Digital entrepreneurship: An interdisciplinary structured literature review and research agenda

Hasnain Zaheer*, Yvonne Breyer, John Dumay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides a structured literature review of digital entrepreneurship to generate insights into recent developments in the field, critique the research to date, and identify opportunities for future research. We have applied the three aspects of critical research – insight, critique, and transformative redefinition – to analyse and synthesise the literature. We distil the definitions of the key constructs and identify three research development phases corresponding to practice development. Analysis of 133 scholarly articles by discipline, time, methodology, geography and theoretical focus informs that digital entrepreneurship research has been fragmented, divergent and slow to respond to practice. However, the field is now rapidly acquiring legitimacy and an identity, growing rapidly and is becoming more interdisciplinary. We explore how established views of entrepreneurial processes and clusters are being upended in a digital world. In outlining the future of the field, a preponderance of single case study and conceptual articles need to be supplemented with longitudinal, mixed methods, multiple case study and quantitative research. More integrative research, preferably presented as dynamic models, would advance the field. Design and action research output, and collaborations with practitioners will yield practice-driven insights. This paper will facilitate an interdisciplinary dialogue for evidence-informed policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119735
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Digital entrepreneurship
  • Digital start-up
  • Digital venturing
  • Internet venture
  • Online start-ups


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