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Crowdfunding as a new collaborative process in the knowledge economy: A literature review

Paola Paoloni (Facolta di Economia, Universita degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Roma, Lazio, Italy)
Niccolò Paoloni (Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Rome, Italy)
Giuseppe Modaffari (Universita degli Studi Niccolo Cusano, Roma, Italy)

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems

ISSN: 2059-5891

Article publication date: 25 March 2019

Issue publication date: 17 May 2019



The transition from industrial to social economy and from knowledge produces a paradigm shift, which is the space in which new professions, new values and even new forms of financing are shaped. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the phenomenon of crowdfunding, and the specific focus is the small- and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs’) dimension, typical in startups firms. This work discusses the main thematic areas in the scientific literature on the phenomenon of crowdfunding (RQ1) and how is crowdfunding treated in SMEs’ dimension (RQ2).


To analyze the literature, this study uses structure literature review methodology. To answer RQ1, the articles in the SCOPUS database on the theme of crowdfunding were surveyed. To RQ2, the analysis focused on the combined theme between the crowdfunding phenomenon and the SMEs’ dimension.


The study shows that from the scientific point of view, the treatment of the crowdfunding phenomenon is strongly developing in many research areas. The most recurrent are those that deal with studies linked to socio-geographical and institutional contexts and those that analyze individual behavior of investors and crowd funders. Residual area remains the one dedicated to SMEs, where this research has led to poor results.


This paper implements the studies on crowdfunding, a phenomenon that is rapidly expanding worldwide. Particular attention is paid to startup firms, and the business dimension was studied for SMEs, for which it was initially conceived and investigated. Future work will try to apply the results of this research into a case study about an Italian startup firm.



Paoloni, P., Paoloni, N. and Modaffari, G. (2019), "Crowdfunding as a new collaborative process in the knowledge economy: A literature review", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 49 No. 2, pp. 241-255.



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