Call for Papers
Academy of Management
Discoveries Special Issue
Business Models, Ecosystems, and Society in the Sharing
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, (Tsinghua University), and Andrew Van de Ven (U. of Minnesota,
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:
- Business Ecosystems and Product Innovation in the
- How do companies carry out new product development in Sharing
- What business ecosystems have emerged to facilitate the Sharing
- 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?
- Business Models in the Sharing
- 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?
- 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
- How are virtual organizations associated with the Sharing
Economy best managed?
- 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
- How do individuals transition from traditional employment to
- How do customers participate in or contribute to value creation
in the Sharing Economy?
- Data Value and Analysis in the Sharing
- 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
- 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?
- 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
- 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
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
To submit a manuscript, please visit the
Please remember to select Manuscript Type as Special Issue:
Sharing Economy from the drop down menu. Manuscripts
should be formatted according to the AMD
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