Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 159, Issue 4, pp 961–976 | Cite as

(Self-)Regulation of Sharing Economy Platforms Through Partial Meta-organizing

  • Heloise BerkowitzEmail author
  • Antoine Souchaud
Original Paper


Can platforms close the governance gap in the sharing economy, and if so, how? Through an in-depth qualitative case study, we analyze the process by which new regulation and self-regulation emerge in one sector of the sharing economy, crowdfunding, through the actions of a meta-organization. We focus on the principal French sectoral meta-organization, Financement Participatif France (FPF—Crowdfunding France). We show that this multi-stakeholder meta-organization not only closed the governance gap through collective legal, ethical, and utilitarian work but also preceded and shaped the new market. We present a hybrid governance approach combining (a) soft multi-agency regulation, (b) self-regulation through a process of “partial meta-organizing”, and (c) direct civil society participation. We expand the literature by highlighting features of platforms’ partial meta-organizing and by identifying conditions for successful joint regulation and self-regulation of the sector.


Sharing economy Crowdfunding Self-regulation Meta-organization Partial organization Governance 



We are grateful for guest editors and anonymous reviewers’ help, as well as for comments on previous versions of this article from: Pr. Véronique Bessière, Pr. Florence Charue-Duboc, Pr. Mathias Guérineau, Pr. Christophe Moussu, Pr. Mar Perezts, participants of the Sharing Economy PDW at EGOS 2017, AIMS 2018 reviewers and participants, Labex Refi, IBEI NRI and Globalization research clusters. We also would like to thank FPF and FPF members for welcoming our research project.


This study was funded by laboratory of excellence ReFi, of heSam University (Grant No. ANR-10-LABX-0095) and by Agence nationale de la Recherche (Grant No. ANR-11-IDEX-0006-02).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study. Additional informed consent was obtained from all individual participants for whom identifying information is included in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNRS (UMR5303), TSM-ResearchToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI)BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.NEOMA Business SchoolReimsFrance

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