What types of business models exist in the sharing economy?

Dominika Wruk, Achim Oberg, Indre Maurer and Jennifer Klutt present results of their analysis in the article "Types of business models in the sharing economy: An exploratory study in Germany", published in the 5th IWSE Best Paper Proceedings.

Existing research on sharing organizations categorizes them by asking the kinds of industries they affect and the types of goods or services that are shared and exchanged. What is not yet understood is how these organizations operate, which is how they create and capture value. We thus know little about the business models in the sharing economy, although they seem to be an important source of variation. In an exploratory empirical study we analyze the business models of a sample of 62 sharing organizations in Germany. We identify three types of emergent business models: grassroot, platform and traditional sharing. These insights contribute to current knowledge by indicating the fault lines, overlaps, boundaries and reach of the new and heterogeneous field of the sharing economy.

The short paper is published in the Best Paper Proceedings “Perspectives on the Sharing Economy”, edited by Dominika Wurk, Indre Maurer and Achim Oberg. The volume consists of short papers selected as best papers at the 5th International Workshop on the Sharing Economy that was organized by the i-hare team in 2018 and took place at the University of Mannheim.


Wruk, D., Oberg, A., Maurer, I., & Klutt, J. (2019). Types of Business Models in the Sharing Economy: An Exploratory Study in Germany. In Wruk, D., Maurer, I., Oberg, A. Perspectives on the Sharing Economy. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 72-81.

Further Information

Link to publication: https://www.cambridgescholars.com/perspectives-on-the-sharing-economy

An overview of publications from the i-share consortium and network can be found here: https://www.i-share-economy.org/en/publications