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Social and economic ties in the freelance and sharing economies

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
Christina Öberg, Delningsekonomi, Företagandets villkor, Nätverk, Organisationsteori

Abstract

New ways of organizing businesses, such as the freelance and sharing economies, may bring entirely new meaning to those fundamental ideas that are believed to underpin business exchanges. Through the lens of social and economic ties, this paper sets to address how these new ways of organizing business change the view on business exchanges. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the role of social ties in the freelance and sharing economies. The paper adopts a multiple case study approach to illustrate the structural, cognitive, and relational dimensions of social and economic ties in the freelance and sharing economies. Findings point at how networks are increasingly emphasized, while at the same time, the relational dimension of social ties is altered for transactional platforms. There is also the disconnection between the economic ties and the social ties as the payment and delivery solutions become more and more complex. Un-socialization, a new meaning of trust, and a second platform-driven cycle of entrepreneurship indicate new ideas to current understandings of business exchanges and entrepreneurship.

Öberg, C. (2018). Social and economic ties in the freelance and sharing economies. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 30(1), 77-96. DOI: 10.1080/08276331.2017.1388954

Based on content

Spin-in and spin-out for growth – On the acquisition and divestiture of high-tech firms
Article (with peer review)Publication
Öberg, C.
Publication year

2021

Abstract

Purpose: This paper describes and discusses company spin-ins and spin-outs as a means to understand company growth in a dynamic context. The following question is asked: How can growth be understood in spin-ins and spin-outs of innovative firms? The paper suggests return on capabilities as a measure to understand growth in an open innovation context.

Design/methodology/approach: The empirical part of the paper consists of a single case study. Data was captured through interviews and secondary data sources.

Findings: The paper points to that resources alone do not explain strategic decisions by a company and how spin-ins and spin-outs result from the need for capabilities, changes in business foci and temporary solutions to deal with overcapacities or lack of alternatives.

Originality/value: The paper contributes to research by discussing contemporary issues in strategy and innovation and relating them to the resource-based view and the growth of the firm. Spin-outs, and acquisitions and divestitures as interlinked events have rarely been focused on in the literature, while they remain frequent phenomena in practice.

Open marketing – Conceptualizing external parties’ strategic marketing activities
Article (with peer review)Publication
Öberg, C.
Publication year

2020

Abstract

Open marketing as conceptualized in this paper refers to how external parties take part in strategic, integrative marketing activities. To distinguish this more recent trend in marketing from traditional meanings of marketing, the paper provides a typology on roles and role keepers in marketing. Four types of roles and role keepers are outlined: marketing as 1) solely being performed by actors in the supplier company communicating offerings, 2) an activity shared among functions of the supplier company, 3) external parties communicating offerings, and 4) external parties contributing to strategic marketing. Using the concept of ‘roles’ in marketing helps to structure activities and actors – or roles and role keepers – and provides a basis for understanding that marketing results from what is done, not merely from who performs it. The paper underlines how new ways of conducting business also have implications for a company’s marketing beyond its borders.

Disruptive and paradoxical roles in the sharing economies
Article (with peer review)Publication
Öberg, C.
Publication year

2021

Abstract

The sharing economy could be said to disrupt who does what in exchanges. This paper categorises the roles played by users, providers, and platforms in different interpretations of the sharing economy. It asks: What different roles do the users, providers, and platforms play in the sharing economy? And: How do the roles differ in various interpretations of the sharing economy? The paper classifies the different interpretations based on their market/non-market logic and concludes that roles are more extensive for users and providers in non-market logic interpretations, while market logic suggests that the platform acts more roles. The user is, despite the peer-to-peer connotation of the sharing economy, often quite passive. Contributions are made to the emerging literature on the sharing economy through highlighting its many different interpretations, where roles help to systematise these. The paper furthermore contributes to the literature on roles through highlighting them as transitory and expanding beyond expectations related to digitalisation. Practically, the systematisation of roles helps to navigate among various business model designs and makes informed decisions when launching platforms in the sharing economy. Additionally, the focus on roles raises important questions on risk sharing, resource provisions, and the creation of value for each participating party.

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