The authors develop a definition of the sharing economy that emphasizes the peculiarities of this new form of business: access to resources, alternative forms of compensation in addition to money, interaction between peers and digital platforms as the basis for this interaction. Additionally, the central role of sharing economy organisations, as a service provider and designer of digital platforms, is analysed based on the diversity of these organisations and their practices. Analysing this diversity helps to better understand the sharing economy. The authors propose a comprehensive research approach for such endeavours.
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A comment directed at policymakers on how to unlock the potential of the sharing economy based on the paper can be found here.