Is sharing shaping? How sharing firms shape their institutional environment to gain legitimacy

Aly Ahmed Ibrahim Gouda, Pinar Ozcan, J. P. Coen Rigtering, Bilgehan Uzunca

Research output: Not indexed journal articleArticle


New technology firms such as Airbnb, Blablacar, and Uber have recently spurred the advent of the Sharing Economy (SE), where participants routinely share commodities such as spare rooms, cars, and even food with fellow participants. Despite their societal benefits, SE platforms are facing resistance and protests in several countries. National governments and municipalities face a dilemma between not smothering this innovative phenomenon by excessive, ill-suited, and outdated regulation and protecting the public welfare from potential risks of sharing practices. This poses an urgent challenge about understanding different strategies that SE firms employ within and across countries to actively legitimize their products/services. This paper examines how SE firms attempt to gain legitimacy by shaping their institutional environment. This is the first cross-country, cross- sector study of SE to address the impact of firms' society shaping activities on all key stakeholders. In-depth qualitative analyses of diverse socio- economic characteristics and infrastructural conditions in the Netherlands, the U.K., and Egypt contribute to our theoretical understanding of market emergence, firm entry strategies, and institutional entrepreneurship, as well as help policymakers about regulating SE in a welfare-enhancing way.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


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