Lee Li, York University
Stephen Tallman, University of Richmond
Gongming Qian, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Thomas Keil, University of Zurich
This call invites papers to explore entrepreneurs, their perspectives, practices and performances
associated with the sharing economy. In recent years, prompted by the development of communication technologies, rise of social media and existence of excess resources, a new phenomenon – the sharing economy – has spread rapidly across the world. The sharing economy is defined as a peer-to-peer market; an economic arrangement in which asset owners and users mutualize access to products or services associated with these assets (Bradley & Pargman, 2017; Zervas, Proserpio & Byers, 2017). Examples of this special economic arrangements include Airbnb, an online accommodation market place ; Zipcar, an online car-sharing service; and Uber, an online taxi market place . Within the sharing economy, companies manage the business and asset owners provide consumers with products or services. The sharing economy separates asset ownership from asset usage.
By Schumpeter’s criteria (Schumpeter, 1966), the sharing economy is a case in point of entrepreneurial discovery and creative destruction. It contradicts traditional business practices and dramatically disrupts the traditional market structure. For example, the hotel and taxi market
structures are significantly different today from what they were before the sharing economy emerged. The sharing economy does not require intensive financial investments, and it efficiently
takes advantage of excess resources in the market, such as idle houses, apartments, cars and
Interestingly, the sharing economy is intrinsically an international phenomenon and the aforementioned examples of the sharing economy have all internationalized their business since
the early days of each company’s founding. Few asset owners within the sharing economy space
restrict their business models to their home countries. Similarly, asset owners also have to work
with customers from different countries since the very beginning of the sharing economy.
Companies that utilize assets in the sharing economy are entrepreneurial. They not only develop
new business models, but also have to take on risks and be proactive since they do not own the
assets. In turn, the asset owners are entrepreneurs as well. They have to run their own small businesses, take care of customers, and compete against competitors of similar qualities and
locations. Internationalization increases both risks and complexities for both asset owners and users. With the rapid development of communication technologies, asset users often expand the
business across countries to achieve economies of scale and scope. However, rapid development of communication technologies does not necessarily reduce the liability of foreignness (Qian et al., 2013) and not all governments, consumers and the public over the word
welcome the concept of the sharing economy.
Unfortunately, research on the sharing economy is still in its nascence, and critical issues regarding theoretical frameworks, measurement and methods remain unsolved. This special issue aims to use and integrate entrepreneurship, creative destruction, and international entrepreneurship as the lenses to explore the disequilibrium and equilibrium associated with the sharing economy. Entrepreneurship can be taken as a disequilibrium phenomenon, in which innovative entrepreneurs disrupt the existing market equilibrium to create disequilibrium and arbitraging entrepreneurs move the disequilibrium back toward equilibrium (Chiles, Bluedorn & Gupta, 2007; Kirzner, 1973; McKelvie & Wiklund, 2010; Schumpeter, 1966; Wiklund et al., 2011). Internationalization and different types of relationships between entrepreneurs (Tallman & Phene, 2007) add to the complexities of the dynamics.
We seek expansive research and theory addressing innovating and arbitraging entrepreneurs, their perspectives, practices and performances involved in the sharing economy. Important issues, i.e. who, where, how, when and what, seem particularly salient. Who – who are the players involved in the sharing economy? How do these stakeholders cooperate with and compete against each other? What kinds of entrepreneurial traits do these players demonstrate in the sharing economy? How do environmental forces shape the interactions among these players? Where – where do the sharing economies happen? Why is the sharing economy an international phenomenon? Can players restrict the sharing economy to a single country? How – how do players involved in the sharing economy develop individual-level and organization-level entrepreneurial capabilities across countries? How do they innovate new business models in the international setting and how do they take on risks and enter new markets? When – when should players enter the markets? What are entrepreneurs’ first mover and free-rider advantages and disadvantages in the sharing economy? What – what industries can use sharing economy models? Can firms within the manufacturing realm also take advantage of sharing economy models?
We encourage contributors to draw from different disciplines when they examine entrepreneurship and internationalization manifest in the sharing economy. Useful disciplines include, but are not restricted to business, economics, political science, sociology, psychology and geography. Additionally, the sharing economy can be analyzed at different levels, including team, firm, national, supranational, regional and global levels. Papers focusing on the sharing economy at different levels are also welcome.
Given the limited attention on the sharing economy in the existing entrepreneurship and international entrepreneurship literature, this call for papers is purposefully broad. The following is
not an exhaustive list, but provides some examples of potential topics:
(1) How does the separation between asset ownership and asset usage change traditional
(2) What kinds of entrepreneurial orientation (Miller, 1983) do innovating and arbitraging firms
demonstrate in the sharing economy? What are the psychological qualities of entrepreneurs
participating in different roles in the sharing economy either as orchestrators or as asset holders?
(3) How do companies that use but do not own assets establish legitimacy in foreign markets? For example, Airbnb and Uber have come across legitimacy problems in various countries. How can they address these problems?
(4) Can manufacturing MNEs use the sharing economy model as well and deploy it across different countries? At present, the majority of firms that use sharing economy models are service firms. Can manufacturing firms follow similar models to separate asset ownership from asset usage?
(5) Can asset owners in the sharing economy be taken as International New Ventures (INVs) or ‘born globals’ (Covin & Miller, 2014)? They have to work with customers of different countries from very beginning of their business even though they do not get involved in exports and foreign direct investments (FDI).
(6) Can asset users in the sharing economy be taken as multinational enterprises (MNEs)? What
are the differences between these asset users and the traditional MNEs?
(7) What are the differences between asset owners in the sharing economy and traditional family
business? Asset owners in the sharing economy often run family business but they do not enjoy similar autonomy as traditional family businesses.
(8) How do players involved in the sharing economy improve their competitive advantage in the
domestic and international markets?
(9) How can entrepreneurs apply Dunning’s OLI (ownership, location and internalization) model (Dunning, 1998) to the sharing economy where asset ownership and usage are separated?
(10) How do players involved in the sharing economy share their knowledge and capabilities? What are the differences between the cooperation among the sharing economy players and traditional international strategic alliances (Tallman et al., 2004)?
Submission process and deadline
Submissions should meet ETP guidelines and be submitted to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/etp by March 31, 2019 (please indicate that it is for the special issue, Entrepreneurship and Sharing Economy). All manuscripts will be reviewed as a cohort for this special issue. To help authors improve the quality of their manuscripts, we will host a Special Issue Workshop at a major academic conference in the summer of 2019. Authors of R&R manuscripts will be invited to present their papers and respond to their colleague’s comments during the workshop. We will finalize the special issue by the end of 2020.
For questions about this special issue, please contact the co-editors: Lee Li (firstname.lastname@example.org), Stephen Tallman (email@example.com), Gongming Qian (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Thomas Keil (email@example.com)
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