Call for case studies – Case book on digital entrepreneurship

Book Title: Cases studies in the age of digital entrepreneurship - How digital technologies are transforming the entrepreneurial process in existing business and start-ups

Publishers: Edward Elgar (UK), (publication expected by Spring 2022 both in print and online)

Deadline for Submission: Sept 30th, 2021


Summary and scope

This book will include a collection of case studies on digital entrepreneurship (DE) aimed at providing students and practitioners with real world examples of how digital technologies are changing the starting, growing, and management process of entrepreneurial ventures.

How and whether DE changes the entrepreneurial process or even the nature of entrepreneurship is a question that deserves more attention. In this book, echoing the famous Gartner’s paper ‘Who is an entrepreneur is the wrong question” we will focus on how digital technology is changing how entrepreneurs think, act, and organize entrepreneurial activities, as opposed to defining DE and digital entrepreneurs as specific or exceptional cases of entrepreneurial practice and subjects. Our perspective is that DE changes profoundly the way entrepreneurs design new products, launch and fund new businesses, and create value for customers and society. A few examples of the most noticeable changes brought by DE in entrepreneurial practice include:

  • The passage from traditional market analysis to customer discovery and co-creation
  • Strategy definition based on scalable and flexible business model redesign
  • Product design driven by empathic approaches, high level of user involvement, and continuous experimentation methodologies such as design thinking and agile development
  • The critical role of digital skills and proficiency with digital tools for entrepreneurs and their collaborators
  • The use of alternative/non-institutional sources of funding via crowdfunding and bootstrapping
  • Advertising and sales driven by social network analysis and information diffusion dynamics (influencers, virility, search engine optimization, online presence curation, etc.)


The selection of the cases will follow this perspective and offer examples of how digital technologies are changing entrepreneurial practice with reference to specific problems, functional areas, and industries in which digitalization is having a disruptive impact. Cases addressing companies in different parts of the world will also be highly regarded. Possible topics for the cases will include but not be limited to:

  • How does the making of a digital start-up differ from the start up process as we know it?
  • What are the critical entrepreneurial skills in the age of digital entrepreneurship?
  • How digital technologies change the way products are designed?
  • How digital technologies change the way entrepreneurs communicate with their customers?
  • How digital technologies change the way companies are funded?
  • How small businesses and Family Businesses operating in traditional industries can effectively cope with the digitalization challenge and overcome the digital divide?
  • How companies operating in traditional industries can find innovation opportunities and sources of competitive advantage through digitalization?
  • How DE is leveraged by large companies for corporate entrepreneurship initiatives?
  • How digital technologies are used in social innovation and social entrepreneurship ventures?

We will also be seeking cases that are particularly representative of how digitalization is disrupting existing industries such as hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and education.


Why are we doing a call for case studies?

Although DE is receiving increasing attention, most discussion take place in broader entrepreneurial textbooks and offer few if any case studies. This book instead suggests that DE is now the new normal and should be analyzed in the context of challenges and processes that entrepreneurs must manage every day and across the whole life stage of the venture. While DE is the subject of a growing number of scientific publications, much less is available for the classroom use. Even the most popular case studies repositories do not currently have sections specifically dedicated to DE. When searching with DE as a keyword, the retrieved cases are mostly focused on related topics such as digital transformation, open innovation, business model innovation, and, for the most part, refer to large companies. This book and your contribution set out to change that.


Submission guidelines and important dates

We are open to include different types of cases, including case histories, as long as they include open situations on which students will have to make decisions and suggest proposals. We seek agile cases (3000-5000 words all included) with the following structure:

  • Abstract
  • Case learning objectives (a bullet list of 3 to 5 points immediately after the abstract)
  • Introduction (Opening story)
  • Business and Industry overview
  • Problem description
  • Student Challenge (e.g., discussion questions, assignments, etc.)
  • References
  • Appendixes

We will prefer cases that include many visuals, links to video materials, and that require students to combine data-driven and analytical reasoning with more creative thinking styles. Each case author will also be responsible for constructing a teaching note (max 3000 words and for instructor’s use only) with the following structure:

  • Case summary
  • Teaching Objectives
  • Teaching Strategy and assignment suggestions (differentiated for undergraduate and graduate courses)
  • Reference and additional materials (videos are encouraged)

The deadline for submission is September 30th, 2021. All cases will undergo a review process and authors will be notified on or before November 30th, 2021. Revised cases will have to be submitted by Jan 31st 2022. To submit your cases or for any question, please email the editors:

Dr. Carmine P. Gibaldi; [email protected] or Dr. Luca Iandoli: [email protected]