A Business Model Framework for Sharing Economy: Disclosing Customer Value and Characteristics

Julie Blom Engelsholm

Student thesis: Master thesis


Sharing economy is a phenomenon that has changed the consumption behavior within the past year. Consumer attitudes have shifted toward a more sustainable and economic way of consuming. Sharing economy has gained a lot of attention by scholars and the media over the past years. While many companies have seen great success, the less glorified truth is many start-up companies have never managed to scale and thereby failed.
The purpose of this thesis is to understand what business model framework companies with sharing economy schemes can use to project business opportunities and success. Adopting a business model perspective provides a powerful set of lenses for the opportunities and success of sharing economy companies.
A preliminary business model framework is developed based on emerging literature on business models. The framework is build around eight key components, which are considered by researchers to project business opportunities and success. Following, the components are applied and analyzed in relation to sharing economy characteristics defined in the literature review of sharing economy. To determine the applicability of these components for sharing economy companies, case- companies with opposing characteristics are compared.
The outcome of the analysis reveals that adjustments of the preliminary meta-model are required. While some components in the model require realignment to meet specific requirement by sharing economy companies, other components are considered to necessitate special importance by sharing economy entrepreneurs. The research, furthermore, identifies two additional components, which are considered important for the opportunities and success of sharing economy companies. The paper finalizes by illustrating three meta-models, which potentially can be applied by entrepreneurs to project opportunities and success for sharing economy companies.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages98
SupervisorsKim Normann Andersen