The identity crisis of sharing: from the co-op economy to the urban sharing economy phenomenon

PublicationBook chapter
sharing economy


This chapter explores the disparities between the two main dimensions of the contemporary Sharing Economy. On the one side, non-market collaborative economy actors are shaping the community orientation. On the other side, the market-oriented platform economy utilizes commercial interest in cities based on the scalability of ‘peer’ users and providers. It is within this tension that the chapter aims to illustrate how today’s sharing economy got into an identity crisis. By drawing on the literature of organizational identity, we utilize five different sharing economy actors across the market/non-market continuum in Sweden to discover who they are and what societal impact they envision. The chapter discusses how over time, sharing economy actors seem to have moved from a co-operative, non-commercial model of sharing to instead focus on a commercial sharing approach in a predominant urban setting. We end the chapter by initiating a general debate about the future of the peer-to-peer sharing idea.

Buy the book here.

Geißinger, A., Pelgander, L., & Öberg, C. (2021). The identity crisis of sharing: from the co-op economy to the urban sharing economy phenomenon. In A Modern Guide to the Urban Sharing Economy. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Similar content

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



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.

Social media analytics for knowledge acquisition of market and non-market perceptions in the sharing economy
Article (with peer review)Publication
Geissinger, A., Laurell, C., Öberg, C., Sandström, C., Sick, N. & Yuliano, S.
Publication year



Using the case of Foodora, this paper aims to assess the impact of technological innovation of an emerging actor in the sharing economy through stakeholders’ perceptions in the market and non-market domains.

Using a methodological approach called social media analytics (SMA) to explore the case of Foodora, 3,250 user-generated contents in social media are systematically gathered, coded and analysed.

The findings indicate that, while Foodora appears to be a viable provider in the marketplace, there is mounting public concern about the working conditions of its employees. In the market domain, Foodora manages its status as an online delivery platform and provider well, but at the same time, it struggles with its position in the non-market sphere, suggesting that the firm is vulnerable to regulatory change. These insights highlight the importance of simultaneously exploring and balancing market and non-market perceptions when assessing the impact of disruptive innovation.

This study offers originality by providing an integrative approach to consider both the market and non-market domains. It is also novel in its use of SMA as a tool for knowledge acquisition and management to evaluate the impact of emerging technologies in the sharing economy.

Tracking the Institutional Logics of the Sharing Economy
Book chapterPublication
Geissinger, A., Laurell, C., Öberg, C. & Sandström, C.
Publication year



With the radical growth in the ubiquity of digital platforms, the sharing economy is here to stay. This Handbook explores the nature and direction of the sharing economy, interrogating its key dynamics and evolution over the past decade and critiquing its effect on society.
Using an interdisciplinary perspective, this Handbook analyses labour, governance, trust and consumption in the contemporary sharing economy. It questions the apparent contradiction between its components: the moral economy of small-scale communal sharing versus the far-flung reaches of the market economy. Chapters explore ways to resolve this paradox, theorizing hybrid economic forms and considering the replacement of human trust inherent in the sharing economy with a transactional reputation economy. Featuring a variety of both conceptual explorations and empirical investigations in a variety of different cross-cultural contexts, this Handbook illustrates how and, more importantly, why the sharing economy has reshaped marketplaces, and will continue to disrupt them as it develops.
Written in an accessible style, this thorough Handbook offers crucial insights for researchers across a variety of disciplines interested in the trajectories of modern consumption and market development, as well as students studying the sharing economy. Practitioners, policy makers and public speakers working in and around the sharing economy will also benefit from this book’s unique analysis of trends in consumer and market economics.

Show more

Postgiro: 382621-1


Bankgiro: 512-6578