Platforms in the peer-to-peer sharing economy
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Citation (published version)Jochen Wirtz, Kevin So, Makarand Mody, Stephanie Liu, Helen Chun. 2019. "Platforms in the Peer-to-Peer Sharing Economy." Journal of Service Management, Volume 30, Issue 4, https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-11-2018-0369
Purpose – This article examines peer-to-peer sharing platform business models, their sources of competitive advantage, and the roles, motivations, and behaviors of key actors in their ecosystems. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses a conceptual approach that is rooted in the service, tourism and hospitality, and strategy literature. Findings – First, this paper defines key types of platform business models in the sharing economy and describes their characteristics. In particular, we propose the differentiation between sharing platforms of capacity-constrained versus capacity-unconstrained assets and advance five core properties of the former. Second, we contrast platform business models with their pipeline business model counterparts to understand the fundamental differences between them. One important conclusion is that platforms cater to vastly more heterogeneous assets and consumer needs, and therefore, require liquidity and analytics for high quality matching. Third, we examine the competitive position of platforms and conclude that their widely taken “winner takes it all” assumption is not valid. Primary network effects are less important once a critical level of liquidity has been reached and may even turn negative if increased listings raise friction in the form of search costs. Once a critical level of liquidity has been reached, a platform’s competitive position depends on stakeholder trust and service provider and user loyalty. Fourth, we integrate and synthesize the literature on key platform stakeholders of platform businesses (i.e. users, service providers, and regulators) and their roles and motivations. Finally, directions for further research are advanced. Practical implications – This article helps platform owners, service providers, and users understand better the implications of sharing platform business models and how to position themselves in such ecosystems. Originality/value – This article integrates the extant literature on sharing platforms, takes a novel approach in delineating their key properties and dimensions, and provides insights into the evolving and dynamic forms of sharing platforms including converging business models.
RightsCopyright © 2019, Jochen Wirtz, Kevin Kam Fung So, Makarand Amrish Mody, Stephanie Q. Liu and HaeEun Helen Chun. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial & non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode