Call for Papers

CfP Special Issue on "Intermediation"

no longer accepting submissions

Guest Editors

  • Stefan Klein, University of Muenster, Germany
  • Charles Steinfield, Michigan State University, USA
  • Rolf Wigand, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, USA


Intermediation is a widespread phenomenon in modern economies: centralized market platforms, wholesalers, retailers or brokers provide services to link buyers and sellers. Yet at the same time, intermediaries have always been contested and disintermediation or bypassing have been suggested as more direct and efficient modes of markets coordination.
In electronic market environments this ambivalence has been reproduced: we find numerous instances of direct sales strategies and disintermediation in order to establish direct links to customers and to lower distribution costs. On the other side we have observed major innovation and increasing differentiation of intermediation services: multi-sided markets comparison sites, user generated content platforms, or certification providers. Moreover, we find that in several online markets a multitude of direct and indirect distribution channels exist next to each other. Multi-level distribution systems or intermediation ecosystems have been built with highly differentiated intermediaries partly competing and partly complementing each other.
The special issue addresses theoretical voids in the explanation of intermediation and intermediation ecosystems, it looks into innovations of intermediary service portfolios and addresses empirical research in the transformation of distribution systems over extended periods of time.

Papers are welcome in the following research fields:

  • Theories of intermediation,
  • Intermediation service innovation and intermediary business models,
  • Intermediation ecosystems: structure, roles and linkages,
  • The economics of intermediation,
  • Industry specific, empirical studies of the transformation of distribution channels over time,
  • Cross-country, cross industry comparisons,
  • Contingency model of intermediation,
  • Case studies of intermediaries,
  • User perception of intermediaries: Value assessment and channel choice.

Contact addresses

Important deadlines

Submission Deadline: August 31, 2013