Challenges for the sharing economy: methodologies for future research

26/06/20
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Several international experts are analysing the challenges posed by digital platform business models in the sharing economy in a seminar organised by the Faculty

Challenges for the sharing economy: methodologies for future research

The Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences organised an online seminar that addressed the challenges posed by digital platform business models in the sharing economy, based on research conducted by a group of international experts. The methodologies presented by some of the academics will allow research into an even more professionalised business model to continue. 

Such is the belief of Sabine Benoit from the University of Surrey, who has exposed the reality of this sector and helped develop this new business model based on the idea of “platforms’ professionalisation”. Benoit explains that these applications don’t just connect consumers with each other, because businesses have now entered into the equation.  She has also pointed out that actors in the sharing economy “extend beyond the customer, platform and service provider”. Additionally, Mareike Möhlmann from Warwick Business School stressed that much of what customers believe about these platforms could be unjustified. 

Luca Mastrogiacomo, Fiorenzo Franceschini and Federico Barravecchia from the Politecnico di Torino also presented their research during the seminar, which, despite approaching the subject from a more technical angle, illustrated how important the content generated by users is on these platforms, as seen in the car sharing sector. The seminar concluded with a presentation by Anna Akmedova, who has conducted research into this field at UIC Barcelona by analysing customers’ level of trust from the perspectives of both the user and the platform. This research highlights how personal trust is rooted in a combination of platform usability and trusting other users, while trust in the platform comes from a combination of how safe they believe the tool to be and how they think it could help them. 

This seminar forms part of the research project entitled “Mejora de la calidad en empresas de consumo colaborativo: modelo, escala y fidelización (CC-QUAL)”, (Improving the quality of collaborative consumption companies: model, scale and loyalty) (ref.: RTI2018-096279-B-I00), funded by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities as part of the R&D funding programme for the project “Research Challenges”.