Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Stephenson Department of Entrepreneurship and Information Systems

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Online platforms are becoming increasingly popular and a mainstream business model for several industries. Crowdfunding is an online platform enabled financial service that has become very popular over the last decade and fundamentally changed the mechanism of fund raising. Crowdfunding platforms enable fund seekers to raise funds for various causes from a crowd of funders via an open call. But despite the popularity of the phenomenon, a substantial number of projects fail to raise the desired amount of funding, thus success rate overall is very low. Crowdfunding platforms are characterized by information asymmetry, that is information is unevenly distributed between the two sides of a crowdfunding market. Therefore, fund seekers partake signaling to convey information cues in order to meet the informational needs of the funders and ease their decision making. But the increasing popularity of the phenomenon has made the signaling environment rather complex in which numerous fund seekers are undertaking signaling to attract support for their projects. Moreover, platform governance mechanisms are distinctive elements of crowdfunding platforms that dictates the funding dynamics and ultimately the outcome of the crowdfunding projects. This dissertation develops a refined understanding of the signaling process in a crowdfunding environment and the implications of a particular type of governance mechanism called boundary resources for crowdfunding performance. The findings indicate that signaling is rather complex in crowdfunding environments because signals moderateeach other’s effectiveness. On the other hand, structurally and junctionally embedded online communities are valuable resources for crowdfunding projects because they affect crowdfunding performance. The dissertation contributes to the literature on crowdfunding, signaling theory, network embeddedness and boundary resources and offers several implications for crowdfunding practitioners.

Committee Chair

Hirschheim, Rudy

Available for download on Friday, August 06, 2027

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