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Mapping out the sharing economy: A configurational approach to sharing business modeling

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Publication date: Available online 6 April 2017
Source:Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Author(s): Pablo Muñoz, Boyd Cohen

Sharing economy businesses have emerged in recent years as a disruptive approach to the traditional way of planning, modeling and doing business. The phenomenon has gained significant traction within a wide range of domains including entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and management more broadly. Despite this surge and interest, there is a lack of empirical research regarding the increasing diversity of sharing economy business models and the implications for business growth, community impact, sustainability and public policy. With this research, we sought to leverage a rigorous comparative method, fs/QCA, to assess the business models of 36 firms in the sharing economy. Leveraging a rich set of qualitative data, our analysis leveraged seven dimensions of sharing economy business models drawn from extant research, revealing a typology comprising five ideal types that collectively account for the constellation of possible, empirically-relevant business models across the sharing economy. The emergent dilemmas and paradoxes as well as implications of these typologies of business models for startups, investors and policymakers are explored.






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