Organizational Forms and the field of the Platform Economy

Platform organizations for sharing, swapping and other ways of collaborative consumption are widely associated with positive economic, ecological and social effects, but existing organizational forms also face much criticism. What alternative organizational forms exist in the platform economy?

Societal expectations regarding the aims of organizations have changed at the latest since the global economic and financial crisis in 2008. Established firms are expected to not only be economically successful, but to also act in a socially and ecologically responsible way. In addition, newly founded organizations aim to achieve social and ecological aims by using management practices and means.

Particularly interesting are thereby new models of sharing, because sharing organizations are active in various industries and organizational fields and because where they oftentimes cooperate or compete with established organizations. They thereby rely on the same set of management practices, but combine them in a way that allows them to achieve social and ecological aims. As a result, new organizational forms evolve. 

Despite the existing diversity of these forms it is not yet understood, how these organizational forms evolve and what impact they have. Contributing to closing this research gap is the aim of this research project.


Wie können nachrichtenlose Assets für Social Impact nutzbar gemacht werden? Am 5. März 2020 stellt der SEND e.V. seinen Reformvorschlag in Berlin vor (26/02/2020)
In Deutschland fehlt es an finanzieller Unterstützung für Sozialunternehmen. Daher stellt sich die Frage, wie Kapital für soziale und nachhaltige Projekte mobilisiert und dadurch in eine gemeinwohlorientierte Zukunft investiert werden kann. Um die Finanzierung von Sozialunternehmen zu stärken, entwickelten Mitglieder des Social Entrepreneurship Netzwerk Deutschland e. V. einen Reformvorschlag zur Nutzung nachrichtenloser Assets für sozialen Impact. (English version below). more...
Platform Coop Learning Journey: Insights and written documentation (14/01/2020)
In May 2019, together with several partners, we invited cooperatives from Belgium and Germany to a two-day event in Berlin, to give them the opportunity to exchange experiences and learnings and to create a network that allows future collaborations in the areas of items sharing, freelancing, housing, carsharing and IT. more...
How are sharing organizations’ business models linked to values? (15/11/2019)
Dominika Wruk from platforms2share together with her co-authors Achim Oberg, Jennifer Klutt & Indre Maurer developed an approach to analyze how business models and values are linked. Applying this approach in the context of the sharing economy, they found two strategies to link models and values: Grassrots initiatives mainly address sustainability values while platform-based organizations mainly address economic values. It will be interesting to see, whether platform cooperatives represent a hybrid model by linking a platform business model to sustainability values. more...




Tino Schöllhorn
Tino Schöllhorn
Prof. Dr. Achim Oberg
Prof. Dr. Achim Oberg
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Prof. Dr. Dominika Wruk
Prof. Dr. Dominika Wruk