How do we study crowdfunding? An overview of methods and introduction to new research agenda

Abstract

Purpose: Crowdfunding is a global phenomenon of rising significance and impact on different areas of business and social life, investigated across many academic disciplines. The goal of the article is to present the variety of methods applied in crowdfunding research, assess their strengths and weaknesses, offer the typology of methodological approaches, and suggest the most promising direction for further studies.

Design/methodology: The paper is based on the review of the most recent academic and industry literature on crowdfunding and own analysis of data presented by crowdfunding platforms’ operators.

Findings: The article incorporates interrelations of methods, goals of inquiries, and types of results propose a typology of methodological approaches that researchers currently apply to crowdfunding: from platform-centred to multi-sited. The authors discuss the advantages and limitations of the identified approaches with the use of multiple examples of recent and most influential studies from the field and propose the most urgent direction of future inquiries.

Research limitations/implications: The overview renders crowdfunding studies more accessible for potential newcomers to the field and strengthens transdisciplinary discussion on crowdfunding. Despite the broad variety of the analyzed articles that reflect the newest trends, the sample is not representative in the statistical meanings of the term.

Originality/value: The article offers the first review of methodologies applied in the transdisciplinary area of crowdfunding studies and connects it to broader methodological discussions about transdisciplinary research on the digital phenomena. The review strengthens the transdisciplinary dialog on crowdfunding.

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