Call for Papers

CfP special issue on "The role of digital networks for social entrepreneurship and social transformation"

No longer accepting submissions

Guest Editors

  • Susanne Leist, University of Regensburg, Germany
  • Marco De Marco, Uninettuno University, Rome, Italy
  • Eusebio Scornavacca, University of Baltimore, USA
  • Kanliang Wang, Renmin University of China


Our world is dynamic, becoming increasingly complex. Unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, crime, corruption, underdevelopment, inequality, and mass migration have become global social challenges.

For some time now, social entrepreneurship has emerged to aim at decreasing the impact of some of these global problems and to be of benefit to society, often with an emphasis on those who are marginalized. These social entrepreneurs introduce different types of business models concentrating on expansion of the supply chain (e.g. sustainable production or sustainable commerce), focusing on leveraging the competencies of individuals with special needs in the marketplace, or facilitating access to education to disadvantaged communities to name only a few. In recent years, new network-based technologies have been discovered by social entrepreneurs enabling them to provide various kinds of important assistance. In case of natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes or animal diseases, smartphone-based alerting and management systems can facilitate the information flow and improve the efficiency of early warning systems. New technologies for mining social media have been applied to organize emergency services by real-time parsing and analyzing public messages. In addition, digital networks support the day-to-day work by raising awareness and funds or building up partnerships at low costs or by forming mutual assistance communities.

Nevertheless, while the use of digital networks has mitigated some of the world’s social problems, it has also enabled the development of new challenges.  Developing a network of social entrepreneurs successfully acting together has proved to be a challenge, and there is still a lack of studies on the dynamics of such networked based business models.

The aim of this special issue is to illustrate the research regarding digital networks and their use by social entrepreneurs to foster social transformation. Thus, the focus of submissions should be on research that can advance our insight into the mechanisms that constitute digital networks and successful interaction and/or the impact on the use of networked-based technologies for social entrepreneurs. Research exploring the role of digital networks promoting participation, improving welfare, increasing transparency, and implementing shared value are of particular interest. Papers, which are relevant, benefit-oriented and meaningful for both society and organizations, are most welcome.

Central issues and themes

Possible topics of submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Digital networks managing or disrupting the tensions, contradictions, and paradoxes of complex social problems
  • Affordance and constraints of digital networks that create or worsen complex social problems
  • Disaster management using social networks
  • Digital and net-based innovations to escape poverty
  • Managing the global food problem via digital networks
  • Acquisition and absorption of knowledge through digital networks
  • Networked business models for social entrepreneurship and social problems
  • How ICT-enabled platforms help NGOs achieve social missions
  • Societal challenges of living in an ubiquitous digital ecosystem

We encourage contributions covering a broad range of methodological approaches, including conceptual, qualitative and quantitative research. We also welcome contributions addressing related topics not listed above (please contact the special issue editors in that case to discuss the fit prior to submission). Additionally, please check the scope of Electronic Markets before submitting your paper (

All papers will be peer-reviewed and should conform to Electronic Markets publication standards. Electronic Markets is a SSCI-listed journal and supports methodological and theoretical pluralism, i.e. empirical or theoretical work, qualitative research, design science and/or prototypes are all welcome to the journal. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the special issue, please contact the guest editors


All papers must be original, not published or under review elsewhere. Papers must be submitted via our electronic submission system at

Instructions, templates and general information are available at

Please note that the preferred article length is approx. 6,500 words.


Submission Deadline: November 1st, 2016