The sharing economy and new forms of organising

Johanna Mair co-edits new volume that looks at the implications of the sharing economy for organisational theory.

The age-old idea of sharing instead of owning is currently experiencing a revival. People have long shared, bartered or lent goods and services, a practice that has become the defining principle of the so-called sharing economy. Today, people share access to goods and services such as flat-sharing, ride-sharing, or co-working spaces, coordinated through information- and communication-technology platforms.

Indre Maurer of the University of Göttingen, Johanna Mair of the Hertie School and Achim Oberg of the University of Mannheim are the editors of Theorizing the Sharing Economy, a new volume in the series Research in the Sociology of Organizations, published by Emerald Publishing in May 2020. The issue, which focuses on different aspects of organising in the sharing economy, includes contributions by scholars from around the world. A chapter by Maurer, Mair and Oberg provides an overview of existing research and the agenda for future research on the topic. 

The core of the special issue is empirical and conceptual work that explores the variety and trajectories of new forms of organising in the sharing economy by harnessing, extending and recasting existing organisational theories. The sharing economy is far broader than well-known brand names like Airbnb or Uber and encompasses initiatives and organisations representing a variety of new (and old) forms of organising based on the basic idea of sharing, bartering, or lending. These have emerged and spread, changing or even disrupting existing ways of organising in a number of markets, such as mobility, service delivery and hospitality. For scholars of organisations, such developments and their implications provide a welcome opportunity to take stock of and theorize about the sharing economy.

The project was made possible through funding for the i-share research project supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).  

More about Johanna Mair

  • Johanna Mair , Professor of Organization, Strategy and Leadership