Crowdfunding through a partial organization lens – The co-dependent organization
The article is open access Nov and Dec 2018, available here.
What was your motivation for writing this paper?
My main motivation was to understand how crowdfunding was organised. Basically, how do you organise a crowd of strangers in such a way that they are willing to support other strangers in their endeavours. This was especially spurred on by my increasing frustration that no one could really tell me how crowdfunding was organised. There is a ton of interesting empirical work on the phenomenon, but when it comes to understanding how it organised the field is very messy. There are a host of terms are used to describe the crowdfunding process including “network”, “community”, “market”, and “organization” and what's more they are often used interchangeably. It can’t be all of them so what is it?
What was your most interesting finding?
I argue that crowdfunding represents fluid co-dependent relationship between the facilitating organization (or platform), a variety of campaign founders who seek financial support for their ideas and ventures, and a large dispersed “crowd” of individuals (“crowdfunders”) who are enticed to invest, pledge, lend, or donate money toward these ideas and ventures. Specifically, as a form of organizing, crowdfunding represents a circumstance where the central organizing actor (the platform) is so dependent on what would otherwise be considered external actors (campaign founders and crowdfunders) that the boundary between them becomes blurred. As opposed to other circumstances in which an organization may draw upon external forms of organizing such as stakeholder involvement, commitments to an agreed upon standards or the utilization of external knowledge sources the organization and maintenance of the crowdfunding platform is impossible without these external actors. In other words, whereas other organizations may decide to discontinue the relationship with such external actors and instead carry out the tasks internally, this is not an option for the crowdfunding platform
What is in store for the future?
I am really excited for our Special Issue - The Role of Crowdfunding in Moving Towards a Sustainable Society – to come out this December (2018). Here seven articles focus on the potential of crowdfunding for enabling sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation. This is exactly what my research is focused on and helping to support this stream of research through our Special Issue has been a great experience.