Module: Consumers in the sharing economy

“Sharing is to ownership what the iPod is to the eight-track, what the solar panel is to the coal mine. Sharing is clean, crisp, urbane, postmodern; owning is dull, selfish, timid, backward.” — Mark Levine, poet and author.


The sharing economy is best described as a socio-economic system, which has sharing at its core: (temporarily) sharing untapped potential, goods, (work)space, money and services.



A key success factor in the sharing economy is the online reputation of its players. Reviews, screening and verification protocols all add up to make the behavior of all relevant parties in the sharing economy clear and transparent. They ensure a mutual sense of trust. We review the person renting us the apartment, rate the cab driver, and reward consumers whom we lend money or whose tool we borrow with likes or dislikes, as the case may be.


Topics in this module:

  • Traditional versus sharing economy
    • Is this sharing economy really a new idea?
  • The rise of the online sharing economy
  • Social revolution
    • Local connections
  • Business models
    • Product service systems
    • Second-hand markets
    • Shared lifestyle
    • Disruption
  • Consumer turned producer
  • The rise of the zero marginal cost society
  • Skepticism
  • Challenges in the sharing economy
    • Threat 1: distrust
    • Threat 2: working conditions
    • Threat 3: regulation
    • Threat 4: slower economic growth
  • What’s next


Target group: Manager

Module level: Starter

Version | 13 - 08 - 2018

Part of course: Ecommerce Strategy (ECON2)

Topics in this module: Community Management, Market Places, Social Media and Services, The New Store
Mandatory reading