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Sharecom internationalisation: Exploring business models, business ecosystems, and pathways to international expansion
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing and Tourism Studies (MTS).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3778-7751
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

An ever-changing business landscape, rapid developments in digital technologies, and shifts in societal attitudes have paved the way for the sharing economy phenomenon. Over the past decade, sharing economy companies (sharecoms) have emerged in droves, shaking up industry structures globally with their innovative business models and novel valuecreating processes, which rely on the externalised resources. This unique set of factors has enabled sharecoms to scale and internationalise at an exponential rate, but in nuanced ways that appear to challenge many of the assumptions underpinning extant theories on firm internationalisation.

To help provide a deeper understanding of how the sharecom expands internationally, this thesis explores its internationalisation through an investigation of three concepts pertinent to this process: the business model, the business ecosystem, and internationalisation pathways. Conducted with a research strategy of building theory from cases, this investigation entails a multi-case study comprising a diverse group of sharecoms.

The findings show that sharecoms starts to develop their business models, build their business ecosystems, and pursue international expansion from an early stage. These activities also appear to be highly intertwined, with each influencing the others.

Enriching and augmenting extant international business theories to accommodate the sharing economy phenomenon, the thesis makes several research contributions. It enhances the understanding of the three aforementioned concepts, providing insights into the intricacies of their triadic relationship. Through an exploration of sharecoms’ business models, patterns of change emerge, and virtuous cycles between such changes and the sharecoms’ internationalisation come to light. In addition, a close look at sharecoms’ business ecosystems yields further insights into their role during internationalisation, also revealing a sub-category of semi-dependent entities – local communities – which are found to play an important role in the sharecom’s new foreign market entry. As such, the thesis contributes to literature linking business models and business ecosystems. The thesis also introduces new internationalisation pathways, thus contributing to extant internationalisation process theory. Empirically, the thesis enhances the diversity of sharecoms studied, a shortcoming within sharing economy research to date. Lastly, a number of practical contributions offer insightful managerial knowledge on sharecom internationalisation, more specifically, on the possibility of implementing business model changes to advance international expansion, creating business ecosystems to support new foreign market entry, and adopting flexible, new internationalisation pathways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linnaeus University Press, 2024. , p. 91
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 517
Keywords [en]
sharing economy, sharecom, digital platform, business model, business ecosystem, entry strategy, internationalisation pathway, internationalisation
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Business administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-126233DOI: 10.15626/LUD.517.2024ISBN: 9789180821247 (print)ISBN: 9789180821254 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-126233DiVA, id: diva2:1825117
Public defence
2024-02-15, Zoom, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-01-09 Created: 2024-01-08 Last updated: 2024-01-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Business model change and internationalization in the sharing economy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Business model change and internationalization in the sharing economy
2024 (English)In: Journal of Business Research, ISSN 0148-2963, E-ISSN 1873-7978, Vol. 170, article id 114250Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

For over a decade, sharing economy companies ("sharecoms") have been operating on an international stage with novel digital platform-based business models that create and capture value through unique dimensional configurations. However, the relationship between these business models and the international expansion of sharecoms remains under-theorized. This longitudinal study addresses this gap and presents new empirically driven insights. Based on a cross-border, cross-sector case study of six sharecoms, we investigated the evolution of the business model in relation to internationalization. The results showed that multidimensional changes took place within the business models, impacting the sharecoms' internationalization in terms of speed, scale, and scope through circular causality. Moreover, by creating virtuous cycles of business model change and internationalization, sharecoms were able to achieve network effects and unlock value.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2024
Keywords
Business model, Business model change, Internationalization, Virtuous cycle, Digital platform, Sharing economy
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Economy, Business administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-126027 (URN)10.1016/j.jbusres.2023.114250 (DOI)001105790600001 ()2-s2.0-85174218271 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-12-18 Created: 2023-12-18 Last updated: 2024-03-01Bibliographically approved

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Thornton, Heidi Coral

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