Taxonomy of Sharing Economy Platforms

Yifei Ge & Safee Tasneem

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this paper is to produce a taxonomy for sharing economy platforms based on existing sharing economy business models. The study included a number of sharing economy and collaborative consumption platforms from a wide range of industries that were analyzed through coding procedures. Secondary data was obtained from the companies’ official websites and renowned press with information regarding their business model. The first parameter derived from the Service- Dominant Logic was to measure co-creation levels of the company and through analyzing the data, we discovered a second parameter to distinguish between each company, which was control.
The thesis contributes with the taxonomy produced based on co-creation and control level of the firm. The taxonomy revealed three distinguishable categories of sharing economy and collaborative consumption platforms. The first category was “P2P Service” platforms, which were characterized by their high levels of co-creation and low to medium control levels. The second category was “P2P Resources”, where co- creation levels were low and control levels were accordingly low. The last category that emerged was “B2C Resources”, which had no co-creation but high levels of control due to company ownership of assets. The third category is what characterizes collaborative consumption firms, while the first two, to a large extent, represent sharing economy platforms.
We went further to summarize the similarities and differences among the three categories and compared the pros and cons of each category. We examined the categories through the lense of platform business and the level of openness and control on the platform.
Practical implication was proposed to help managers in startups and existing businesses in the sharing economy to transit into experience-oriented, peer-to-peer platforms who actively co-create value with the customer and improve their experiences.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages165
SupervisorsXiao Xiao