ABS033 - Crowdfunding as an artifact for empowerment of local citizen activities in Japan

3.8 New technologies and new ways of organizing work
Paper in a Working Group Roundtable (WGRT)
1:30 PM, Thursday 31 Aug 2017 (1 hour)
Convention Center - 2000 A - Table D
Crowdfunding garners worldwide attention as a new financing method for entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations, and local governments. Its prevalence has also rapidly increased in Japan, especially since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Several types are acknowledged including reward-based, donation-based, equity, and debt crowdfunding. The first two types are widely recognized in Japan. We can support a crowdfunding project through the Internet regardless of our location. However, according to previous research, those in close proximity invest more money per person than those who live further away. Furthermore, research implies that both online communication and offline factors including face-to-face communication were essential for the behavior. There are three roles in crowdfunding – the manager of the website, a proponent of each project and supporters of it. We focused on crowdfunding websites specifically addressing regional activities as artifacts, and investigated how the manager supports a proponent in crowdfunding. Qualitative interviews were conducted with managers and proponents. Different from managers of large general crowdfunding websites, those of region-specialized websites tended to be involved with proponents and advised on both online communication techniques and management of their activities. Proponents mobilized as many personal networks as possible to achieve the crowdfunding goal. Furthermore, the arrangement change of a community-based agency was examined.
Tokyo City University
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