Call for papers: The age of Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding for technological innovation

IEEE Transactions on


Special Issue: The age of Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding for technological innovation

Guest Editors

Alexander Brem

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)


Terrence Brown

KTH Royal Institute of Technology


Jin Chen

Tsinghua University


Christopher Tucci

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)



Open and user innovation has gained momentum since the Internet has turned online communities and crowds into powerful sources of innovation (Füller et al. 2006; Bartl et al. 2012; Bilgram et al. 2008; Afuah & Tucci, 2012). Within this context organizations are experimenting with a variety of new and modified innovation research approaches promoting the role of customers and ecosystem participants as valuable co-creators of products and services (von Hippel 2005; Chesbrough 2003; Prahalad and Ramaswamy 2000; Cui and Wu 2016; Gemser and Perks 2015). With these developments, the nature of corporate innovation is changing over time (Brem et al., 2018). Especially the terms Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding have gained in popularity in describing how to integrate “the crowd” into new product development and entrepreneurial activities.

This CFP would like to explore in detail how the large-scale outsourcing of two key functions such as the creative identification of solutions to innovation problems (crowdsourcing) and the funding for innovation projects (crowdfunding) have changed how organizations innovate.

Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding leverage their disruptive power by using the “crowd” as a lever to build a new type of large-scale outsourcing. Specific emphasis is given to how the multiple roles of the participants, from provider of ideas to users, customers, investors, or brand ambassadors, create intended and unintended impacts on market structure and might introduce new opportunities and challenges for innovation management.

Suggested topics are, but not limited to:

Innovation methods
  • Lead User integration with crowdsourcing
  • Idea platforms and markets for ideas; internal crowdsourcing
  • Technology exchanges and markets for technology
  • The role of crowds in cross-industry innovation
  • Bottom-of-the-Pyramid tools using crowds
  • Lean innovation and crowds
Integration into corporate processes
  • Strategic management of the crowd organization
  • R&D outsourcing to the crowd
  • IT infrastructure and business processes that enable crowds
Social, economic, legal, policy and environmental aspects of crowd innovation
  • Legal issues of sourcing ideas to crowds
  • Intellectual property rights and appropriability in the age of crowdsourcing and crowdfunding
  • Data privacy in crowdfunding campaigns
  • Security, sabotage, and pranks: How vulnerable is crowdsourcing?


Submission Process: Please prepare the manuscript according to IEEE-TEM’s guidelines ( and submit to the journal’s Manuscript Central site ( Please clearly state in the cover letter that the submission is for this special issue.


Full Paper submission:  February 28th, 2020
Publication of Special Issue: Spring 2021


Crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, lead user, co-creation, user innovation, customer involvement, artificial intelligence, standardization, technological innovation, open innovation, gamification, converging technologies, internet of things, security, privacy, reliability, sustainability, responsible research and innovation, inclusiveness.


Afuah, A. and Tucci, C.L., 2012. Crowdsourcing as a solution to distant search. Academy of Management Review37(3), pp.355-375.

Bilgram, V., Brem, A., & Voigt, K. I. (2008). User-centric innovations in new product development—Systematic identification of lead users harnessing interactive and collaborative online-tools. International Journal of Innovation Management, 12(03), 419-458.

Brem, A., Bilgram, V., & Marchuk, A. (2017). How crowdfunding platforms change the nature of user innovation–from problem solving to entrepreneurship. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, forthcoming.

Bartl, M., Füller, J., Mühlbacher, H. and Ernst, H., 2012. A manager’s perspective on virtual customer integration for new product development. Journal of Product Innovation Management29(6), pp.1031-1046.

Chesbrough, H., 2003. Open innovation. Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

Cui, A.S. and Wu, F., 2016. Utilizing customer knowledge in innovation: antecedents and impact of customer involvement on new product performance. Journal of the academy of marketing science44(4), 516-538.

Füller, J., Bartl, M., Ernst, H. and Mühlbacher, H., 2006. Community based innovation: How to integrate members of virtual communities into new product development. Electronic Commerce Research6(1), 57-73.

Gemser, G. and Perks, H., 2015. Cocreation with customers: An evolving innovation research field. Journal of Product Innovation Management32(5), 660-665.

Prahalad, C.K. and Ramaswamy, V., 2000. Co-opting customer competence. Harvard business review78(1), 79-90.

Von Hippel, E., 2005. Democratizing innovation. MIT press.

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management is journal of the Technology and Engineering Management Society of IEEE, published quarterly since 1954. It is dedicated to the publication of peer-reviewed original contributions, by researchers and practitioners, regarding the theory and practice of engineering, technology, and innovation management.


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Tugrul U Daim, PhD PICMET Fellow

Professor and Director

Technology Management Doctoral Program

Department of Engineering and Technology Management

Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science

Portland State University, Portland OR

United States

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