The Sharing Economy


Business Models, Ecosystems, and Society, Special issue of Academy of Management Discoveries; Deadline 31 Dec 2016

Academy of Management Discoveries

Call for Papers: Business Models, Ecosystems, and Society in the Sharing Economy

Call for Papers

Academy of Management Discoveries Special Issue

 Business Models, Ecosystems, and Society in the Sharing Economy


Submission Dates: September 1 – December 31, 2016

Manuscripts should not be submitted before or after this date.

We anticipate publishing the special issue in early 2018.

Guest Editors: Tomi Laamanen, (U. of St.Gallen, Switzerland), Jeffrey Pfeffer (Stanford U. USA), Ke Rong, (U. of Exeter, U.K), and Andrew Van de Ven (U. of Minnesota, USA)


This special issue of AMD examines how the Sharing Economy reshapes the traditional management theories and practices. The Sharing Economy can be defined as a socio-economic ecosystem that commonly uses information technologies to connect different stakeholders-individuals, companies, governments, and others-in order to make value by sharing their excess capacities for products and services (Wosskow, 2014; Belk, 2014; Hamari, Sjöklint, & Ukkonen, 2015). The Sharing Economy represents a radical shift in how business is organized, and forces us to question many of our management theories and practices of labor, employment, the firm, and the nature of economic enterprise (Davis, 2016). Some of the best-known examples include Uber for transportation, Airbnb for accommodation, Youtube for online videos, and online P2P lending, such as Venmo, in the financial services sector. In the Sharing Economy, the roles of suppliers and customers tend to overlap and become imprecise as the two parties share their excess or idle resources, creating value within the ecosystem (Belk, 2014; Moore, 2013; Williamson & De Meyer, 2012).

Due to the increasing importance of the Sharing Economy in different sectors, established firms are under rising pressure to consider how to embed the principles of the sharing economy into the design of their own business models and products. This is not an easy task, since the typical structure of the Sharing Economy is to connect thousands of suppliers and customers via an information and communications technology (ICT) platform owned by one or more focal firms to form what has been described as a two-sided market (Rochet & Tirole, 2003; Hagiu, 2009). It thus relies on the contributions of a wider range of ecosystem stakeholders with a higher diversity of inter-relationships and opportunities for co-investment, co-learning and co-innovation than traditional business models. As a result, organizational boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred and organizations themselves are evolving towards open virtual organizations (Moore, 2013; Rong et al., 2015).

The emergence of the Sharing Economy also raises a number of novel research questions regarding the roles of organizations and individuals operating in this new society. For example, who has power in the Sharing Economy: organizations or individuals? How will the new Sharing Economy business models and ecosystems alter the ways work is done and organizations are designed? What are the implications of the trend that the employer-employee relationship becomes more loosely connected as, for example, between Uber and its drivers.

New business opportunities arise from the large volume of data generated by online communities associated with businesses that function within the Sharing Economy. The platform owners will seek to capture value from these accumulations of data. The insights gained may be used to improve the design of new products and business models and to enable customers to engage, directly or indirectly, in design and innovation processes. Data may also be collected, analyzed, sold, and re-sold, generating revenue for various participants (Frankel & Reid, 2008; Chen, Chiang, & Storey, 2012). This raises questions regarding data confidentiality, ownership, and how the economic value jointly generated by the ecosystem is shared.

As a whole, the Sharing Economy has major implications for our traditional management theories. Research on the Sharing Economy can build on the prior work on business models (Amit and Zott, 2012), two-sided platforms (Rochet and Tirole, 2003; Zhu and Iansiti, 2012), organizational power (Salancik & Pfeffer, 1974; Pfeffer, 1992; Pfeffer & Salancik, 2003), sharing manufacturing of supply chain outsourcing (Shi & Gregory, 1998, 2005), product innovation, open innovation, ecosystems (Van de Ven, Polley, Garud, & Venkataraman, 1999; Rong & Shi 2014), organization structures and boundaries (Aldrich & Herker, 1977; Santos & Eisenhardt, 2005) and customer behavior (Folkes, 1988; Venkatesh, Thong, & Xu, 2012). Thus, there are a number of novel aspects and phenomena that one can examine in the context of the Sharing Economy.  Specifically, we invite empirical papers on the following kinds of topics and questions:

  1. Business Ecosystems and Product Innovation in the Sharing Economy
    • How do companies carry out new product development in Sharing Economy?
    • What business ecosystems have emerged to facilitate the Sharing Economy?
    • Do ecosystems follow similar structures to two-sided markets or a supply chain?
    • How can ecosystem thinking support leadership and decision making in the Sharing Economy?
  1. Business Models in the Sharing Economy
    • How do corporate entrepreneurs create and discover opportunities in the newly emerging ecosystems?
    • What are the typologies and major components of business models in the sharing economy?
    • How do platforms such as Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, and Alibaba create and capture value?
    • What should be the strategies of small- and medium-sized firms (SMEs) in an ecosystem led by ecosystem orchestrators, and how can they contribute to the Sharing economy?
  1. Organization in the Sharing Economy
    • How will the Sharing Economy shape the patterns of interaction between organizations and their resources?
    • How do firms and managers deal with the opportunities and challenges associated with unclear boundaries between organizations in ecosystems and the Sharing Economy?
    • What are the implications for competitive strategies and organization structures?
    • How are virtual organizations associated with the Sharing Economy best managed?
  1. Individuals in the Sharing Economy
    • How does the Sharing Economy reshape the structure of society and the trust be built?
    • How will employment relationships change in the Sharing Economy?
    • How do individuals transition from traditional employment to independent contractors?
    • How do customers participate in or contribute to value creation in the Sharing Economy?
  1. Data Value and Analysis in the Sharing Economy
    • How are online data captured and manipulated to realize value in the Sharing Economy?
    • What models and methods are used to ensure data security and customer privacy?
    • What advances in data collection and analysis are emerging to harness online user-generated data?
    • How can methods of evolutionary economics and network modeling be used to model business ecosystems of the Sharing Economy?
  1. Nature of the Sharing Economy
    • Which industries are the most suited to adopt the principles of the Sharing Economy? How important is the potential for network effects?
    • What are the fundamental differences between the Sharing Economy and the traditional economy?
    • Is the Sharing Economy really shared? What costs and benefits are shared among whom?

Regardless of topic and method, we expect contributions to the special issue to be empirical; we cannot accept theoretical papers. We are also not interested in reiterations of statistical and demographic trends that are already well documented in the literature and news media. We are seeking evidence that will help us make better sense of the contemporary issues of the sharing economy, as outlined above.

Tomi Laamanen, (U. of St.Gallen, Switzerland), Jeffrey Pfeffer (Stanford U. USA), Ke Rong, (U. of Exeter, U.K), and Andrew Van de Ven (U. of Minnesota, USA) will serve as co-editors of the special issue.  A special editorial board composed of scholars known for their expertise in areas relevant to the sharing economy will work with the editors.  Collectively, the board will be able to handle a wide range of methods from the ethnographic, to the historical, to the quantitative. We have no disciplinary preference and welcome papers from management scholars, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, historians, economists, political scientists, and data scientists.

AMD  will accept manuscripts for this special issue beginning September 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. Manuscripts should not be submitted before or after this date. We anticipate publishing the special issue in early 2018.

To submit a manuscript, please visit the website Please remember to select Manuscript Type as Special Issue: Sharing Economy  from the drop down menu. Manuscripts should be formatted according to the AMD  Style Guide.