Crowdfunding Through a Partial Organizational Lens

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    Crowdfunding (CF) has become a popular alternative source of finance for a variety of for- and non-profit activities from small local artistic projects to large ventures seeking millions of dollars in capital. By enabling small incremental investments it increasingly allows non-professional investors to support their preferred project(s). However, while the phenomenon continues to grow rapidly our academic knowledge of this emergent organizational form has lagged behind. The literature to date remains largely ‘phenomenon-driven’ where definitions and descriptions are typically delimited to relate to the specific focus of the given paper. The resulting definitions therefore take on an essentialist notion, where crowdfunding becomes perceived as a stable component of “things” rather than a fluid ongoing process. Utilizing the literature on fluid organizations, this paper proposes that organization theory – specifically the literature on complete and partial organizations and organizationality – would allow for a more nuanced conception of what CF is as compared to the current static approach. Encapsulating the process as a fluid and co-dependent interaction between various organization types, where complete and partial organisations do not emerge as separate entities each filling their own presupposed role, but do so co-dependently which consequently allow for a fluid, but also entangled organizational structure. The paper finally argues that crowdfunding literature merits greater attention from organization theory as it represents an empirically rich context to study a diverse range of incumbent and emerging organizations. For example illustrating the need for a gradual rather than binary conception of what the organization is in order to better understand emergent organizations like crowdfunding.
    In conclusion the paper proposes that in applying organization theory crowdfunding researchers gain access to valuable theoretical tool to help demarcate and explain the process without delimiting it to a static actor models. While the crowdfunding process itself represents a unique opportunity for organization scholars to study a diverse range of organizations emerging, competing and shaping one-another
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2016
    Number of pages29
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event4th Crowdinvesting Symposium: Finacial Decision Making and the Internet - Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, München, Germany
    Duration: 4 Nov 20164 Nov 2016
    Conference number: 4


    Conference4th Crowdinvesting Symposium
    LocationMax Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

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