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Metaverse meets digital entrepreneurship: a practitioner-based qualitative synthesis

Davide Calandra (Department of Management, University of Turin, Turin, Italy)
Michele Oppioli (Department of Management, University of Turin, Turin, Italy)
Razieh Sadraei (School of Strategy and Leadership, Coventry University, Coventry, UK) (Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Vahid Jafari-Sadeghi (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Paolo Pietro Biancone (Department of Management, University of Turin, Turin, Italy)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 26 June 2023

Issue publication date: 11 March 2024

613

Abstract

Purpose

Considering the pervasiveness of technology, this article offers an understanding of how the metaverse can impact digital entrepreneurship. The objective will be to gather professional evidence on how the revival of this new technology can bring entrepreneurial development.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a qualitative study approach based on applying the metaverse in digital business contexts and analysing 533 practitioner sources from the Nexis Uni database, it will be possible to identify the concepts and application techniques of this emerging technology. The research adopts a qualitative methodology based on a mixed thematic and content review using tools such as ATLAS.ti and Leximancer.

Findings

This study finds three relevant macro-topics for metaverse and digital entrepreneurship (technology, immersive and design) and eight concepts (private solutions, digital twins, gamification, public solutions, new business worlds, co-design, collaborative spaces and stakeholders' participation). The uncovered elements demonstrate professionals' interest in a new mode of digital entrepreneurship using the metaverse. This interest highlights the commitment of companies and entrepreneurs toward discovering new services delivered in virtual and parallel worlds that find the creation of digital twins as their essence. Therefore, the study explores ongoing relationships for developing increasingly technically complex metaverse platforms and customer service offerings.

Research limitations/implications

The study has some limitations as the selection of the database and the way the cases are focused on, which may be a stimulus for future studies. The analysis has innumerable theoretical and practical implications. In the first case, this research will shed light on an empirical case concerning the conceptual difference between innovation or greater transformation of business models through the metaverse. This work will directly contribute to the global discussion by identifying a model for applying emerging technology to digital entrepreneurs. Finally, from a practical point of view, the authors will provide new insights to digital entrepreneurs by showing them applications, best practices, and platforms they can use for their businesses.

Practical implications

On a practical level, the authors show practical opportunities coming from the metaverse for digital entrepreneurs. This study may inspire CEOs, managers, and future entrepreneurs to use the metaverse to expand their businesses by diversifying their services into numerous sectors.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors' knowledge, this study represents one of the first efforts to study the metaverse by framing it from theoretical and practical perspectives of digital entrepreneurship. Additionally, future research implications may guide researchers in this brilliant research field.

Keywords

Citation

Calandra, D., Oppioli, M., Sadraei, R., Jafari-Sadeghi, V. and Biancone, P.P. (2024), "Metaverse meets digital entrepreneurship: a practitioner-based qualitative synthesis", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 30 No. 2/3, pp. 666-686. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-01-2023-0041

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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