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The Organizational Field of Crowdfunding: Emergence and Special Characteristics
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Crowdfunding is an online fundraising technique, where individuals or groups ask for contributions from a large number of people, i.e. “the crowd”. Crowdfunding first appeared in 2003 and has doubled its financial scope every year since 2011. Yet, very little is known about it, especially from a societal perspective.

In this thesis I have attempted to understand how the organizations surrounding crowdfunding have structured themselves into an organizational filed, and also how “the crowd” might have granted this field special characteristics. This since “the crowd” is an element not earlier taken into consideration when studying field emergence. I have conducted a content analysis with data from 170 crowdfunding platforms and 190 media articles. I found that several events coincided in 2009 and opened up for the emergence of the crowdfunding field, and also that the understanding of crowdfunding’s purpose has shifted since 2003, from culture projects to start-ups.

Regarding the special characteristic of the field it seems like the online nature enabled a fierce structuration pace, and also that “the crowd” constitutes an entity that cannot be captured by our traditional understanding of fields. The results suggest that when “the crowd” takes on functions in a field, the functions become invisible, and this has implications for future research regarding organizational fields.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 84 p.
Keyword [en]
Crowdfunding, crowd, organizational field, field emergence, crowdsourcing, institutional theory
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-256342OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-256342DiVA: diva2:825064
Educational program
Master Programme in Business and Management
Available from: 2015-06-23 Created: 2015-06-23 Last updated: 2015-06-23Bibliographically approved

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