35th EGOS Colloquium

Enlightening the Future:
The Challenge for Organizations


University of Edinburgh Business School

July 4–6, 2019

Edinburgh, United Kingdom




Sub-theme 40: Whom or What Do You Trust in the Sharing Economy?

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Reinhard Bachmann
SOAS University of London, United Kingdom
Antonina Bauman
Emporia State University, USA
Jörg Sydow
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Call for Papers

The technological evolution from one-way communication to two-way social media (Web 2.0) resulted in new business models based on the collaborative efforts of users and providers around the world, known as the sharing economy (Campbell et al., 2011). The business model of the sharing economy is based on an online technological platform that creates a marketplace where individuals offer products and services for temporary use. People who have resources or products that are not fully utilized can share those with strangers (Nica & Potcovaru, 2015).
Although some researchers (Hamari et al., 2015) state that the sharing economy is a technological phenomenon due to its reliance on Web 2.0 applications (Nica & Potcovaru, 2015), the process of sharing occurs between people who use technology in a novel way. Since a business transaction can take place both online and off-line between strangers, it entails a higher level of risk (Schor, 2016).
As a transaction within a sharing economy occurs in a virtual environment, one of the challenges is that, very often, users do not have any prior knowledge or experience dealing with each other. They are vulnerable in a situation of uncertainty and risk despite several mechanisms installed to control quality and reliability of a product or service. Typically this type of a situation requires trust (Cho et al., 2007).
There are several phenomena in the sharing economy which make the development of trust in this environment difficult. First, there is a lack of personal contact and face-to-face interaction, often considered crucial of trust emergence. Second, the line between providers and users is blurred as providers of one product can act as consumers of another product via an online platform that serves as an intermediary between the parties (Puschmann & Alt, 2016). Third, since the sharing economy keeps its competitive advantage through its often illegal actions (Miller, 2016), the development of trust may be undermined not only by lack of experience and face-to-face interaction but also the institutional environment. Fourth, the trust/control duality (Bachmann et al., 2001; Sydow & Windeler, 2003; Möllering, 2005) is little understood in this environment.
This sub-theme seeks to encourage discussion of, among other issues, the following topics:

  • Sharing economy: advantages and disadvantages for participating businesses

  • Sharing economy: advantages and disadvantages for individual contributors or entrepreneurs

  • Emergence of trust in the sharing economy and the role of control in this process

  • The role of interpersonal and inter-organizational relations and trust/control in the sharing economy

  • Implications of the sharing economy for work and labor relations and the consequences for trust emergence

  • Technological and organizational controls and their role in trust emergence

  • Safety and security in the sharing economy

  • Trends in trust and control research in the sharing economy



  • Bachmann, R., Knights, D., & Sydow, J. (2001): “Trust and control in organizational relations.” Organization Studies, 22 (2), 337–365.
  • Campbell, C., Pitt, L.F., Parent, M., & Berthon, P.R. (2011): “Understanding consumer conversations around ads in a Web 2.0 world.” Journal of Advertising, 40 (1), 87–102.
  • Cho, D.-Y., Kwon, H.J., & Lee, H.-Y. (2007): Analysis of Trust in Internet and Mobile commerce adoption. Proceedings of the 40th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
  • Hamari, J., Sjöklint, M., & Ukkonen, A. (2016): “The sharing economy: Why people participate in collaborative consumption.” Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 67 (9), 2047–2059.
  • Miller, S.R. (2016): “First principles for regulating the sharing economy.” Harvard Journal on Legislation, 53 (1), 147–202.
  • Möllering, G. (2005): “The trust/control duality.” International Sociology, 20 (3), 283–305.
  • Nica, E., & Potcovaru, A.M. (2015): “The social sustainability of the sharing economy.” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, 10 (4), 69–75.
  • Puschmann, T., & Alt, R. (2016): “Sharing Economy.” Business & Information Systems Engineering, 58 (1), 93–99.
  • Schor, J. (2016): “Debating the sharing economy.” Journal of Self-Governance and Management Economics, 4 (3), 7–22.
  • Sydow, J., & Windeler, A. (2003): “Knowledge, trust, and control: Managing tensions and contradictions in a regional network of service firms.” International Studies of Management and Organization, 33 (2), 69–99.

Reinhard Bachmann is Professor (Chair) of International Management and Head of the School of Finance and Management, and also the Director of the Centre for Trust Research (CTR) at SOAS University of London, UK. His research focuses on issues of strategic management, organizational analysis and comparative management. Specifically, the role of social mechanisms (trust, power, etc.) and societal influences (institutional arrangements, cultural traditions) on the structure and strategic organization of business relationships are emphasized in his work. For many years, Reinhard has served on the Editorial Board of ‘Organization Studies’.
Antonina Bauman is an Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at the School of Business, Emporia State University, USA. Her area of research is consumer online trust.
Jörg Sydow is Professor (Chair) of Inter-firm Cooperation at the School of Business & Economics of Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, where he is also the spokesperson of the Research Unit “Organized Creativity”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). His research focuses, among others, on strategic alliances and networks, management and organization theory, temporary organizing, creativity and innovation research, trust/control and industrial relations. Jörg is (or was) a member of the Editorial Review Boards of ‘Organization Studies’, ‘Organization Science’, ‘Academy of Management Review’, ‘Academy of Management Journal’, ‘Journal of Management Studies’ and ‘The Scandinavian Journal of Management’.
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