The Sharing Future : A look at the playing field of the Swedish sharing economy
Sammanfattning: The way we share is changing. Where we used to knock on a neighbour’s door to borrow a cup of sugar, we are now using apps to share cars with strangers around the world. Why do some people share, and why do others not? What is the role of the different players in the sharing economy, and how can sustainable growth be encouraged? The purpose of this research was to identify drivers and obstacles of engagement and paths to sustainable growth in the sharing economy. This thesis builds on previous research by expanding it to a Swedish context and by taking a broader look at the stakeholders. Interviews were conducted with five sharing economy experts in order to answer the research questions. The findings include the identification of drivers and obstacles of engagement in the sharing economy for the key stakeholder groups of users, firms (divided into established firms and startups) and the State. In total 30 factors were identified. Highlights of the discovered factors include the importance of convenience for driving participation among users, brand positioning for established firms, low barriers to entry for startups, and sustainability agendas for the State. Identified obstacles of engagement included lack of benefits for users, regulation and taxes for established firms, lack of demand for startups, and speed of change for the State. A model is developed to answer the questions of reaching critical mass and encouraging sustainability. The model describes the players and the playing field of the sharing economy and combines new and established theories for sustainable growth. Two of the highlighted concepts were the need for non-traditional business models and value-based investments, as exemplified by the platform cooperatives, which are user-owned sharing platforms.
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