurship are connected using arrows between the bubbles, with the size of the arrowheads reflecting on the number of cross-mentions (see Fig. 2).

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6

Terms of Digital Entrepreneurship

General Definitions

Matlay and Westhead (2005)

Recent research has established that E-Entrepreneurs differ from their traditional counterparts in that all of their economic transactions take place online, via the Internet (Chulikavit and Rose 2003; Matlay 2003ab). (p. 282)

 

Kollmann (2006)

E-Entrepreneurship refers to establishing a new company with an innovative business idea within the net economy, which, using an electronic platform in data networks, offers its products and/or services based upon a purely electronic creation of value. Essential is the fact that this value offer was only made possible through the development of information technology. (p. 333)

 

Gruber and Henkel (2006)

The term “E-Entrepreneurship” has been coined to address the discovery and exploitation of business opportunities in the internet economy. (p. 1)

 

Hull et al. (2007)

Digital Entrepreneurship is a subcategory of entrepreneurship in which some or all of what would be physical in a traditional organization has been digitized […]. This entrepreneurial activity relies on information technology to create, market, distribute, transform or provide the product. (p. 293)

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6

Expanded Definitions

Davidson and Vaast (2010)

We refer to Digital Entrepreneurship as the pursuit of opportunities based on the use of digital media and other information and communication technologies. Digital entrepreneurs rely upon the characteristics of digital media and IT to pursue opportunities […]. The term digital entrepreneurship encompasses the diverse opportunities generated by the Internet, World Wide Web, mobile technologies, and new media. (p. 2)

 

Sussan and Acs (2017)

[Digital Entrepreneurship] is the combination of digital infrastructure and entrepreneurial agents within the context of both ecosystems. […] (p. 66)

 

Nambisan (2017)

In recent years, the infusion of new digital technologies […] into various aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship has transformed the nature of uncertainty inherent in entrepreneurial processes and outcomes as well as the ways of dealing with such uncertainty. In turn, this has opened up a host of important research questions at the intersection of digital technologies and entrepreneurship – on Digital Entrepreneurship. (p. 1029)

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6

Authors

Prof. Dr. Tobias Kollmann 

Owner of the Chair of Digital Business and Digital Entrepreneurship, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitaetsstr. 9, 45141 Essen, Germany  tobias.kollmann [[at]] uni-due.de

Prof. Kollmann has been working on scientific issues related to the Internet, Digital Business and E-Commerce since 1996. His research results have been published in international A-Journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (ETP), Journal of Business Venturing (JBV), Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal (SEJ) and Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS). According to FAZ, he was among the 100 most influential Economists in Germany in 2018, 2019 and 2021 with "weight in media, research and politics." 

Lucas Kleine-Stegemann

Member of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, University of Münster, Geiststraße 24-26, 48151 Münster, Germany

Dr. Katharina de Cruppe & Christina Then-Bergh

Member of the Chair of Digital Business and Digital Entrepreneurship, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitaetsstr. 9, 45141 Essen, Germany

Open Access

Open Access 

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

 

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

 

To view a copy of this licence, visit 

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Cite the article

Kollmann, T., Kleine-Stegemann, L., de Cruppe, K., Then-Bergh, C.: Eras of Digital Entrepreneurship. Bus Inf Syst Eng (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12599-021-00728-6

 

Exploring the Field of

Digital

Entrepreneurship

Eusebio Scornavacca • Tobias Kollmann • Stefano Za • Lucas Kleine-Stegemann • Christina Strauss

Full Titel

Exploring the field of digital entrepreneurship:
a bibliometric analysis

Book

Handbook of Digital Entrepreneurship

Editors

Mohammad Keyhani, Tobias Kollmann, Andishe Ashjari, Alina Sorgner, Clyde Eiríkur Hull 

ISBN

978 1 80037 362 4

Publication Date

2022

The Handbook could be orderd here 
https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/handbook-of-digital-entrepreneurship-9781800373624.html

Abstract

The digital revolution has transformed many aspects of society, such as social relationships, education, and work (Agarwal et al., 2010; Collins & Halverson, 2018; Majchrzak et al., 2016). It has also affected many aspects of business, such as value creation, innovation, company valuation, and internationalization (Bharadwaj et al., 2013; Vial, 2019; Weiber & Kollmann, 1998).
The pervasive advancement has also transformed many aspects of entrepreneurial activity (Elia et al., 2020; Nambisan, 2017). Some of these aspects are related to the entrepreneurial opportunities that could arise due to new technologies, digitalization of products and services, as well as business model innovation (Autio et al., 2018; Kollmann & Jung, Chapter 2 in this handbook; Nambisan et al., 2018). The overlay between the incentivization and acceleration of entrepreneurial activities—due to its potential contribution to economic development and social transformation (Malecki, 2018)—and the growing impact of the digital revolution, has resulted in the emergence of the research field of digital entrepreneurship.  While some studies criticize the lack of research in the field of digital entrepreneurship (Nambisan, 2017; Steininger, 2019), articles in this area have increased significantly in recent years, underlining its ever-growing importance (e.g., Elia et al., 2020; Ghezzi & Cavallo, 2020; Orlandi et al., 2021). Nevertheless, while the term “digital entrepreneurship” is relatively new and has recently become a buzzword, the study of the underlying phenomena is not new. Following the technological advancements in digital technologies in the past couple of decades, the terminology used to describe “digital entrepreneurship” has evolved through time. Terms such as “online entrepreneurship,” “e-entrepreneurship,” and “techno-entrepreneurship” have been often used as synonyms to “digital entrepreneurship” in previous literature (Kollmann et al., Chapter 3 in this handbook; Zaheer, Breyer, & Dumay, 2019).

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Background

Since this set of historically evolved terms describe the same phenomena, they must be considered as a whole to describe the emergence of digital entrepreneurship as a field of research. Yet, most previous studies attempting to characterize this research field have failed to acknowledge this longitudinal evolution of terminology and have focused on “digital entrepreneurship” in  solation as a new emergent field. As a result, the goal of this study is to characterize the development of this research stream by  exploring the evolution of the terminology used in the scholarly debate on digital entrepreneurship. In order to achieve this goal,
this research develops a bibliometric analysis following Lamboglia et al. (2020). This chapter is structured as follows: The next  sections describe the research methodology and the literature search protocol. This is followed by a presentation of the results of the descriptive analysis and an exploration of the main topic emerging from the dataset. The last section presents a summary of the results, conclusions, limitations, and avenues for future research. In this study, we analyzed the literature based on a bibliometric approach adapted from Lamboglia et al. (2020). Bibliometric analysis uses a quantitative approach to describe, evaluate, and monitor published research. It provides the potential for introducing a systematic, transparent, and reproducible review process to improve review quality. Bibliometric methods serve as a useful tool when conducting literature reviews, even prior to the start of reading, by directing researchers to highly influential pieces and mapping the field of research with minimal subjective bias (Zupic & Čater, 2015). Bibliometric methods have two major applications: performance analysis and science mapping (Cobo et al., 2011). 

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Articles

The number of citations shows the popularity and influence of the paper in the scientific community. Table 4.1 presents the most cited articles in the sample, receiving at least 50 citations. The most cited paper is Venkataraman (2004), which has 586 citations and used the term “technopreneurship.” While analyzing the most cited articles in our dataset, it is possible to clearly identify groups of papers using different terms, such as “e-entrepreneurship” through
time. The most cited papers for “e-entrepreneurship” were Matlay and Westhead (2005),
Gruber and Henkel (2006), and Kollmann (2006). It is also interesting to observe the quick
gain of popularity of recent papers on the term “digital entrepreneurship,” such as Nambisan (2017) and Sussan and Acs (2017).

https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/handbook-of-digital-entrepreneurship-9781800373624.html

Articles of Digital Entrepreneurship

Authors

Prof. Dr. Eusebio Scornavacca

Professor at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, College of Global Futures, and Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University (ASU)

Prof. Dr. Tobias Kollmann 

Owner of the Chair of Digital Business and Digital Entrepreneurship, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitaetsstr. 9, 45141 Essen, Germany  tobias.kollmann [[at]] uni-due.de

Prof. Dr. Stefano Za

Associate Professor of Organization Studies and Information Systems at University “G. d’Annunzio” of Chieti – Pescara

Lucas Kleine-Stegemann

Member of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, University of Münster, Geiststraße 24-26, 48151 Münster, Germany

Christina Strauss 

Member of the Chair of Digital Business and Digital Entrepreneurship, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitaetsstr. 9, 45141 Essen, Germany

Handbook

Handbook of Digital Entrepreneurship

This authoritative Handbook compiles a diverse set of contributions on digital entrepreneurship, providing an in-depth study of how digital entrepreneurship research has evolved over the years, and where it stands today.

 

Discussing a diverse set of questions, contexts, theories, and methods, this Handbook will be a key resource for researchers and advanced students with a particular interest in entrepreneurship, innovation, technology management, and digital business models. Managers and entrepreneurs will also find the discussion of digital entrepreneurship in relation to financing, social issues, and technology beneficial.

 

The Handbook could be orderd here 

https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/handbook-of-digital-entrepreneurship-9781800373624.html

 

Cite the article

Scornavacca, E.; Kollmann, T.; Za, S.; Kleine-Stegemann, L.; Strauss, C. (2022): Exploring the field of digital entrepreneurship: a bibliometric analysis, in: Keyhani, M.; Kollmann, T.; Ashjari, A.; Sorgner, A.; Hull, C. (Ed.): Handbook of Digital Entrepreneurship, p. 74-89. 

 

Fundamentals of

Digital

Entrepreneurship

Tobias Kollmann • Philipp Benedikt Jung

Full Titel

What is digital entrepreneurship? Fundamentals of company founding in the digital economy

Book

Handbook of Digital Entrepreneurship

Editors

Mohammad Keyhani, Tobias Kollmann, Andishe Ashjari, Alina Sorgner, Clyde Eiríkur Hull 

ISBN

978 1 80037 362 4

Publication Date

2022

The Handbook could be orderd here 
https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/handbook-of-digital-entrepreneurship-9781800373624.html

Abstract

New Ventures play a key role in the social and economic development of a country and are often based on technological innovations. The underlying idea is that each new start-up represents a new market player that has a stimulating effect on competition and thus drives economic momentum forward. At the same time, internal and external information and communication
processes at enterprises across almost every industry sector have been increasingly supported by digital information technologies. These technologies (e.g. internet, interactive television and mobile communications) have triggered the founding of numerous start-ups in the Digital Economy. In this context, primarily young and innovative enterprises in the sector of information and communication technologies have the economic function to identify and realize innovation potentials and to transform them into competitive business models. Against this background, the term “Digital Entrepreneurship” respectively describes the act of establishing new companies specifically in the Digital Economy (Kollmann, 2006, 2020; Matlay, 2004). It is a positive development that the topic of Digital Entrepreneurship receives increased attention (e.g. Ghezzi & Cavallo, 2020; Nambisan, 2017) as research in this important field enhances knowledge. At this point, however, it must be noted that several recent studies mistakenly regard Digital Entrepreneurship as a newly emerging field (e.g. Beliaeva et al., 2019; Kraus, Palmer et al., 2019; Kraus, Roig-Tierno et al., 2019). In so doing, these contributions neglect previous research contributions on this topic, which clearly laid the foundation for all subsequent considerations and discussions (Jones et al., 2021). Thus, the assumption that the research field of Digital Entrepreneurship is a new phenomenon must be disagreed with. It can rather be understood as a new common ground that merges the wording in this field, which has previously generated fragmented designations. Before relabeling the research topic into “Digital Entrepreneurship,” the substantive foundation was already covered using preceding terms such as “Virtual-,” “Cyber-,” “IT-,” “Techno-,” “Online-,” “E-Commerce-,” “Internet-” or, particularly often, “E-Entrepreneurship.” Hence, the roots of this field go back much further. 

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Background

In the present work, we exemplify the true roots of Digital Entrepreneurship by presenting the core of one of the major foundational articles in this field (see “Eras of Digital Entrepreneurship” and “Exploring the Field of Digital Entrepreneurship” in this handbook). The original article from Kollmann with the title “What is e-entrepreneurship? –  fundamentals of company founding in the net economy” was published in 2006 in the International Journal of Technology Management and explains the different facets of the phenomenon, which literature nowadays refers to as “Digital Entrepreneurship.” In the presented version of the article, the term “Electronic” (in short “E-”) and the word “Net” is replaced by the now more commonly used term “Digital.” Additionally, only outdated contextual descriptions about the Digital Economy as well as references were updated. As these changes do not alter the content of the article, but only its wording, we exemplify that true roots of Digital Entrepreneurship lie further in the past than partially claimed. It is therefore precisely the research-didactic and the research-historical goal that the following update of the 2006 contribution (with a first revision in 2009 in the Handbook of Research on Techno-Entrepreneurship; 2nd edition 2014) deliberately overlaps in content, except for the wording. This is intended to show that the content considerations from the past also retain their validity under the new terminology of a “digital entrepreneurship” and must therefore not be disregarded under the new terminology. Thus, we are pleased to enrich the subject area of Digital Entrepreneurship by shedding light on its relevant historical basis with updated sources and examples. The original article “What is e-entrepreneurship? – fundamentals of company founding in the net economy” (Kollmann, 2006) answers several questions, that were raised by the expansion of the classical use of the term “entrepreneurship”:
● Which environment and which possibilities does the Digital Economy offer for new and innovative entrepreneurial activities?
● What is different or what unusual features can be found in establishing companies in the Digital Economy?
● What are the building blocks and phases of development involved in setting up a company in the Digital Economy?

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Framework

The four central characteristic of establishing a business in the Digital Economy (see Figure):
● type of company established: a digital venture is often an independent, original and innovative company established within the Digital Economy.
● establishing environment: a digital venture is characterized by enormous growth potential and, yet, is also marked by uncertainty of its future development concerning the true success of its information technology.
● reference for establishing the company: a digital venture is based on a business idea that is first made possible through the use of innovative, information technologies. The idea itself focuses strongly on “information” as a competitive factor within the Digital Economy.
● basis for establishing the company: a digital venture is based upon a business concept that involves the digital creation of customer value offered on an digital platform of the Digital
Economy.

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Framework of Digital Entrepreneurship

Authors

Prof. Dr. Tobias Kollmann 

Owner of the Chair of Digital Business and Digital Entrepreneurship, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitaetsstr. 9, 45141 Essen, Germany  tobias.kollmann [[at]] uni-due.de

Prof. Kollmann has been working on scientific issues related to the Internet, Digital Business and E-Commerce since 1996. His research results have been published in international A-Journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (ETP), Journal of Business Venturing (JBV), Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal (SEJ) and Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS). According to FAZ, he was among the 100 most influential Economists in Germany in 2018, 2019 and 2021 with "weight in media, research and politics." 

Dr. Philipp Benedikt Jung

Member of the Chair of Digital Business and Digital Entrepreneurship, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitaetsstr. 9, 45141 Essen, Germany

Handbook

Handbook of Digital Entrepreneurship

This authoritative Handbook compiles a diverse set of contributions on digital entrepreneurship, providing an in-depth study of how digital entrepreneurship research has evolved over the years, and where it stands today.

 

Discussing a diverse set of questions, contexts, theories, and methods, this Handbook will be a key resource for researchers and advanced students with a particular interest in entrepreneurship, innovation, technology management, and digital business models. Managers and entrepreneurs will also find the discussion of digital entrepreneurship in relation to financing, social issues, and technology beneficial.

 

The Handbook could be orderd here 

https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/handbook-of-digital-entrepreneurship-9781800373624.html

 

Cite the article

Kollmann, T.; Jung, P. (2022): Exploring the field of digital entrepreneurship: a bibliometric analysis, in: Keyhani, M.; Kollmann, T.; Ashjari, A.; Sorgner, A.; Hull, C. (Ed.): Handbook of Digital Entrepreneurship, p. 27-48