Special Issue "Digital Entrepreneurship Ecosystems: Integrating Talent, Stakeholder Engagement and Institutional Processes to Support Regional Development and Organizational Competitiveness"

A special issue of Administrative Sciences (ISSN 2076-3387). This special issue belongs to the section "International Entrepreneurship".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Alessandro Margherita
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: exponential innovation; project management; collective intelligence
Prof. Carmen Cabello-Medina
Guest Editor
Organization and Marketing Department, Pablo de Olavide University, 41013 Seville, Spain
Interests: innovation management; cooperation for innovation; startups accelerator programs
Prof. Nicola Del Sarto
Guest Editor
Institute of Management, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, 56127 Pisa PI, Italy
Interests: management of innovation; startups accelerator programs; digital transformation
Prof. Gianluca Elia
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: digital transformation; project management; collective intelligence
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Karim Moustaghfir
Guest Editor
School of Humanities & Social Sciences, Al Akhawayn University, 53000 Ifrane, Morocco
Interests: human resource development; education systems; entrepreneurship

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are very pleased to launch a call for papers for a Special Issue on Administrative Sciences titled “Digital Entrepreneurship Ecosystems: Integrating Talent, Stakeholder Engagement and Institutional Processes to Support Regional Development and Organizational Competitiveness”.

Digital technologies are transforming organizations and societies and creating unprecedented opportunities to create new socioeconomic value. Within the digital era, the pervasiveness of the Internet and the so-called digital convergence have affected most aspects of the business scenario, such as production, distribution, sales, customer relationship, and communication of content, products, and services. The potential offered by the digital transformation allows today to conceive and conduct new entrepreneurial processes and initiatives able to strengthen the competitiveness of companies as well as the economic and social development of regions and territories.

In order to capture the most of such opportunities, there is a need to cultivate a new mindset and develop new competencies in students, entrepreneurs, managers, and policy makers as well. Moreover, relevant stakeholders should be attracted and engaged in order to build relational and capability networks able to support the success of digital-enabled and digital-focused entrepreneurship ecosystems. Finally, new governance and institutional processes are required to support the generation of effective models of public-private collaboration capable of creating the best conditions for startup incubation and entrepreneurial success.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to gather innovative research contributions aiming to elaborate on a comprehensive view of definitions, pillars, driving forces, and characterizing processes of digital entrepreneurship ecosystems. We invite review and conceptual papers, also bringing to new frameworks or methodology-building efforts, and research papers, including cases studies, qualitative analyses, and more quantitative/empirical investigations able to contribute to the research and practitioner purposes of the Special Issue.

We will look forward to receiving your research works and will be delighted to provide preliminary feedback to evaluate the potential of the same for submission to our Special Issue. Please see also the website of Administrative Sciences for full editorial aims and submission requirements.


Auerswald, P.E. (2014). Enabling entrepreneurial ecosystems. In D. Audretsch, A. Link, and M. Walshok (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of local competitiveness. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Autio, E., and Levie. (2015). Management of entrepreneurial ecosystems. London: Imperial College Business School.

Autio, E., Nambisan, S., Thomas, L. D., & Wright, M. (2018). Digital affordances, spatial affordances, and the genesis of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 12(1), 72-95.

Brown, R., and Mason, C. (2017). Looking inside the spiky bits: a critical review and conceptualisation of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Small Business Economics, 49(1), 11-30.

Cohen, B. (2006). Sustainable valley entrepreneurial ecosystems, Business Strategy and the Environment,15,1-14

Dedehayir, O., Mäkinen, S.J. and Ortt, R. (2018) Roles during innovation ecosystem genesis: A literature review, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 136, 18-29.

Dini, P., Iqani, M., and Mansell, R. (2011). The (im)possibility of interdisciplinary lessons from constructing a theoretical framework for digital ecosystems. Culture, theory and critique, 52(1), 3-27

Elia G, Margherita A, Moustaghfir K and Secundo G (20 11) An activation process for entrepreneurial engineering education: the model and application, Journal of Enterprising Culture, 19(2): 1 22.

Elia, G., and Margherita, A. (2016). A Collective Intelligence Platform for Developing Technology Entrepreneurship Ecosystems. In G. Passiante, Creating Technology-Driven Entrepreneurship (pp. 195-220). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Elia, G., Margherita, A., & Passiante, G. (2020). Digital entrepreneurship ecosystem: How digital technologies and collective intelligence are reshaping the entrepreneurial process. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 150, 119791.

Gawer, A., and Cusumano, M. A. (2014). Industry platforms and ecosystem innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31(3), 417-433.

Isenberg, D. (2011). The Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Strategy as a New Paradigm for Economic Policy: Principles for Cultivating Entrepreneurship. The Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project.

Li, W., Du, W., and Yin, J. (2017). Digital entrepreneurship ecosystem as a new form of organizing: the case of Zhongguancun. Frontiers of Business Research in China, 11(1), 5.

Mack, E., and Mayer, H. (2016). The evolutionary dynamics of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Urban Studies, 53(10), 2118-2133.

Moustaghfir, K. and Secundo, G. (2016), “Entrepreneurial Learning Processes for Technology-driven Entrepreneurship: Assumptions and Behavioral Dynamics for an Integrated Framework”, in Passiante, G. and Romano, A. (Eds.) Creating Technology-driven Entrepreneurship: Foundations, Processes, and Environments, Palgrave MacMillan.

Moustaghfir, K., El Fatihi, S. and Benouarrek, M. (2020), “Human Resource Management Practices, Entrepreneurial Orientation, and Firm Performance: What is the Link?”, Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 24, No. 2.

Spigel, B. (2015). The relational organization of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 41(1), 49–72.

Stam, E. (2015). Entrepreneurial ecosystems and regional policy: a sympathetic critique. European Planning Studies. 1–11.

Sussan, F., and Acs, Z. J. 2017. The digital entrepreneurial ecosystem. Small Business Economics, 49(1): 55-73.

Prof. Alessandro Margherita
Prof. Carmen Cabello-Medina
Prof. Nicola Del Sarto
Prof. Gianluca Elia
Prof. Karim Moustaghfir
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Administrative Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • corporate entrepreneurship
  • digital ecosystems
  • digital entrepreneurship
  • digital startups
  • digital transformation
  • entrepreneurial orientation
  • entrepreneurship development
  • entrepreneurship ecosystems
  • HRM for entrepreneurship
  • organizational competitiveness
  • regional development
  • social capital for entrepreneurship
  • stakeholder engagement for entrepreneurship
  • startup incubators
  • technological entrepreneurship
  • technology venturing

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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