Call for papers: The Metaverse as an opportunity for entrepreneurship and innovation

The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Deadline for submission of papers: September 2023
Expected publication date:  November 2024

Overview and purpose of the Special Issue

The metaverse is a set of virtual spaces where one can create, produce and explore with other individuals who are not in the same physical space (Hollensen et al., 2022). As such, the metaverse has always existed in the liminal space between real life and digital interactions. Moving from the experimental space into the business world of entertainment, tourism, media and manufacturing, now many are looking at the metaverse as an innovative change to collaborative work and workplaces everywhere (Wakefield, 2023). A number of studies already exist on the metaverse, but it was not until Mark Zuckerberg renamed Meta his company Facebook, that many started paying attention to the term. While we know more on metaverse innovations and applications by, and for large companies, we still know little about opportunities for small businesses in this space (Dwivedi et al., 2022; Kim, 2021).

For many small businesses, it would be easy to dismiss the metaverse as too advanced for the majority of them to invest on. However, the more companies and small businesses join and engage with the metaverse, the more conventional its applications will become. The metaverse could also benefit small businesses by increasing their visibility and consumer engagement (Hennig-Thurau et al., 2022; Thompson et al., 2022), thus lowering cost and providing superior flexibility. For instance, research on the tourism and hospitality metaverse revolves around staging experiences, changes in the consumer behaviour and operations strategies (Gursoy et al., 2022).  Overall, the potential impact of the metaverse on businesses will depend on how the technology is adopted and used (Kraus et al., 2022). Some businesses may choose to embrace the metaverse and find new ways to leverage it to their advantage, while others may be slower to adopt its, or find it challenging (Dwivedi et al., 2022; Hennig-Thurau et al., 2022; Gursoy et al., 2022).  Thus, through combining defining metaverse research with what we know on digital entrepreneurship (Nambisan, 2017) – developed, for example, in the context of digital crowdfunding (Kromidha and Robson, 2016) or digital freelancing (Kromidha et al., 2021) platforms – this special issue intends to make a contribution through a grassroot approach for star-ups and small firms engaging with the metaverse.

There are a number of business challenges that companies may face when attempting to innovate a metaverse business model (Dwivedi et al., 2022; Kraus et al., 2022). Some of these challenges are as follows: first, developing a successful metaverse business model may require significant technical expertise and resources, which may be a barrier for small businesses or those with limited experience in this area. Second, the metaverse raises several complex legal and regulatory issues, such as intellectual property rights, data privacy, and consumer protection. Navigating these issues can be challenging for businesses. Third, the metaverse is a rapidly evolving space, and businesses may face intense competition from other companies trying to enter the market. Fourth, the metaverse is still in its early stages, and there is currently a lack of infrastructure and standards in place to support the development of metaverse business models. Fifth, in order for a metaverse business model to be successful, it will need to be adopted by a significant number of consumers. This may be challenging if consumers are not yet familiar with the metaverse or are hesitant to engage with it. Overall, innovating a metaverse business model will likely require significant resources and expertise, and may involve overcoming a number of complex challenges. Companies that are looking to innovate a metaverse business model will need to be flexible and adaptable to navigate these challenges and find potential success.

The aim of this special issue is to a give voice to debates around metaverse innovations, opportunities, and challenges for business, particularly small businesses, but also for social enterprises, open-source developer communities venturing into the business space, metaverse public goods for start-ups, and emerging decentralised metaverse ecosystems. Understandably, many studies on metaverse focus on defining and contextualizing it as an applied technology solution. The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation is issuing a call for papers that explore and enhance our knowledge on theoretical and empirical understanding of the metaverse as an opportunity for entrepreneurship and innovation. We welcome submissions of both conceptual and empirical studies. We also encourage studies that use a range of innovative methodologies including qualitative (e.g., ethnography, case studies), quantitative (e.g., experimental approaches, hierarchical linear modeling) and mixed methods. Potential topics included, but are not limited to:

  • Theorising on metaverse entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Contemporary methodological approaches for research on the metaverse
  • Metaverse drivers and opportunities for new ventures
  • Metaverse entrepreneurs, teams, and communities
  • The role of user-generated digital business capital
  • Social capital, collaboration, and networking
  • Business-technology strategies and translation
  • Taking open-source metaverse solutions to market
  • Support policies and digital public goods
  • Metaverse innovations for business competitiveness
  • Investing and monetization models
  • Navigating ethics, data, privacy, trust and regulations
  • Internationalisation and growth opportunities
  • Linking experiences across business channels and/or platforms
  • NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and business opportunities
  • Blockchain technology applications and opportunities
  • Web 3.0 and metaverse
  • Value co-creation and metaverse
  • Emerging business opportunities, innovation and metaverse
  • Mapping consumer journey in the metaverse
  • Marketing and branding challenges in the metaverse
  • Understanding user adoption of metaverse services

Preparation and submission of papers and review process

Submissions must be original, must not have been published, accepted for publication or presently be under consideration elsewhere. Submissions, including any supporting materials, should be between 6,000 to 8,000 words in length. Copies should be uploaded on International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s homepage through the SAGE system. You need to upload your paper using the dropdown menu selection for the Special Issue on Metaverse innovations . For guidelines, visit Submissions that do not comply with the journal publishing guidelines, or that are poorly written, will be desk rejected. Papers will undergoes anonymous review. 

Please address all questions regarding the Special Issue to the guest editors:

Lead Guest Editor

Endrit Kromidha
University of Birmingham, UK,

Co-Guest Editors

Babak Taheri
Nottingham Trent University, UK,

Suresh Malodia
MICA Ahmedabad, India,

Sascha Kraus
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy,

Please click here for the full call.