The Sharing Economy


Challenges and Opportunities, Special issue of Journal of Management Studies; Deadline 15 Jan 2018

Journal of Management Studies’ Special Issue Call for Papers:


Submission Deadline: January 15, 2018

Guest Editors:


This special issue explores how, when, why, where and under what conditions an emerging form of collaborative consumption, popularly known as the “sharing economy” affects the creation and capture of value. The sharing economy (a.k.a. shareconomy, access, collaborative, and peer economy) refers to a class of economic arrangements in which asset owners and users mutualize access to the products or services associated with these assets (Lamberton & Rose, 2012; Sundararajan, 2016). Fueled in part by advances in information technology and excess resources, the sharing economy is now recognized as offering easy and broad connection with customers and suppliers.

The emergence of collaborative consumption and the sharing economy has led to dramatic changes in the nature of competition between entrants and incumbents. For instance, the sharing economy has fostered the growth of many well-known startups, including accommodation companies (Airbnb), social media firms (Facebook), and financial firms (Lending Club) (Belk, 2014; Matzler et al., 2015). The valuation of Airbnb, a 7-year-old startup, is $30 billion, which is worth nearly $7 billion more than the 97 years old, publicly-traded Hilton Worldwide—the next most valuable hospitality company. Age and valuations aside, Airbnb boasts more than 2 million listings in more than 191 countries whereas the newly combined Marriott and Starwood offer ‘only’ 1.1 million rooms in 110 countries worldwide. Some estimate that the sharing economy is valued at $26 billion, with new services and multisided platforms emerging almost daily (Botsman, 2014; Botsman, & Roger, 2011).

This Special Issue (SI) aims to explore and explain how, why and when the sharing economy affects consumers, business competition, and regulators. The SI also aim to shed light on how the sharing economy addresses problems of profit making, trust building, and market legitimacy in both B2B and B2C markets. In the sharing economy, the roles of suppliers, buyers, and users tend to blur and overlap as parties build platforms to share their resources (Belk, 2014; Williamson & De Meyer, 2012). Academic research, however, has yet to explain, especially theoretically how multisided platforms overcome these challenge while increasing asset accessibility and maximize the value of resources. As the sharing economy challenges how businesses are organized and governed, it creates opportunities for scholars to assess management theories, labor laws, practices and the nature of for profit and nonprofit enterprises (Davis, 2016).

What the Special Issue (SI) Hopes to Accomplish

First, this SI seeks to offer a clear conceptualization of the sharing economy. By identifying and categorizing the critical actors—the suppliers, platform providers, social entrepreneurs, and users associated with the sharing economy, as well as regulatory institutions—we hope to refine our understanding of the contexts wherein the sharing economy is most likely to have its greatest impact.

Second, this SI seeks to better understand how the sharing economy coordinates action across these diverse actors and even ecosystems. Our SI will favor manuscripts that, individually and collectively, address big research questions and create foundational knowledge that addresses the logistical, operational, governance and performance consequences of the sharing economy for new entrants and incumbents alike. Such work may explore, for instance, whether existing conceptualizations of platform competition are precise enough to explain how traditional incumbents should react to sharing-economy entrants.

Third, our experience shows that studies on emerging phenomena tend to homogenize; they usually follow similar empirical methodologies, converge around a dominant conceptual lens, and tackle similar research questions. The risks associated with such “convergence” is potentially overemphasizing branded players (e.g. Airbnb, Craig’s List, etc.), while underspecifying processes (e.g. how, when and where players inside and outside the sharing economy collaborate and compete). Our SI favors attention to processes, especially the underlying mechanism in both developed and developing worlds.

Representative Questions

This SI calls for inter-disciplinary scholarship that sheds light on key but unexplored questions related to the sharing economy. A suggestive list of research questions includes:

  • What strategies, resources and capabilities are needed to effectively compete in the sharing economy? Does the sharing economy imply greater levels of imitation and reduced persistence of advantage amongst rivals?
  • How do entry types—e.g., first mover, second mover, early follower, and late mover—influence subsequent market dynamics and performance? How do changes in the algorithms and technologies associated with digital platform providers affect key complementors?
  • Do sharing-economy markets and players require distinctly unique resource-capability configurations, for example, in human resource management?
  • How do strategies differ when startups in the sharing economy are not constituted as vehicles of private wealth accumulation but instead are owned by communities of users?
  • What types of competitive responses incumbents use as a reaction to the development of sharing economy segments inside their traditional markets?
  • How do trust and ethics, including privacy, safety, access to data, and conflict resolution, influence the development of sharing-economy markets?
  • What roles do environmental and/or social entrepreneurship and sustainability play in promoting and suppressing sharing-economy markets? How do social entrepreneurs and cause-based ventures introduce sharing-economy principles to markets that are dominated by traditional firms?
  • What roles do stakeholders, social movement organizations, ecosystems, and networks play in sharing-economy processes?
  • What are most useful conceptual models and empirical analysis of the antecedents, consequences, and contingencies associated with sharing-economy?
  • What are the key principles that drive and accelerate the growth of sharing-economy markets and the principles that predict imminent failure?
  • How can research and lessons from adjacent disciplines—supply chain, accounting, governance, marketing, public policy, finance, and/or sociology—expand management theory in the areas of the sharing economy?

Given the multi-disciplinary and multi-level nature of the sharing economy, we encourage conceptual and empirical studies using a variety of methods (qualitative and quantitative). Our SI will also differentiate other special issues on this topic (e.g., AMD, which focuses on empirical research and MIS Quarterly, which focuses on information technology)

Submission Process and Deadlines

  • Manuscripts will be reviewed according to the JMS double-blind review process.
  • Submissions should be prepared using the JMS Manuscript Preparation Guidelines.
  • Manuscripts should be submitted by January 15, 2018 to Margaret Turner (
  • For informal inquires related to the Special Issue, proposed topics and potential fit with the Special Issue objectives, please contact the guest editors.

Special Issue Workshop: To help authors advance their manuscripts, a Special Issue Workshop will be held in May 2018 (location to be announced). Authors of R&R manuscripts will be invited to present and discuss their papers during the workshop, but presentation at the workshop does not guarantee acceptance of a paper for publication in JMS. Attending the workshop is not a precondition for acceptance into the Special Issue.


Belk, R. 2014. You are what you can access: Sharing and collaborative consumption online. Journal of Business Research, Vol. 67 No. 8, pp. 1595-1600.

Botsman, R. 2014. Sharing’s not just for start-ups. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 92 No. 9, pp. 23-25.

Botsman, R. & Roger, R. 2011. What’s Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live. HarperCollins Business.

Davis, G. F. 2016. The vanishing American corporation: Navigating the hazards of a new economy. Ann Arbor, MI: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Lamberton, C.P., and Rose, R.L. 2012. When is ours better than mine? A framework for understanding and altering participation in commercial sharing systems. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 76 No. 4, pp. 109-125.

Matzler, K., Veider, V., and Kathan, W. 2015. Adapting to the sharing economy. MIT Sloan Management Review, Vol. 56 No. 2, pp. 71-77.

Sundararajan, A., 2016. The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism, MIT Press

Williamson, P.J., & De Meyer, A. 2012. Ecosystem advantage: How to successfully harness the power of partners. California Management Review, Vol. 55 No. 1, pp. 24-46.