Research on the platform economy

Which opportunities do cooperative models and blockchain technology offer to the platform economy? What are other potential pathways toward a more sustainable platform economy? 

Today, new digital platforms for sharing, swapping and other ways of collaborative consumption are widely associated with positive economic, ecological and social effects. At the same time, existing platforms like Airbnb and Uber are increasingly criticized in public debate for having negative effects on people, local economies and our planet. As a counter model, new decentral models combining alternative organizational forms (such as platform cooperatives) and new technologies (such as Blockchain technology) are discussed and tested. These and other alternative models promise to better reach social-ecological goals and offer potential to transform the sharing and platform economy. 

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One approach to attack positions of dominant platform organizations is seen in a new technology: Blockchain – a technology enabling safe, secure and private transactions between parties without a central mediator owning technology and data. In their current research, Tino Schöllhorn and Achim Ober from platforms2share study whether the diffusion of the technology can be explained by its linkages to illegitimate or legitimate domains at different points in time. They present their paper at this year’s Academy of Management Annual Meeting.

Legitimization and Diffusion of the Blockchain Technology, Organizational Forms and the field of the Platform Economy

How do the fields of blockchain, cooperativism and sharing overlap?
Platform organizations that combine sharing business models, cooperative ownership structures and blockchain technology are proposed to be more just and sustainable alternatives to dominant platform models. While attributed a high potential, the spread and legitimacy of such models are low. In their current research, Tino Schöllhorn, Dominika Wruk and Achim Oberg from platforms2share explore the structuration of the three fields involved to explain the current state of the platform economy and its potential future development. They presented their work at this year’s European Group of Organization Studies Colloquium
Corona has shown us how much we need organizations that create social and ecological value—and an ecosystem in which they can thrive. The #AirMOOC & #AirCompetition (AIR: Accelerating Investment Readiness) aim at joining Social Entrepreneurship & Impact Investing for more positive social change.
How can European digital platform companies remain competitive? How do national and EU regulations affect them? How can platformisation be governed in order to achieve fairer results for European stakeholders? Join the event to discuss thee and other questions with representatives from Zalando, Reshaping Work, Glovo and October.



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Organizing the Wisdom of Crowds: How Wikipedia Helps to Theorize and Legitimize the Blockchain
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Prof. Dr. Dominika Wruk
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How do the fields of blockchain, cooperativism and sharing overlap?
Platform Entrepreneurship in Europe: Which Business Models are Viable and Sustainable? Join the webinar on June 3rd 2020