Abstract to the success stories of sharing economy platforms

Abstract

Recently,
the world has witnessed the emergence of an umbrella term that is often called
“the sharing economy”, which has attracted a great deal of attention in the
past few years.

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This
phenomenon is spreading rapidly worldwide in a number of industries and markets
and across countless domains in various formats.

This
phenomenon has drawn mixed responses, supporters of the sharing economy claim
that it can yield idealistic outcomes including global equality and sustainable
consumption practices. Critics condemn the idea of the sharing economy itself
as an attempt to commercialize aspects of personal life previously beyond the
reach of the market.1

 

Introduction

The
sharing economy seemingly comprises online peer-to-peer economic activities.
The most wildly publicized and talked about domains are rental accommodation, mobility
and gifting.2

The
rapidly increasing interest in the sharing economy is highly credited to the success
stories of sharing economy platforms such as Uber, an online peer-to-peer
platform providing taxi and ‘ridesharing’ services. These platforms experienced
explosive growth from a small independent start-up company to a multi-billion-dollar
international corporation in an astonishingly short amount of time.3

Despite
the fact that Uber is frequently charged with unfair pricing practices and
worker-related litigation, a 2015 studiy shows that its active driver base has
more than doubled every six months from 2013 to 2015.4
Its growth continues to rise in 2017 as the latest confirmed financial results
of Uber showed that the gross bookings roughly doubled from the 2nd quarter of
2016.5

With
the economic benefits that the sharing economy can bring and the frequent
reminders about the problems it poses, further examination is required to
determine whether the sharing economy is a blessing or a curse.

Using
UBER as an example, I will explore in my research paper both the advantages and
disadvantages that the sharing economy provides.

I
will begin with a brief review of what the sharing economy is. I will then move
on to introducing Uber and discussing its advantages and disadvantages. I will
conclude with answering the question.

 

What is the sharing economy?

It
is extremely challenging to offer a definition of the ‘sharing economy’ which
retains clarity whilst encompassing the variety of ways in which the term is
used in practice

1
Widlock. Thomas

2
The people who share

3 LASHINSKY, A. 2015. Uber: An
oral history Online. Fortune. Available:
retrieved
(12.11.2017)

LASHINSKY,
A.” Uber: An oral history”. Fortune, June 3, 2015
retrieved (12.11.2017)

4 Solomon, B. “The Numbers
Behind Uber’s Exploding Driver Force,” Forbes, May 1,2015

retrieved (12.11.2017)

5 Helft, M. “Despite Ongoing
Turmoil, Uber’s Growth Remains Strong”. Forbes, AUG 23, 2017 retrieved (12.11.2017)