List of tracks
- Resilience in healthcare after COVID-19: rethinking technology, operations, supply chains and networks.
- What can we learn about manufacturing relocation and global production networks after Covid-19?
- (Operational and strategic) performance impacts of industry 4.0: current state and future trends.
- Knowledge management and absorptive capacity to tackle disruptions in the era of digital transformation.
- The impact of sharing economy on economic performance and users’ behaviour.
- The role of fintech in the post Covid-19 world.
- Rethinking the sustainability of gender equality after the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Impact economy for inclusive growth: exploring the relationship between technology, innovation and social impact.
- Enabling factors for the diffusion of circular economy and their impacts on sustainability
- Complexity: new dimensions for rethinking economics, management systems and organizational structures
- Understanding the innovation process: the interplay between science, firms, and society.
- Innovative start-ups ecosystems: decoding the environmental and organizational determinants of successful technology ventures in times of Covid-19 pandemic
- The evolution of the value chain: platforms and ecosystems to foster business model innovation for established firms
Track 1: Resilience in healthcare after COVID-19: rethinking technology, operations, supply chains and networks.
Lara Agostini, Università di Padova, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short description of the proposed track:
The war against the COVID-19 virus has changed the perception of our lives, but, even more, it has shed a brilliant light on the relevance and potentially disruptive impact of the healthcare sector within country systems. The historical and progressive disinvestment trend in the public expenditure devoted to the healthcare sector and the consequent shrinking policies adopted at different levels have negatively impacted services and exacerbated inequalities in access to care, resulting in more vulnerable healthcare systems. In this sense, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the scarce ability of such systems to cope with uncertain scenarios and react to disruptive events, unveiling their lack of resilience. National health authorities and healthcare organizations, thus, are increasingly required to rethink paradigms of health service delivery, to enhance integration and resilience of the health systems, and to redesign care processes as a whole (Gilmartin and D’Aunno, 2007).
While the short-term implications are evident everywhere, the long-term consequences of the pandemic are still difficult to imagine. Indeed, new challenges and opportunities are arising at a global level, thus making the restructuring of healthcare systems crucial for the near future.
The four pillars of this process could be summarized as follows:
- The historical and progressive disinvestment trend in healthcare services and systems, particularly in the public sector, seems to have been temporarily inverted. This suggests a fast introduction of innovations, with a particular focus on the digital ones, such as telemedicine solutions (Gastaldi et al., 2018; Lavie et al., 2010).
- COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of relying on valid, shared, understandable, real-time data (Céline et al., 2014; Foglia et al., 2013), and the need for appropriate support from technology and data scientists to get valuable information (Consoli et al., 2019; Sanchez-Pinto et al., 2018). From this perspective, the exploitation of digital technologies could represent a key factor to facilitate the transition toward a new model of “connected ecosystem” (Dougherty and Dunne, 2011), also in the healthcare sector.
- Specific attention should be put on the integration of care networks, which need to be reinvented through the orchestration of multiple actors (i.e. hospitals, general practitioners, community pharmacies, social care providers, and patients), who operate at different levels for delivering safe and personalized healthcare services (Dougherty and Dunne, 2011).
- SC management, during and after disruptive events, can become one of the most important areas of concern for managers, policymakers, and practitioners. This pillar is characterized by a threefold element: i) the role of knowledge management, to foster SC integration; ii) the implementation and adoption of technology-based infrastructures for sharing information and coordinating activities; iii) risks associated to poor SC (such as SC disruptions, or low flexibility in volumes).
This track aims to trigger discussion on all the implications related to these four pillars to better understand the challenges and opportunities for the healthcare sector after the pandemic, identifying solutions useful for stakeholders, scholars, and practitioners in an attempt to increase the system resilience. In particular, the track welcomes contributions investigating how healthcare systems and health organizations may rethink their operations, SCs, innovation processes, and networks. We encourage scholars of different disciplines to share their latest results.
The proponents of this track aim at collecting original and mature contributions to stimulate the debate among attendees, concerning, but not limited to, the following:
- What are the challenges, opportunities and lessons learned from the experience of COVID-19 pandemic for health organizations and authorities?
- Which are the operations and SC practices applied by health organizations to deal with the pandemic? How they may be exploited in future to improve the health systems?
- How may the adoption of digital technologies support the redesign of healthcare services, both from an intra- and inter-organizational perspective?
- How can health ecosystems play a role in enhancing the overall resilience of the healthcare system?
- Which could be the levers (e.g. technological, policy-based, etc.) to be used to accelerate the development of an effective digital innovation introduction in healthcare?
- Which new competencies should be developed by all actors in the healthcare arena?
- How could management engineering support the efficiency of operations within the healthcare sector?
- How could data, performances and information be measured and collected to facilitate the generation of evidence-based policies and strategies in the healthcare sectting?
- Which are the most relevant experiences about the implementation of value-based healthcare strategies and initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- What are the best practices to foster the adoption of innovation in the private and public healthcare sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic?
These original topics pave the way to enlarge and enrich existing research along lines that the literature has not yet investigated, underlining the importance of managerial research in this specific historical period.
Keywords: COVID-19 outbreak, resilience, operations reengineering, supply chain risks, real-world data
Track 2: What can we learn about manufacturing relocation and global production networks after Covid-19?
Albachiara Boffelli, University of Bergamo, email@example.com.
Short description of the proposed track:
While the World continue to struggle with the health and safety issues raised by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clear – and widely acknowledged – that this event will have a significant impact over the national and global economies, as well as on the structure, the organization and the management of operations, supply chains and global production networks. The “Global value chain” model – a production network paradigm that has deeply characterized the World economy over the past thirty years and is one of the most visible “trademarks” of Globalization – is expected to be undermined by the pandemic, according to authoritative experts, analysts, and institutions (e.g., Javorcik, 2020; The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2020; UNCTAD, 2020a; World Economic Forum, 2020). Managerial (i.e., firm-level) and political (i.e., Sub-National, National, or Supranational-level) influences will almost certainly reshape supply chains and Global Production Networks.
Because of their reliance on overseas supplies, several businesses were severely impacted by supply chain disruptions during the epidemic and following lockdowns (Strange, 2020). While supply chain risk management literature had previously highlighted the growing hazards of worldwide operations (Manuj and Mentzer, 2008a), the 2020 pandemic has provided an unparalleled display of how disruptive their consequences can be. It is hard to believe that managers could simply return to focusing solely on efficiency and growth, without paying the necessary attention to risk-related practices (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2020), especially given that the pandemic struck in the midst of a tumultuous period marked by trade wars, rising protectionist policies (Javorcik, 2020), and mounting pressures for more sustainable business models.
Furthermore, the pandemic exposed many countries’ lack of self-sufficiency for critical products (such as masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent the spread of the virus, or to provide medical assistance to those infected, such as ventilators), as well as their reliance on China for several others (Gurvich and Hussain, 2020). Strategic goods, such as pharmaceuticals, as well as components of critical industry supply chains (e.g., automotive, chemicals), whose disruption can have a significant impact on an advanced economy’s GDP. As a result, the desire for more self-reliance will – and in some cases have already begun to – rise in the political discourse, demanding measures to better preserve, fortify, or even reintroduce macro-regional or national production of essential items.
The proposed special track focuses on the “reshoring” phenomenon, which is defined as a decision to relocate a manufacturing operation either back to the home country (back-shoring) or to a nearby country in the same macro-region (near-shoring), as well as to the reconfiguration of the supply chain and the global production network that will naturally follow.
In fact, increasingly intertwined global producers and service providers are getting more and more exposed to disastrous environmental shocks, which can rapidly spread from country to country through these complex networks. The fragility of global production networks is particularly concerning as the frequency and severity of natural disasters are projected to increase due to climate change. Disastrous shocks may also originate from pandemic events, as the one that many countries have been experiencing in the last years.
Four different trajectories for worldwide production following the pandemic have been outlined by the World Investment Report (UNCTAD, 2020a): i) Global Value Chain (GVC) diversification, which entails creating redundancies; ii) replication of GVCs, obtained by distributing manufacturing operations closer to the point of consumption; iii) reshoring of GVCs, meaning the relocation of production activities back to the home nation; iv) regionalization of GVCs, implying a geographic reorganization of the production model, which would be shortened in macro-regions. New technologies, policy and economic governance, and sustainability will play a significant role in supporting and driving all the four trajectories (UNCTAD, 2020b).
All the research areas that are typically involved in cross-border investments and manufacturing relocations are potentially affected by these new trends, from international business to international management, from global operation to global value chains, from international human resources to international marketing, from international finance to international entrepreneurship. However, researchers are often fragmented among different fields. As a consequence, research findings generated in a certain field/sub-field are not always known by scholars belonging to another one and cross-fertilization is not activated. Based on such evidence, the proponents are willing to organize a track offering the possibility to scholars coming from different academic communities to share their research regarding the firm’s internationalization and relocation processes and, above all, how the aforementioned new challenges are affecting them. We are willing to adopt and to bridge multifaceted perspectives, which includes strategic, managerial, operation, global value chain, human resource, marketing, financial and entrepreneurship points of view, all discussing how the new challenges are affecting the main phenomena that are studied in each field. The proposed track is also based on the evidence that, within the AiIG community, there are several scholars belonging to the International Business, International Management and Global Supply Chain and Operations fields.
Papers dealing with relocation and sustainability may be invited to submit to the dedicated special issue on Sustainability (in case many submissions will deal with this topic a paper development workshop will be organized in one of the slots dedicated to the special track): https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability/special_issues/relocations_sustainability” Reshoring; Global Value Chains; Covid-19; Sustainability.
Track 3: (Operational and Strategic) Performance Impacts of Industry 4.0: current state and future trends
Piera Centobelli, University of Naples Federico II, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short description of the proposed track:
This track proposal was conceived by the two research groups involved in the projects “The relationship between industry 4.0 and sustainability: an empirical investigation” and “Exploring the complementarity of Industry 4.0 technologies”, funded by the calls Progetto Giovani AiIG in 2019 and 2020. After the joint research activities carried out within the two groups and the interactions occurring between them, the track organizers would like to promote a discussion on the performance impacts of Industry 4.0 with the estimated scholars attending the track. This broad topic can be investigated from different but complementary perspectives and we are confident that interesting insights may arise from the scientific debate during the conference.
Industry 4.0 – an industrial paradigm based on the integration of the virtual and the physical world, thanks to such technologies as cyber-physical systems, big data, Internet of Things, and additive manufacturing (Kagermann et al., 2013) – is gaining momentum in the scholarly, managerial and policy debate (Galati and Bigliardi, 2019; McKinsey, 2019; OECD, 2017). This paradigm is expected to revolutionize classical operations and production management (O&PM) theory, techniques and practices (Brennan et al., 2015; Holmström et al., 2016). After some years devoted to conceptualizations of the phenomenon (for a review of Industry 4.0 definitions see Culot et al., 2020), development of implementation roadmaps (e.g., Ghobakhloo, 2018; Pessl et al., 2017), and pilot projects in companies, it is now the time for large scale implementations and assessment of the potential contribution of Industry 4.0 to firm performance. There is indeed a need to provide guidance to companies and policy makers about which technology (or technologies bundle) is (are) more appropriate to be adopted in each context and what are the factors/requirements that might maximize the benefits of Industry 4.0 adoption.
The goal of this special track is therefore to foster a debate on the relationships between Industry 4.0 or its specific technologies (e.g., cyber-physical systems, internet-of-things, artificial intelligence, advanced robotics, cloud computing/manufacturing, blockchain, additive manufacturing, autonomous vehicles and drones) and firm performance, as well as on the factors that might (positively or negatively) affect such relationship. Any type of firm performance – including but not limited to productivity, lead times, flexibility, costs, quality, environmental sustainability, social sustainability, profitability, and shareholder wealth – is worth to be considered.
Some of the pertinent research questions to be investigated in this Special Track include:
- What are the effects of Industry 4.0 or its specific technologies on firm performance (e.g., operational, strategic, economic-financial, environmental and social performance dimensions)?
- What are the contextual factors (e.g., industry, culture, firm size) affecting the relationship between Industry 4.0 (or specific technologies) and firm performance?
The full range of conceptual and empirically-based research methodologies so far successfully adopted in the in the Management Engineering field – including (but not limited to) case studies, surveys, secondary data analysis, literature review, and simulation – could be employed by the submitted papers.”
Keywords: Industry 4.0, digital transformation, performance, sustainability
Track 4: Knowledge management and absorptive capacity to tackle disruptions in the era of digital transformation
Roberto Cerchione, University of Naples Parthenope, email@example.com.
Short description of the proposed track:
The main objective of the proposed track is to revisit knowledge management (KM) field and the construct of absorptive capacity (ACAP) in light of the digital transformation occurring within companies, such as the usage of blockchain or industrial internet solutions, which enable to tackle disruptions, achieve organizational resilience and capture external data of different nature, and machine learning solutions which allow to access data and ‘learn’. Lifelong and ubiquitous learning, cloud computing and smart working paradigms are the pillars that are boosting individuals’ empowerment and the growth of the organizations of which they are part. Drawing on KM and ACAP theories we encourage papers that examine novel phenomena, employ original methodologies, and offer interesting theoretical and empirical contribution to this research theme. The potential topics for this special track may include, but are not limited to papers:
- Analyzing large and small and medium highly-innovative firms that are experienced in relying on digital innovation processes and sourcing knowledge from external sources to tackle disruptions
- Revisiting the existing theories of KM and the models of ACAP in light of the different digital technologies firms may potentially adopt to acquire, assimilate, transform, and apply knowledge in order to increase product/service responsiveness
- Focusing on KM planning, controlling and driving change for greater resilience in organisations
- Unveiling the emergence and influence of new knowledge management systems based on digital solutions to improve environmental, financial and social sustainability of individual firms and supply chains
- Understanding the impact of KM and ACAP on responsiveness and resilience in organisations towards smart working and agile paradigms in light of the digital transformation
- Focusing on the degree of implementation of digital technologies to assess the influence of digitalization ACAP in order to scrutinize how digital solutions are now being employed to manage knowledge in a time of crisis and what the constraints, advantages, opportunities and threats are
- Exploring the role of digital technologies in social response to crises and their impact in incumbent corporations and SMEs operating in traditional sectors
- Exploring the effect of the shifting organizational dynamics on the responsiveness and workforce readiness and development
- Examining the impact of the digitization of knowledge management processes on organizational, innovative, and financial performance
- Understanding whether the concept of traditional absorptive capacity is evolving in a new concept of ACAP in light of the digital transformation for managing external knowledge
- Understanding how ACAP’s processes and routines influence knowledge management and innovation performance
- Examining whether and how digital technologies affect the knowledge management processes underlying each component of ACAP (acquisition, assimilation, transformation, and application) and, in turn, whether and how they enable/constrain KM and innovation performance
- Exploring application and impact of digital technologies on responsiveness and resilience in organisations
- Understanding how digital transformation is impacting on the human capital in the context of SMEs and large corporations by exploring perspectives of HR management, organisational resilience, leadership and competencies creation and destroying.
Keywords: Knowledge management (KM), absorptive capacity (ACAP), digitalization, digital transformation, enabling technologies, knowledge management systems, organizational resilience
Track 5: The impact of sharing economy on economic performance and users’ behavior
Tiziana D’Alfonso, Sapienza Università di Roma, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short description of the proposed track:
Online multi-sided platforms, namely online marketplaces where two or more distinct types of users (for instance buyers and sellers) can meet to exchange goods or services information, cover a wide range of activities including online ecommerce marketplaces, application stores embedded in mobile operating systems, social media, online advertising platforms, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platforms, booking platforms, and search engines, among others. All these platforms share key characteristics including the use of information and communication technologies to simplify interactions between users, the gathering and usage of data about these interactions, and the generation of network effects.
In this context, a particular type of online platforms has played a disruptive role in the society, namely Internet enabled peer-to-peer platforms. Indeed, the technological developments in mobile communications and increasing social concerns about the (un)sustainability of a consumerist society have contributed to the rise of a new paradigm, namely the sharing economy (Sundararajan, 2016; Zervas et al., 2017; Jiang and Tian et al., 2018; Tian and Jiang, 2018). Within this paradigm, users collaboratively share and make use of underutilized resources on a massive scale upon payment (Jiang and Tian, 2018). The sharing economy paradigm has emphasized the concept of product or service accessibility and utilization, over the concept of ownership. At the same time, ever consumer can become a product or service provider by exploiting the ownership of underutilized resources. As a consequence, sharing economy platforms have emerged as an alternative channel to access goods and services traditionally provided by long-established industries (Sundararajan, 2016).
From an industry point of view, the success of the sharing economy phenomenon is best exemplified by the rapid growth of Airbnb and Uber, two peer-to-peer sharing platforms in the hospitality and car transportation service industries, respectively, which have become giant companies in less than a decade. More generally, in Europe, pre-COVID-19 estimates report that the sharing economy could potentially soar up to €570 billion by 2025 compared with €28 billion in 2016 (PWC, 2016).
The economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic has become a stress test for sharing economy players, including Airbnb and Uber, forcing them to experiment with different solutions to enable re- conversion of underutilized resources and maintain their business model sustainable (Proserpio, 2020). Nevertheless, by taking advantage of the intrinsic flexibility and scalability of their business models, these companies have been able to survive the pandemic, in spite of the fact they were among the companies most hit by the pandemic (e.g., Airbnb bookings dropped by 70% in the first months of COVID-19 pandemic), and they are now recovering at a good pace (Yohn, 2020). For instance, following COVID-19, Airbnb has refocused on its original core business, i.e., peer-to-peer budget home rental, by targeting travelers who wanted to stay away from larger hotels and remote workers looking for long-term rentals. At the same time, Airbnb has significantly streamlined ancillary services that were gradually added before the pandemic, such as traditional hotel and luxury property listings (Yohn, 2020).
From an academic point of view, there is a growing interest in exploring the distinctive characteristics of these platforms compared to traditional players in different industries as well as understanding how these characteristics can influence the competition between them. Some works have demonstrated that the business models of these platforms lead to a costs structure with much lower fixed and transaction costs and near-zero marginal costs as compared to players in traditional industries. This cost structure gives platforms the possibility to easily react when facing with high variability in customers’ demand and become a relevant threat for incumbents (Blal et al., 2018; Cusumano, 2015; Zervas et al., 2016). Some other studies focus on understanding the impact of sharing economy platforms on the market as a whole. In particular, some relevant aspects such as the impact on employment (Fang 2016; Sundararajan, 2016), regulation (Cohen and Sundararajan, 2015; Cannon and Summers, 2014) or environmental sustainability (Martin, 2016) have been recently studied. Most of these studies focuses on the tourism industry and on the impact of Airbnb on the economic performance of hotels or on travel patterns (Blal, 2018; Destefanis et al., 2020; Li and Srinivasan, 2019; Masiero et al., 2019; Roma et al., 2019; Tussyadiah and Pesonen, 2016; Xie and Kwok, 2017).
Beside initial studies (see next state-of-the-art section for greater detail), much work needs to be done to fully understand the dynamics and the impact entailed by peer-to-peer platforms specifically on the performance of traditional players in different industries. With this track, we aim at improving the understanding of the effects of the sharing economy on traditional industries across multiple aspects encompassing operational and strategic decisions, quality issues and environmental consequences, technological and business model innovation, provider and user behavior, inter-firm strategic interactions, organizational issues, profitability, welfare, and employment. Hence, we are interested in theoretical, conceptual and empirical works that provide new insights to open the black box of how these platforms are reshaping traditional industries as a whole across the above multiple aspects.”
Keywords: Sharing economy; online multi-sided platforms; peer-to-peer platforms; economic performance; user behavior.
Track 6: The role of Fintech in the post Covid-19 world
Francesca Tenca, Politecnico di Milano, email@example.com.
Short description of the proposed track:
Recent transformation in digital technologies and regulation have contributed to the development of new types of entrepreneurial finance. New players and methods to finance startups and small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) have emerged, disruptively changing the entrepreneurial finance ecosystem.
The Fintech industry is characterized by a variety of financing mechanisms, such as crowdfunding, minibonds, invoice trading, peer-to-peer lending, ICOs, etc.. that allow to transfer surplus financial capital from equity markets, high-net worth individuals and consumers to SMEs and startups. In turn, firms, to exploit the potential offered by this new markets will increasingly need to diversify and combine their sources of funding, among different Fintech providers as well as traditional players, i.e. banks, venture capitalists (VCs), business angels (BAs).
The global Fintech volume grew by 48% year-on-year to $89 billion in 2018 (Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, 2020), and, despite unprecedented uncertainty in market conditions, the Fintech industry has been resilient in responding to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost all Fintech verticals reported growth in 2020, although with differences across markets and geographies. In particular, Fintech markets characterized by more stringent Covid-19 lockdowns reported higher growth in volumes, but also faced more operational challenges and costs (CCAF, World Bank and World Economic Forum, 2020).
In this context, regulatory market authorities face exceptional challenges to allow the correct functioning of the financial ecosystem in response to Covid-19, and further regulatory support is needed in the future for the development of the Fintech industry.
Addressing the complexity and uncertainties of the current period, the track aims at collecting and discussing original papers on this rapidly evolving industry.
We are particularly interested in contributions that address the following research questions:
- How is the Fintech industry transforming startups and SMEs financing and growth patterns?
- How has the Fintech industry been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and what future can we expect for this emerging industry?
- Which alternative financing instruments are best suitable to sustain the financial needs of startups and SMEs after the Covid-19 pandemic?
- What is the role of minibonds?
- What is the role of digital currencies and ICOs?
- How do traditional players and new investors interact? How is the digital transformation influencing VCs’ and BAs’ investment process?
- What are the new funding paths of firms characterized by an original combination of investors?
- How does Fintech competition affect the business models of incumbent players in the banking and finance business?
- What are the challenges faced by policy makers in the digital transformation of the entrepreneurial finance ecosystem?
- How can data and regulation help to solve the trade-off between privacy and security in the financial sector?”
Keywords: Fintech, alternative financing, crowdfunding, , minibond, ICOs, venture capital, business angel
Track 7: Rethinking the Sustainability of Gender Equality after the Covid-19 pandemic
Alessandra Colombelli, Politecnico di Torino, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short description of the proposed track:
In time of disruptive changes, gender equality is a global priority to improve living conditions of women and men, and a necessary step to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While SDG 5 directly aims to achieve gender equality in the public and private spheres, gender needs also to be enshrined in the other SDGs. For instance, evidence exists that gender equality helps to reduce poverty (SDG 1), establish good health and well-being (SDG 3), and to provide quality education (SDG 4). While gender equality is on the development agenda worldwide, we still tackle lack of equality within private and public organizations and the entire society. This issue has stimulated the academic debate in different disciplines.
Such debate has been particularly lively during the Covid-19 pandemic as this tremendous contingency has hit women the hardest. For instance, international observers and academic studies have extensively documented the negative effects of the pandemic on women, ranging from job losses and reduced working hours to spikes in domestic violence and overwhelmed counsellors. At the same time, there is a belief that the Covid-19 crisis can bring about some changes that have the potential to reduce gender inequality in our society in the long term. The advent of the remote working is a case in point.
Within this framework, this Special Track aims to collect papers that tackle gender issues (within and behind the Covid-19 emergency) from different perspectives and in the scientific domains that are relevant to the AiIG scientific community. The Special Track is an opportunity to bring together AiIG members that are working on gender issues and to stimulate the debate on this topic.
Accordingly, in this Special Track, we welcome original, multilevel, multi- or cross-country, and methodologically diverse contributions that can extend the debate on gender equality. In particular, as we explain in the following, scholars from different fields have highlighted gender gaps, but we need to learn more on their implications for sustainability, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A brainstorming session with all interested members of the AiIG community for discussing the ongoing activities of the “Commissione Pari Opportunità” will be part of this Special Track.
The publication of a Special Issue in an academic journal is under evaluation.”
Keywords: Gender, Sustainability, Multidisciplinarity, Higher education, Research, Policy
Track 8: Impact economy for inclusive growth: exploring the relationship between technology, innovation and social impact.
Veronica Chiodo, Politecnico di Milano, email@example.com.
Short description of the proposed track:
An increasing number of empirical evidence shows us that the knowledge-based economy (Godin, 2006) in Europe has fallen shorts debatably in terms of absolute growth performance, certainly of expectations in terms of equitable distribution of opportunities in territories and societal strata. For this reason, it is crucial to imagine a more inclusive idea of growth, able to jointly pursue growth and contrast inequalities.
Therefore, a number of paradigmatic changes are bound to shape innovation-driven growth, with specific reference to grand societal and environmental challenges.
Covid-19 pandemic has deeply shown the close and intertwining link of social and technological innovation. Grand challenges-oriented innovation paradigms (among others Coenen et al., 2015; Kuhlmann and Rip, 2018) require a systematic rethinking of technologies, policies as well as of organizational forms suitable to proactively address grand-challenges with an innovative perspective. Such changes may be also summarized under the expression of “impact-economy”, which describes an array of challenge-oriented transformations that are observed in markets, models of entrepreneurship, corporations, and financial institutions (Markman et al., 2019).
A promising player in this transformative scenario is a new entrepreneurial genre we can refer to as social-tech entrepreneurship. This is characterized by the attempt of addressing different social needs by using advanced technology and they neither belong to the third sector, strictly speaking, nor they can be described by means of mainstream for-profit corporate models. Thus, a portion of enterprises is evolving into a very interesting organizational hybrid, intentionally pursuing profit and measurable social impact objectives, try to explore the potential of technology and by a tendency to drift from labor-intensive to capital-intensive entrepreneurial models.
The diffusion of impact ventures has been favored by two main trends. First, the need of dealing with societal challenges has opened up new market opportunities and the actual possibility of seizing these opportunities by exploiting potential synergies between technological and social innovation has been increasingly acknowledged (Bria, 2015). Second, policymakers have introduced some explicit incentives to support this type of new ventures, recognizing them a potential role in addressing relevant social issues (Misuraca et al., 2017). From this perspective, social innovation is not only complementary to technological innovation but it brings technological innovation further, by fostering the establishment of a virtuous cycle whereby technological innovation becomes a relevant ingredient for enacting social innovation (Millard and Carpenter, 2014). However, still, the relationship between technological and social innovation is complex and difficult to disentangle (Grimm et al., 2013) because the interplay between the technological domain and the social domain cannot be conceived as a one-way linear relationship. Traditional theoretical constructs in the field of innovation management and economics as those of innovation systems (Lundvall et al., 1988) and of socio-technical configurations (Geels, 2005) appear not to be sufficient to explain conditions enabling the development of social-tech entrepreneurship, opening the path to new streams of research also in the fields of technology and knowledge transfer mechanisms.
Moreover, the new capital-intensity and tech-enabled economic sustainable entrepreneurship is increasingly creasing an appetite and an appeal for financial capitals, as witnessed by the exponential growth of specialized investors operating in the so-called impact-finance segment.
This latter consideration candidates new social-tech entrepreneurship to play a crucial role in a hybrid, impact-oriented value chain, standing in the very middle between the demand for innovative solutions to social problems and impact investors willing to provide specialized financial resources to social entrepreneurs that are able to deliver innovative solutions to such problems.
This track particularly encourages submissions that address topics concerning the nexus between technological innovation, social impact and entrepreneurship, including (but not limited) to the following research areas:
- The enabling role of technologies in solving social issues and its managerial implications. Managerial challenges of hybrid organization with a social purpose and social-tech entrepreneurship.
- Technology and social innovation ecosystems, networks and network effects.
- Technology and knowledge transfer to social and impact-oriented enterprises Social innovation and technology in marginalized areas.
- Growth models and policies for technology and social impact.
- Financing approaches and instruments to finance social-tech:
- Approaches of different funds providers (e.g. public agencies, private capital, public-private partnerships arrangements, philanthropy);
- Assessment of social risk and return and integration in the portfolio building methods;
- Investment readiness of potential capital recipients;
- Measuring and accounting for social impact and the role of technologies:
- Theoretical approaches to social impact: definitions, ontological and epistemological stances, theories and models.
- Methodological issues, methods and tools to assess social impact.
- Empirical research identifying indicators and metrics in specific fields.
- Measuring social impact in different types of organisations (third sector, social enterprises, for profit companies, etc.)
- Social Impact evaluation of public policies
- Empirical studies collecting data on existing practices.
Papers can be both theoretical or empirical and the inclusion of policy and managerial implications leveraging on the results are welcome.
The track will be organized in a short presentation of papers and a thorough discussion, moderated by the chair of the session, involving the authors, reviewers and the audience.
Keywords: impact economy, grand challenges innovation, social impact measurement and accounting, hybrid organizations, social impact finance
Track 9: Enabling Factors for the Diffusion of Circular Economy and their impacts on Sustainability
Luca Fraccascia, Università di Roma La Sapienza, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short description of the proposed track:
Circular economy is a new industrial paradigm aimed at overcoming the linear “take, make, disposal” model, which “relies on large quantities of easily accessible resources and energy, and as such is increasingly unfit to the reality in which it operates” (Ellen MacArthur Foundation 2015). Circular economy can be defined as “a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing material and energy loops” (Geissdoerfer et al. 2017, 759). Slowing resource loops is about extending the utilization period of products, for instance through long-lasting design and maintenance operations, in order to slow down the overall flow of resources (Korhonen et al. 2018). Closing resource loops is about ensuring circular flows of resources by closing the loop between post-use and production (Nußholz 2018). Narrowing resource loops is about reducing the resource use associated with products and production process (Bocken et al. 2016). The Circular Economy model promises to reduce the environmental and social impact of current production and consumption activities (Kirchherr et al. 2017) and, simultaneously, provide companies with relevant environmental benefits (Esty and Porter 1998). Hence, circular economy is fully integrated into the broader sustainability paradigm.
Recently, Circular Economy has become increasingly debated at business and practitioners’ level, claiming for profound changes in managerial and organizational practices of companies, such as energy, materials, and resources usage, as well as for reducing the environmental impacts of their activities. The above-mentioned Circular Economy principles claim that firms do not limit just to retrieve products at the end of their life cycle and reintegrate the parts into the value chains (closing resource loops), but also develop products that use less raw materials, have a longer life, and are easy to be maintained, repaired, reused, and disassembled (slowing and narrowing resource loops) (Geng et al. 2013; Murray et al. 2017).
A variety of strategies can be exploited for supporting the transition towards the Circular Economy, such as reverse logistics and closed-loop supply chains (Savaskan et al. 2004; Govindan et al. 2015), industrial symbiosis (Chertow 2000), design for disassembly and recyclability (Boothroyd 1994; Kuo et al. 2001), green product design (Baumann et al. 2002), environmental innovation, among the others. Despite their potentiality, these strategies appear not fully implemented in practice. Hence, there is an urgent need to identify how to promote their application in practice (European Commission 2015).
To this aim, it is critical to study the enablers for the Circular Economy from the company perspective (Lahane et al. 2020) and their impact outside the company’s boundaries. Several enablers have been identified in the literature that seem particularly promising for enhancing Circular Economy and Sustainability: supply contracts (Albino et al. 2016), business models design and innovation (Centobelli et al. 2020), green technological innovations (Dangelico 2016), green consumer behavior (Dangelico et al. 2021), platformization (Konietzko et al. 2020), i.e., how firms can organize social and economic interactions via online platforms to achieve greater circularity, for example through dedicated sharing platforms (Fraccascia 2020). However, even though a high number of guidelines for governments and policymakers towards Circular Economy are currently available (e.g., Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2015), there is still a lack of consolidated managerial guidelines – at the levels of single company, network of companies, supply chains, industrial ecosystems, etc. – able to push firms towards the implementation of Circular Economy. In addition, the extent to which the enablers of Circular Economy also impact on the triple bottom line, i.e., economic (or profit), environment (or planet), and social (or people) dimensions of Sustainability still deserves further investigation (Hussain and Malik 2020). Indeed, Circular Economy is often seen as a new industrial approach for achieving Sustainability (Geissdoerfer et al., 2017), although it has mostly a focus on the economic and environmental aspects.
Furthermore, investigating the enabling factors for the diffusion of Circular Economy, as well their impacts on Sustainability, is nowadays a relevant issue in the light of the health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused a disruption of the scenario with unpredictable effects that reverberate on civil society, businesses, and institutions. Especially for Italy, the direct economic repercussions are enormous, with an estimated fall in GDP ranging between 170 and 270 billion euros, or a decline between 9.5% (Il Messaggero – Economia, 6 May 2020) and 15% (Repubblica – Economia&Finanza, 2 May 2020). The Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the emergence of new environmental challenges – e.g., disposing the significant amount of sanitary wastes such as masks and gloves – that should be tackled with a circular economy-oriented perspective. Among the many negative aspects that have emerged, however, there are some positive ones such as the reduction of pressure on the environment and atmospheric pollution, both for poor mobility and for the reduction of traffic. Numerous, albeit preliminary studies discuss, or present data on the controversial relationship between air pollution levels and the pandemic (Wu et al. 2020). Thus, the health emergency caused by Covid-19 is strongly linked to Sustainability issues. In this sense, the pandemic represents a real contextual disruption that stimulates reflection on the role of enablers pushing policymakers, businesses, and individuals to exercise for sustainable recovery and Circular Economy transition.
Starting from the above premises, we propose a research framework that takes stock of the existing research at the intersection between the fields of Circular Economy and Sustainability from the perspective of enablers and in a contextual situation characterized by a global pandemic.
Accordingly, with this call for papers, we solicit members of AiIG to examine the above-mentioned – but not limited to – enablers of Circular Economy and Sustainability in companies and to evaluate their impact into the companies’ external boundaries, also in the light of the health emergency caused by Covid-19. Both theoretical papers and case studies that leverage the different perspectives that characterize our community are equally accepted.
Keywords: Circular Economy, Sustainability, enablers, industrial symbiosis, closed-loop supply chains, green products, technological innovation, business models, business models innovation, digital platforms, platform ecosystems, Covid-19
Track 10: Complexity: new dimensions for rethinking economics, management systems and organizational structures
Linda Ponta, Università Carlo Cattaneo LIUC, email@example.com.
Short description of the proposed track:
This track deals with complexity, a topic that is receiving an increasing attention both from the scientific literature and practitioners, because it is increasingly recognized as a fundamental aspect of nowadays economies, markets, and organizations. In particular, referring to the last period, characterized by the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its ineluctability, a complex approach to deal with uncertainty and many economics effects can be very useful in the decision- making process of governments, policy makers, managers, companies, and organizations belonging to the business ecosystem.
Thus, finding new dimensions to change mindset and rethink management systems, value chains and organizational structures has become the new imperative in economics and management research. In this sense, complexity principles demonstrated being effective as a reference to understand and face the current competitive, economic, environmental and social dynamics affecting nowadays businesses.
Personal and collective behavior, decision-making processes, management approaches and organizational practices are characterized by social and economic relationships which are well described using complexity and its tools.
In other words, complex systems are composed of interdependent agents that can be found everywhere on multiple scales, from the macro level, including industries, markets, and countries, to the micro level, involving firms, work teams and individuals.
Therefore, modern organizations face a wide range of problems which present different configurations/dimensions of complexity, such as: 1) diversity and heterogeneity of agents and their connections, 2) interdependent structures between agents, 3) ambiguity of available information and 4) environmental dynamics.
The study of economic complexity requires dynamic and systemic approaches. They allow to model complex system behaviors, reproducing the internal dynamics of the whole system from the bottom, focusing on its micro elements such as the agents, their attributes, actions, goals, and the network structure (and type of relationships) that connects them. In this regard, methodologies based on agent-based modeling, networks, system dynamics, evolutionary game theory, percolation theory are very suitable.
In addition, the recent advent and spread of the availability of new technologies for massive data collection offers the opportunity to measure and evaluate complex system dynamics through data- driven methodologies. By providing automatic and more objective measurements of individual, team and firm behaviors, these tools can efficiently collect a large amount of data in real time – increasing the data richness, quality, and reliability – and effectively support scholars to analyze complex systems. The aim of this track is to attract empirical and theoretical contributions that use these approaches and address the issue of complexity. Papers that adopt innovative theoretical and empirical methodologies are particularly appreciated. We invite researchers which investigate the drivers of complexity in management systems, value chains (and business ecosystems) and organizational structures in different business sectors; analyze the relationship between complexity and resilience, fostering the sustainability of the economy, innovative and unconventional policies and regulation measures; explore approaches and tools adopted by companies to self-organize and adapt to the complexity of external environment to competitively sustain their business.
Researchers that digs into the complexity of big data are also welcome. In particular, while text mining and social networks have evolved into mature yet still quickly advancing fields, the work at their intersection is lagging behind on theoretical, empirical, and methodological foundations. For example, infodemics is emerging as an adequate methodology to capture the richness of complex networks.”
Keywords: Agent-based models, Big Data analysis, Community structure and collaboration in business ecosystems Complex adaptive systems, Data-driven models, Infodemics, Network science, Pandemic-resistant business environment, Resilience and sustainability in complex systems, Semantic analysis and text mining, Social Network Analysis, Unconventional behaviors and policy
Track 11: Understanding the Innovation Process: The Interplay between Science, Firms, and Society.
Daniele Rotolo, Polytechnic University of Bari, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lorenzo Ardito, Polytechnic University of Bari, email@example.com.
Short description of the proposed track:
Research in innovation studies, management, and economics of science has paid considerable attention on increasing our understanding of the role science in the innovation process. This has been examined from a variety of perspectives and theories, as well as at multiple levels of analysis: (i) invention, (ii) firm, (iii) dyad, and (iv) system.
At the invention level, research has revealed how scientific knowledge represents a fundamental knowledge input for an organization to create new inventions since science functions as a map to support technological search processes (e.g. Fleming & Sorenson, 2004). Firm-level studies have examined the advantages that firms accrue from investing in basic research as well as the motivations that drive firms to pursue an Open Science strategy (e.g. Hicks, 1995; Rosenberg, 1990; Simeth & Raffo, 2013), whereas the study of university-industry collaborations and academic engagement has focused on investigating this phenomenon at the dyad level in terms of antecedents and impact (e.g. Perkmann et al., 2013). System-level theories and frameworks have expanded the theoretical and empirical approach by including networks and society as a key element in the interplay between science and innovation. These include the Innovation System framework (Freeman, 1988; Lundvall, 1992), the Triple Helix model of innovation (Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff, 2000), the Mode 2 knowledge production (Gibbons, 1994), and the emerging research streams on socio-technical transitions (e.g. Geels, 2002; Schot & Kanger, 2018), citizen science (Franzoni and Saueraman 2014; Hand, 2010; Saueraman et al. 2020), and technology transfer/university-based ecosystems (Good et al., 2019; Heaton et al., 2019).
Although these research efforts have considerably advanced our knowledge of how science, firms, and society interact as innovation emerges, they have also diverged in terms of theories and methodological approaches. The aim of the track is to create an arena for scholars in the above research areas to identify synergies and explore bridging opportunities from both the theoretical and methodological point of views.
Contributions are expected to address, but are not limited to, the topics reported below. Studies building on qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed-method approaches are welcomed.
- Has the interplay between science, firms, society in the innovation process changed as a result of major societal challenges and transformations (e.g. sustainability, digitization, pandemic)?
- How do societal needs and challenges shape scientific and technological trajectories?
- Do private actors steer the directionality of scientific knowledge production? To what extent private organizations contribute to address societal challenges and needs?
- How and why do firms or networked organizations rely on science to innovate? Which resources, capabilities, strategic orientations and organizational forms do they need?
- What is the incentive structure that leads firms to engage in Open Science and scientific disclosures? How these incentives vary by industrial sector?
- How do private actors balance the conflicting institutional logics of open science and commercialization and what is the role of society in this?
- (How) Does society affect trust in science and related innovation opportunities, especially in tackling critical events and grand challenges like pandemics?
- What are the multilevel relationships affecting the interplay between science, firms and/or institutions in the innovation process? How to account for them from both a theoretical and a methodological perspective?
- How do science-based research organizations end up orchestrating wider innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems (e.g., technology transfer ecosystems)?
- Which novel data sources and methodological approaches provide unexplored opportunities to examine the interplay between science, firms, and society in the innovation process?
- Is citizen science affecting scientific research and its application? If so, how?
Keywords: science; firms; society; innovation process; citizen science; multilevel perspective.
Track 12: Innovative Start-ups Ecosystems: Decoding the Environmental and Organizational Determinants of Successful Technology Ventures in times of Covid-19 pandemic
Giustina Secundo, University LUM Giuseppe Degennaro, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short description of the proposed track:
Since early 2020, the world had to face an existential global health crisis: the outbreak COVID-19. This event has modified the context of every organization. Startup ecosystems have also undergone profound changes. We are not yet able to predict the outcome of many of these changes.
Among the trends that startups had to deal with before the pandemic and will have to continue to confront afterwards, there is certainly the spread of digital technologies. Digital technologies, such as Big data, business analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, Advanced Manufacturing, social media, 3D printing, cloud and cyber-solutions are nowadays permeated in every private and public organization. Digitization and Digitalization are opening up innovation opportunities for innovators, creators and entrepreneurs (Yoo et al., 2010; Cohen et al, 2017; Nambisan , 2017; Ramaswamy and Ozcan, 2018).
In parallel to this phenomenon, in recent years, we assisted to a growing awareness of issues related to the environment in general and sustainability in particular (Bigliardi et al., 2020; Secundo et al., 2020). Therefore, an increasing number of entrepreneurs, companies and start-ups decided to invest in sustainability. With a particular regard to start-ups, the more and more competitive context where they have to operate is spurring these companies around the world to invest in sustainability (Passaro et al., 2020). For a start-up, sustainability is mainly linked to its ability to generate a positive impact producing benefits for society and ecosystem. Both academics and practitioners recognize that sustainable entrepreneurship and start-ups play a key role in accelerating the growth of society and economy of a nation (Schick et al., 2002; Audretsch, 2007, OECD, 2017). Specifically, the impact of a start-up derives from the effectiveness with which the innovations they propose respond to market needs. In this way, start-ups become agents of innovation while promoting sustainability (Piccarozzi, 2017).
How were these trajectories changed by the COVID-19 emergency?
Moving from the above premises, the Track aims at attracting papers regarding the characteristics of successful innovative start-ups in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Its final goal is the identification of the most promising factors, processes and approaches (as well as barriers) that allow (inhibit) start-ups to became agents of innovation and sustainable development, also supported by the digital technologies.
Start-ups, despite limited resources (financial, organizational, human), are innovative and have ability to adapt to change. This ability, especially in situations of uncertainty and instability such as economic/financial crises, environmental emergencies or COVID-19 pandemics, allows them to adapt their business model and respond to new market needs. In such contexts, in order to successfully continue along with the growth and maturity phase, a start-up can leverage institutional, ecosystem, organizational, and individual or team factors, which can represent the genome of successful start-ups (genome reference here), whose identification requires a broad vision of the start-up ecosystem concept, including the set of stakeholders (companies, universities, business accelerators, funders etc.) and factors (internal/external) enabling growth.
However, only scant research in the literature analyzes the growth and maturity phases of start-ups, and studies investigating all the factors that determine success in these life cycle phases are required.
The aim of the Track is to call for case studies and conceptual articles, to be integrated with longitudinal methods, multiple case studies and quantitative research. More integrative research, preferably presented as dynamic models, would advance the field. Design and action research results and collaborations with professionals will provide insights based on practice. Thus, we need to advance our understanding of how start-ups simultaneously achieve sustainable and innovation goals in times of COVID-19 also adopting the digital technologies solutions. Based on these premises, the purpose of this special issue is to contribute to the research domains of sustainable innovative start-ups enabled by digital technologies.
Possible Topics include but are not limited to:
- Success factor for innovative and technology intensive startups;
- Sustainability and innovation in the start-ups’ ecosystem;
- Start-ups as agents of innovation and sustainable entrepreneurship development;
- Sustainable innovative start-up and their business models;
- Success factors of innovative startups in times of crisis and COVID -19 outbreak;
- Innovative start-ups’ practices for sustainability;
- Growth of sustainable innovative start-ups;
- Digital technologies and agency of entrepreneurs;;
- Sustaining and hindering factors impacting on innovative start-ups sustainability;
- Ecosystem factors and actors sustaining innovative startups;
- Digital Ecosystem enhancing innovative Startups;
- Collaborative networks for innovative sustainable start-ups;
- Resilience and agility in startups;
- Digital technologies and startups success;
- Interconnections of context and entrepreneurship;
High quality research, both qualitative and quantitative, but also comprehensive reviews, addressing the above and further issues are explicitly welcome.”
Keywords: Start-ups; sustainability, COVID-19; Digital technologies; ecosystems; entrepreneurship; digitalization, Technology venture.
Track 13: The evolution of the value chain: platforms and ecosystems to foster business model innovation for established firms
Daniel Trabucchi, Politecnico di Milano, email@example.com.
Short description of the proposed track:
The importance of platform-based businesses in the modern economy is growing continuously and becoming increasingly relevant. Specifically, the deployment of digital technologies has enhanced the applicability of multi-sided business models, enabling companies to act not just as builders and owners of assets, but as orchestrators of external resources. Management research has therefore focused increasingly on the unique aspects of this model. At the center of a multi-sided platform there is a platform provider that enables a transaction between the sides, reducing the relative transaction costs.
Yet, the business configuration behind these companies has a long history in the economic literature known as two-sided platforms. A two-sided platform (or formerly a two-sided market) is a business “”in which one or several platforms enable interactions between end-users, and try to get the two (or multiple) sides ‘on board’ by appropriately charging each side” (Rochet and Tirole, 2006, p. 645). In other words, these businesses act as match-makers between two (or more) different but interconnected groups of customers: travelers and hosts for Airbnb, riders and drivers for Uber, project creators and funders for crowdfunding platforms, app developers and app users in mobile app markets, creating indirect network effects (Katz and Shapiro, 1985).
The peculiarities of this market structure have been investigated over the last two decades in the economic literature. In particular, specific attention has been devoted to the pricing mechanisms and the role of the network externalities (Rochet and Tirole, 2006; Parker and Van Alstyne, 2005; Roma et al., 2019). The more recent literature highlights how the resource configuration behind these businesses is significantly different from the companies based on linear value chains (Amit and Zott, 2015) or how the development process can be particularly challenging (Perks et al., 2017). Furthermore, these companies need to design and manage complex business models based on a double value proposition (Muzellec et al., 2015), requiring to bring on board different kinds of customers at the same time to avoid the chicken-and-egg paradox (Stummer et al., 2018).
Two-sided platforms have also been used to describe a wide array of situations, being flexible to numerous configurations (Tauscher and Laudien, 2018) – for example having end users on both sides, or having consumers on one side and businesses on the other. The same structure has also been used to unveil the opportunities of digital services, opening new avenues to foster business model innovation (Trabucchi et al., 2017).
Innovation scholars leveraged this concept mainly to deal with users’ community and open innovation projects (e.g., Parmentier and Gandia, 2013) or dealing with the sharing economy phenomenon (Trabucchi, Muzellec and Ronteau, 2019; Sanasi, Ghezzi, Cavallo and Rangone, 2020; Roma et al. 2018).
Recently a considerable interest has grown about the role of these platforms as a means of promoting sustainability by connecting, for example, consumers and enable them to make more efficient use of underutilized assets in the context of sharing economy platforms (see e.g. Geissinger et al, 2019) or by connecting sustainability-oriented entrepreneurs and sustainability-oriented citizens in the context of crowdfunding platforms (see e.g. Testa et al, 2019: Testa et al, 2020).
Nevertheless, platforms models are becoming more and more relevant with the diffusion of various digital technologies. The chance to create two or multi-sided platforms relying on mobile apps as the main channel enabled companies to gather a huge amount and variety of data that generated data exploitation strategies giving birth to different kinds of non-transactional platforms (Trabucchi et al., 2017). AI initiatives often rely on a platform-like structure opening API for business expansion or involving other partners for data exploitation (Magistretti et al., 2019). Similarly, Industry 4.0 initiatives can generate significant value for the single company, but gathered data may even open up new data exploitation chances (e.g., Benitez et al., 2020). Blockchain, which has been highly studied in the financial field, seems ready to challenges the basic model of two-sided platforms enhancing a new war to enable transaction between parties (e.g., Pereira et al., 2019).
Therefore, this call for papers aims to explore and exploit the opportunities related to multi-sided platforms, which are being boosted by digital technologies (AI, blockchain, Industry 4.0, Big data more broadly).
In particular, it aims to take a broader perspective on the role that these technologies are having in letting evolve the platform models at the basis of these technological initiatives.
Indeed, there is the need for rigorous and theoretically relevant research, being also practice based, in order to enhance the knowledge for all the players (scholars, practitioners, policy makers) involved in this innovative business models. Therefore, this call for papers aims to enlarge the discussion on the topic from a managerial perspective, embracing mainly an innovation perspective, to dig into the distinctiveness of multi-sided digital platforms. In particular, papers focusing on strategic, operational, technological, and also welfare and sustainability aspects related to a variety of technology-based multi-sided platforms (for instance, including app distribution platforms, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, sharing economy, etc.) will be welcome. ”
Keywords: Platforms; Two-Sided Platforms; Multi-Sided Platforms; Crowdsourcing; Crowdfunding; Sharing economy; Industry 4.0; Blockchain; Artificial Intelligence; Big Data