The Dark Side of Sharing Economy


Managing and Sustaining B2B Relationships on Platforms, Special issue of Industrial Marketing Management; Deadline 1 Oct 2021

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Maja Arslanagić-Kalajdžić

Industrial Marketing Management

Call for Papers

Dark Side of Sharing Economy – Managing and sustaining B2B relationships on platforms

Deadline for submission: October 1, 2021


Overview and purpose

Business models on ‘sharing economy’ for accessing and reusing products to utilize the capacity lying idle, are increasingly becoming popular in the business-to-business (B2B) marketing literature and practice. Organizations such as Airbnb, in its B2B platform allows companies to book Airbnb listings for their employees to build a strong brand (Sigala, 2018). The fast growth of the sharing economy is often attributed to reduced cost and enhanced accessibility in different literature (Chakraborty, 2016; Kumar et al., 2018). Whether it is the mobility service platform ecosystem framework or the food sharing, redistribution, and waste reduction model, the dominance of information technology in explaining the concept of sharing economy appears to be inevitable (Harvey, 2019). Whereas the traditional marketing concepts such as value co-creation have often been researched in the business-to-consumer context, their usefulness in co-creating the B2B service ecosystem remains under-explored (Hein et al., 2019).

Although there are several advantages ranging from cost saving to mutual development for businesses, sharing economy also has certain strong criticisms. The scholars argue that sharing is a social exchange and when sharing is market-mediated, the very essence of sharing that is knowing each other without expecting any return, is lost (Eckhardt & Bardhi, 2015). It is primarily due to the intermediation by a company, as third party, between consumers. Research in this direction is particularly required. As explored by scholars in the recent studies, the bundle of benefits often adding to the popularity of sharing economy has a social angle to it. The advocates of sharing economy advance their arguments to say that it reduces it promotes communal forms of consumption and develops trust, solidarity, and social bonding among the stakeholders (Benkler, 2017; Palgan et al., 2017). On the contrary, there is criticism that sharing economy diffuses ‘pseudo-sharing’ business models. In specific, it has been argued by the critics that the moment financial aspect is included, it no longer remains sharing as money corrupts people. Thus, investigations are solicited towards examining the mechanisms wherein both, the positive and the negative ends meet and facilitate value co-creation amidst tradeoffs among the stakeholders.

The arguments and findings of some of the research studies guide us to know that to create an efficient platform ecosystem, the value chain needs to be flexible (Grondys, 2019), digital marketing channels such as search engine marketing and social media marketing need to be exploited to facilitate trust, utility, and user experience especially for the supplier (Key, 2017). However, building a supplier’s trust is not easy and research suggests that safety, credibility and security remain a point of concern particularly in the B2B sharing economy context and may lead to trust deficit (Yang et al., 2017). Such customer-supplier relationships need to co-evolve for sustaining against opportunism and unequal sharing of co-created value can impact both the partners of the relationship (Laaksonen, 2008; Grönroos and Voima, 2013). However, many of these theories have not been explored for the firms involved in a sharing economy.

Other concern is the low service quality. Since the sharing economy organizations are often not physically involved in delivering the service to their business customers, they hardly have any formal obligation to the supply-side users, and thus, regulatory control is less raises concerns for service quality (Täuscher & Kietzmann, 2017). The ways in which marketers may help ensuring service quality to their business customers remains an area less explored.  Another challenge to the B2B marketers especially in case of social media marketing is to match the social media platform such as SlideShare and LinkedIn and content with the decision‐maker (Habibi et al., 2015). The scholars may like to conduct studies and propose mechanisms to bridge this gap.

Another issue is compromising with privacy which is often undermined by marketing analysts while doing the so called ‘B2B customer Analytics’ in order to gain insights into the data (Iacobucci et al., 2019). However, not much has been researched about the ethical usage of B2B customer analytics. Further creation and sharing of information for maintaining healthy B2B relationships is also a challenge. Open platforms for facilitating firms to engage may also lead to cyber-bullying, which is a fairly common incident in social media (Chan et al., 2019). Larger differences of relative bargaining power can also lead to reaping greater benefits created in business relationships (Crook et al., 2007). Such problems of managing information integrity and its sharing without adverse impacts becomes a concern particularly in the B2B context because of the complexity involved in integrating a diverse suite of actors (Prior & Keränen, 2020). Furthermore, such agency problems often have a negative word of mouth and can affect the platform in the long run (Alexandrov et al., 2013). Thus, exploration is needed on how managers can maintain these complex relationships sustainably in such B2B relationships in both upstream and downstream value chain?

Lack of familiarity with social networks and uncertainty in the extent to which social media can help in building the company’s brand are yet other issues with the social media sharing platform adoption for the B2B companies. What are the ways in which the B2B marketers can be helped in adopting the social media marketing techniques? It becomes a pertinent question to investigate here. To address the above concerns, the objective of this special issue is to explore and examine the dark side of business-to-business marketing. The themes (indicative but not exhaustive) relating to the B2B marketing that the potential submissions are expected to have include, but are not limited to:

  • Pseudo-sharing to value-sharing in the B2B context
  • Trust deficit in sharing economy between partners in the value chain
  • Managing service design, delivery and control in sharing economy
  • Privacy concerns in the B2B marketing for sharing economy
  • The gap between the shared platform content, access and the decision makers
  • Unethical use of information access and analytics in B2B relationships
  • Adverse impacts of Artificial Intelligence technologies (like chatbots) in B2B relationships
  • Complexity in the information management for a B2B platform marketer
  • Adverse impacts of social media marketing and service fulfillment
  • Mismanagement of contracts and non-contractible deliverables among primary, secondary and tertiary partners
  • Managing agency problems between partners in the value chain
  • Managing tradeoffs between contractible and non-contractible outcomes
  • Adverse impacts of relative bargaining power and transaction cost economics
  • Managing adverse impacts of business models (markets, hierarchies, etc.)
  • Managing adverse stakeholder experiences based on mining content shared in forums
  • Managing dark business practices due to bargaining power differences between partners
  • Adverse impacts of digital transformation of platform on partners (e.g. technostress)
  • Adverse impacts of direct and indirect network effects in platforms

This special issue is intended to benefit employers, marketers, and academics by identifying the reasons behind the existence and providing suggestions to manage this grey area in the sharing economy literature.

Manuscript Preparation and Submission

Full papers are due by March 31, 2021. Manuscripts should comply with the scope, standards, format and editorial policy of the Industrial Marketing Management. All papers must be submitted through the official IMM submission system. When you get to the step in the process that asks you for the type of paper, select SI: Dark Side of Sharing Economy – Managing and sustaining B2B relationships on platforms. All papers will be reviewed through a double-blind peer review process. In preparation of their manuscripts, authors are asked to follow the Author Guidelines closely. A guide for authors, sample articles and other relevant information for submitting papers are available at:

All queries about the special issue should be sent to the Guest Editors (see below).

Provisional timeline

  • First article submission deadline: 1st October, 2021
  • First review deadline: 28th Feb 2022
  • Second submission deadline: 31st May 2022
  • Second review deadline: 31st August 2022
  • Final acceptance: 30th November 2022
  • Paper publication: 31st December 2022

Guest Editors

  • Nripendra P. Rana, School of Management, University of Bradford, UK,
  • Arpan Kumar Kar, Information Systems, DMS, IIT Delhi, India,
  • Manish Gupta, Department of HR, IBS Hyderabad, a Constituent of IFHE, India,
  • Ilias O. Pappas, Information Systems, University of Agder, Norway,
  • Thanos Papadopoulos, Kent Business School, University of Kent, UK,

Selective references

Alexandrov, A., Lilly, B., & Babakus, E. (2013). The effects of social-and self-motives on the intentions to share positive and negative word of mouth. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41(5), 531-546.

Chan, T. K., Cheung, C. M., & Wong, R. Y. (2019). Cyberbullying on social networking sites: the crime opportunity and affordance perspectives. Journal of Management Information Systems, 36(2), 574-609.

Chakraborty, A. (2016). Pocket Friendly Traveling through Uber.

Choi, H. R., Cho, M. J., Lee, K., Hong, S. G., & Woo, C. R. (1998). The business model for the sharing economy between SMEs. Architecture6.

Crook, T. R., & Combs, J. G. (2007). Sources and consequences of bargaining power in supply chains. Journal of operations management, 25(2), 546-555.

Eckhardt, G. M., & Bardhi, F. (2015). The sharing economy isn’t about sharing at all. Harvard Business Review28(1), 2015.

Grönroos, C., & Voima, P. (2013). Critical service logic: making sense of value creation and co-creation. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41(2), 133-150.

Habibi, F., Hamilton, C. A., Valos, M. J., & Callaghan, M. (2015). E-marketing orientation and social media implementation in B2B marketing. European Business Review. 27(6), 638-655.

Harvey, J., Smith, A., Goulding, J., & Illodo, I. B. (2019). Food sharing, redistribution, and waste reduction via mobile applications: A social network analysis. Industrial Marketing Management.

Hein, A., Weking, J., Schreieck, M., Wiesche, M., Böhm, M., & Krcmar, H. (2019). Value co-creation practices in business-to-business platform ecosystems. Electronic Markets29(3), 503-518.

Iacobucci, D., Petrescu, M., Krishen, A., & Bendixen, M. (2019). The state of marketing analytics in research and practice. Journal of Marketing Analytics7(3), 152-181.

Key, T. M. (2017). Domains of digital marketing channels in the sharing economy. Journal of Marketing Channels24(1-2), 27-38.

Kumar, V., Lahiri, A., & Dogan, O. B. (2018). A strategic framework for a profitable business model in the sharing economy. Industrial Marketing Management69, 147-160.

Laaksonen, T., Pajunen, K., & Kulmala, H. I. (2008). Co-evolution of trust and dependence in customer–supplier relationships. Industrial Marketing Management, 37(8), 910-920.

Lashgari, M., Sutton-Brady, C., Søilen, K. S., & Ulfvengren, P. (2018). Adoption strategies of social media in B2B firms: a multiple case study approach. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing. 33(5), 730-743.

Prior, D. D., & Keränen, J. (2020). Revisiting contemporary issues in B2B marketing: It’s not just about artificial intelligence. Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ)28(2), 83-89.

Sigala, M. (2018). Market formation in the sharing economy: Findings and implications from the sub-economies of Airbnb. In Social dynamics in a systems perspective (pp. 159-174). Springer, Cham.

Täuscher, K., & Kietzmann, J. (2017). Learning from failures in the sharing economy. Science Technology67(9), 2047-2059.

Yang, S., Song, Y., Chen, S., & Xia, X. (2017). Why are customers loyal in sharing-economy services? A relational benefits perspective. Journal of Services Marketing. 31(1), 48-62.

Biographical Notes

  • Nripendra P. Rana is a Professor in Digital Marketing and the Head of International Business, Marketing and Branding at the School of Management at University of Bradford, UK. His current research interests focus primarily on adoption and diffusion of emerging ICTs, e-commerce, m-commerce, e-government and digital and social media marketing. He has published more than 200 papers in a range of leading academic journals, conference proceedings, books etc. He has co-edited five books on digital and social media marketing, emerging markets and supply and operations management. He has also co-edited special issues, organised tracks, mini-tracks and panels in leading conferences. He is a Chief Editor of International Journal of Electronic Government Research and an Associate Editor of International Journal of Information Management. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) in the UK. He is also a Visiting Scholar of Indian Institute of Management Tiruchirappalli in India.
  • Arpan Kumar Kar is Associate Professor in the Information Systems area at DMS, IIT Delhi, India and chair of Corporate Relations. His research interests are in the domain of data science and AI/ML applications, digital transformation, internet ecosystems, social media, blockchain and ICT-based public policy. He has authored over hundred peer reviewed articles and edited six research monographs. He has published extensively in journals like International Journal of Information Management, Technology Forecasting and Social Change, Information Systems Frontiers, Information Technology and People, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Annals of Operational Research, Journal of Global Information Management, Government Information Quarterly and many others. He is an Associate Editor of Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, International Journal of Electronic Government Research and Advances in Theory and Practice of Emerging Markets. Prior to joining IIT Delhi, he has worked for IIM Rohtak, IBM India Research Laboratory, and Cognizant Consulting. He has also generated over £2 million through research, advocacy and training projects from national and international MNCs and governments. Over the years, he has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions in research from several organizations including the Association of Indian Management Schools, International Federation for Information Processing, Elsevier, Tata Consultancy Services, Project Management Institute, IIT Delhi, BK Birla (BimTech) and IIM Rohtak. Details of his research can be accessed at
  • Manish Gupta is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Resource at IBS Hyderabad. His PhD thesis is in the area of ‘work engagement’. His current research interests include work engagement, internet engagement, and brand engagement. Manish is a recipient of UGC-JRF and NET certificate. His teaching areas are HRM, OB, HR analytics, and competency mapping. He has both teaching and industry experience. He is editorial team member of Journal of Global Information Management, Australasian Journal of Information Systems, International Journal of Knowledge Management, Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organizations, International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, and HRM Review magazine. He is Guest Editor for 12 journals published by Emerald, Wiley, Elsevier, etc. He has 5 books, 9 book chapters, 19 conference papers, and 6 teaching cases to his credit. He has recently won the Top Peer Reviewer 2019 award by Publons, USA (Web of Science) and also AIMS International Outstanding Young Management Researcher Award 2019. He has also won the ADHR best issue of 2018 award. His work has received media coverage in magazines, newspapers, blogs and news channels. He has conducted multiple management development programs. His scholastic work is accessible here:
  • Ilias O. Pappas is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at the Department of Information Systems, University of Agder (UiA), Norway. His research and teaching activities include data science and digital transformation, social innovation and social change, user experience in different contexts, as well as digital marketing, e-services, and information technology adoption. He has published over 80 articles in peer reviewed journals and conferences including Journal of Business Research, European Journal of Marketing, Computers in Human Behavior, Information & Management, Psychology & Marketing, International Journal of Information Management. Dr Pappas has been a Guest Editor for several journals and a track chair on different conferences. He serves as the Vice-Chair of the IFIP Working Group 6.11: Communication Aspects of the E-World. Dr Pappas is a recipient of ERCIM and Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships.
  • Thanos Papadopoulos is a Professor of Management (Information Systems/Operations Management) and the Director of the ‘Technology, Innovation Management, and Enterprise’ (TIME) Research Centre at Kent Business School, University of Kent, UK. He holds a PhD from the University of Warwick (UK). He also holds an MSc in information systems from Athens University of Economics and Business (Greece). His research is focusing on the problems that are at the nexus of operations management and information systems and more recently on Big Data within Supply Chains and Operations. He has published over 140 articles in peer reviewed journals and conferences including, inter alia, the British Journal of Management, Decision Sciences, European Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, International Journal of Production Research, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, International Journal of Production Economics, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and Production Planning and Control. He is Associate Editor for the International Journal of Operations and Production Management. He also sits at the Editorial board of Technological Forecasting and Social Change and International Journal of Information Management.

Note that there is a similar call out from IMM.