Advertisement

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

Notes

Acknowledgements

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.

Funding

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.

References

  1. Acquier, A., Daudigeos, T., & Pinkse, J. (2017). Promises and paradoxes of the sharing economy: An organizing framework. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 125, 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahrne, G., & Brunsson, N. (2008). Meta-organizations. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahrne, G., & Brunsson, N. (2010). Organization outside organizations: The significance of partial organization. Organization, 18(1), 83–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ahrne, G., Brunsson, N., & Seidl, D. (2016). Resurrecting organization by going beyond organizations. European Management Journal, 34(2), 93–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. André, K., Bureau, S., Gautier, A., & Rubel, O. (2017). Beyond the opposition between altruism and self-interest: Reciprocal giving in reward-based crowdfunding. Journal of Business Ethics. 146(2), 313–332.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-017-3652-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barley, S. R. (2010). Building an institutional field to corral a government: A case to set an agenda for organization studies. Organization Studies, 31(6), 777–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barnett, M. L. (2006). Finding a working balance between competitive and communal strategies. Journal of Management Studies, 43(8), 1753–1773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barnett, M. L., & King, A. A. (2008). Good fences make good neighbors: A longitudinal analysis of an industry self-regulatory institution. Academy of Management Journal, 51(6), 1150–1170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bartley, T. (2007). Institutional emergence in an era of globalization: The rise of transnational private regulation of labor and environmental conditions. American Journal of Sociology, 113(2), 297–351.  https://doi.org/10.1086/518871.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Belk, R. (2014). You are what you can access: Sharing and collaborative consumption online. Journal of Business Research, 67(8), 1595–1600.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Berkowitz, H., Bucheli, M., & Dumez, H. (2017). Collective CSR strategy and the role of meta-organizations: A case study of the oil and gas industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 143(4), 753–769.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brescia, R. H. (2016). Regulating the sharing economy: New and old insights into an oversight regime for the peer-to-peer economy. Nebraska Law Review, 95(1), 87–145.Google Scholar
  13. Brunsson, N., Gustafsson, I., & Hallström, K. T. (2018). Markets, trust, and the construction of macro-organizations. In N. Brunsson & M. Jutterström (Eds.), Organizing and reorganizing markets (pp. 136–152). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Brunsson, N., & Jacobsson, B. (2000). A world of standards. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Brunsson, N., Rasche, A., & Seidl, D. (2012). The dynamics of standardization: Three perspectives on standards in organization studies. Organization Studies, 33(5–6), 613–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Busch, P.-O., Jörgens, H., & Tews, K. (2005). The global diffusion of regulatory instruments: The making of a new international environmental regime. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 598(1), 146–167.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716204272355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Büthe, T., & Mattli, W. (2011). The new global rulers. The privatization of regulation in the world economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cannon, S., & Summers, L. H. (2014). How Uber and the sharing economy can win over regulators. Harvard Business Review, 13(10), 24–28.Google Scholar
  19. Carbone, V., Rouquet, A., & Roussat, C. (2017). The rise of crowd logistics: A new way to co-create logistics value. Journal of Business Logistics, 38(4), 238–252.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jbl.12164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chaffee, E. C., & Rapp, G. C. (2012). Regulating online peer-to-peer lending in the aftermath of Dodd-Frank: In search of an evolving regulatory regime for an evolving industry. Wash. & Lee L. Rev., 69(2), 485–533.Google Scholar
  21. Christiansen, L. H., & Kroezen, J. J. (2016). Institutional maintenance through business collective action: The alcohol industry’s engagement with the issue of alcohol-related harm. In How Institutions Matter! (pp. 101–143). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.Google Scholar
  22. Cohen, M., & Sundararajan, A. (2015). Self-regulation and innovation in the peer-to-peer sharing economy. University of Chicago Law Review Dialogue, 82(1), 116–133.Google Scholar
  23. Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
  24. Djelic, M.-L., & den Hond, F. (2014). Introduction: Multiplicity and plurality in the world of standards. Business and Politics, 16(01), 67–77.  https://doi.org/10.1515/bap-2013-0034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Djelic, M.-L., & Quack, S. (2018). Globalization and business regulation. Annual Review of Sociology, 44(1), 123–143.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-soc-060116-053532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dobusch, L., & Schoeneborn, D. (2015). Fluidity, identity, and organizationality: The communicative constitution of Anonymous. Journal of Management Studies, 52(8), 1005–1035.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Dumez, H. (2016). Comprehensive Research. A methodological and epistemological introduction to qualitative research. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press.Google Scholar
  28. Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fraiberger, S. P., & Sundararajan, A. (2017). Peer-to-peer rental markets in the sharing economy. NYU Stern School of Business Research Paper.  https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2574337.
  30. Gerwe, O., & Silva, R. (2018). Clarifying the sharing economy: Conceptualization, typology, antecedents, and effects. Academy of Management Perspectives.  https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2017.0010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gibbert, M., Ruigrok, W., & Wicki, B. (2008). What passes as a rigorous case study? Strategic Management Journal, 29(13), 1465–1474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gond, J.-P., Kang, N., & Moon, J. (2011). The government of self-regulation: On the comparative dynamics of corporate social responsibility. Economy and Society, 40(4), 640–671.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Grothe-Hammer, M. (2019). Organization without actorhood: Exploring a neglected phenomenon. European Management Journal. 37(3), 325–338.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2018.07.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hamari, J., Sjöklint, M., & Ukkonen, A. (2016). The sharing economy: Why people participate in collaborative consumption. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 67(9), 2047–2059.  https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.23552/pdf.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hong, S., & Lee, S. (2018a). Adaptive governance and decentralization: Evidence from regulation of the sharing economy in multi-level governance. Government Information Quarterly. 35(2), 299–305.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.giq.2017.08.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hong, S., & Lee, S. (2018b). Adaptive governance, status quo bias, and political competition: Why the sharing economy is welcome in some cities but not in others. Government Information Quarterly, 35(2), 283–290.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.giq.2018.02.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Järvi, K., Almpanopoulou, A., & Ritala, P. (2018). Organization of knowledge ecosystems: Prefigurative and partial forms. Research Policy, 47(8), 1523–1537.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2018.05.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Jordana, J., & Levi-Faur, D. (2005). The diffusion of regulatory capitalism in latin America: Sectoral and national channels in the making of a new order. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 598(1), 102–124.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716204272587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. King, A. A., & Lenox, M. J. (2000). Industry self-regulation without sanctions: The chemical industry’s responsible care program. Academy of Management Journal, 43(4), 698–716.Google Scholar
  40. King, A. A., Lenox, M. J., & Barnett, M. L. (2002). Strategic responses to the reputation commons problem. In A. J. Hoffman & M. J. Ventresca (Eds.), Organizations, policy and the natural environment: Institutional and strategic perspectives (pp. 393–406). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Langley, A. (1999). Strategies for theorizing from process data. The Academy of Management Review, 24(4), 691–710.  https://doi.org/10.2307/259349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Laumann, E. O., & Knoke, D. (1987). The organizational state: Social choice in national policy domains. University of Wisconsin Press. Google Scholar
  43. Lee, B. H. (2009). The infrastructure of collective action and policy content diffusion in the organic food industry. Academy of Management Journal, 52(6), 1247–1269.  https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2009.47084925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Levi-Faur, D. (2005). The global diffusion of regulatory capitalism. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 598(1), 12–32.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716204272371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverley Hills, CA: SAGE Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Loconto, A., & Fouilleux, E. (2014). Politics of private regulation: ISEAL and the shaping of transnational sustainability governance. Regulation & Governance, 8(2), 166–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mair, J., Martí, I., & Ventresca, M. J. (2012). Building inclusive markets in rural Bangladesh: How intermediaries work institutional voids. Academy of Management Journal, 55(4), 819–850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Marques, J. C. (2017). Industry business associations: Self-interested or socially conscious? Journal of Business Ethics, 143(4), 733–751.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3077-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mena, S., & Palazzo, G. (2012). Input and output legitimacy of multi-stakeholder initiatives. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(03), 527–556.  https://doi.org/10.5840/beq201222333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nielsen, K. R. (2018). Crowdfunding through a partial organization lens—The co-dependent organization. European Management Journal. 36(6), 695–707.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2018.01.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Österblom, H., & Folke, C. (2013). Emergence of global adaptive governance for stewardship of regional marine resources. Ecology and Society, 18(2), 4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Paik, Y., Kang, S., & Seamans, R. (2017). Entrepreneurship, innovation, and political competition: How the public sector helps the sharing economy create value. SSRN Electronic Journal, 1, 2–3.  https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2925077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Palazzo, G., & Richter, U. (2005). CSR business as usual? The case of the tobacco industry. Journal of Business Ethics, 61(4), 387–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Philippon, T. (2016). The FinTech Opportunity (Working Paper No. 22476). National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w22476
  55. Rajwani, T., Lawton, T. C., & Phillips, N. (2015). The “Voice of Industry”: Why management researchers should pay more attention to trade associations. Strategic Organization, 13(3), 224–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rasche, A. (2012). Global policies and local practice: Loose and tight couplings in multi-stakeholder initiatives. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(4), 679–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rasche, A., Bakker, F., & Moon, J. (2013). Complete and partial organizing for corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 115(4), 651–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rauch, D. E., & Schleicher, D. (2015). Like Uber, but for local government law: The future of local regulation of the sharing economy. Ohio St. LJ, 76(4), 901–963.Google Scholar
  59. Scherer, A. G., & Palazzo, G. (2007). Toward a political conception of corporate responsibility: Business and society seen from a Habermasian perspective. Academy of Management Review, 32(4), 1096–1120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Scherer, A. G., Palazzo, G., & Baumann, D. (2006). Global rules and private actors: Toward a new role of the transnational corporation in global governance. Business Ethics Quarterly, 16(4), 505–532.  https://doi.org/10.5840/beq200616446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Scherer, A. G., Palazzo, G., & Matten, D. (2009). Introduction to the special issue: Globalization as a challenge for business responsibilities. Business Ethics Quarterly, 19(3), 327–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Scherer, A. G., Rasche, A., Palazzo, G., & Spicer, A. (2016). Managing for political corporate social responsibility: New challenges and directions for PCSR 2.0. Journal of Management Studies, 53(3), 273–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Simon, F. C. (2017). Meta-regulation in practice: Beyond normative views of morality and rationality. New York: Routledge.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0001839218777211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Smith, W. K., & Lewis, M. W. (2011). Toward a theory of paradox: A dynamic equilibrium model of organizing. Academy of Management Review, 36(2), 381–403.Google Scholar
  65. Souchaud, A. (2017). Deus ex machina dans « l’espace régulatoire » du crédit en France: La reconnaissance du crowdlending face au monopole bancaire. Gérer et Comprendre. Annales Des Mines, 128, 3–13.Google Scholar
  66. Sundararajan, A. (2016). The sharing economy: The end of employment and the rise of crowd-based capitalism. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  67. Whelan, G. (2012). The political perspective of corporate social responsibility: A critical research agenda. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(04), 709–737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Whelan, G. (2017). Political CSR: The corporation as a political actor. In J. Moon, M. Morsing, & A. Rasche (Eds.), Corporate social responsibility: Strategy, communication, governance (pp. 136–153). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Whelan, G. (2019). Born political: A dispositive analysis of Google and copyright. Business & Society, 58(1), 42–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Yin, R. K. (2012). Applications of case study research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  71. Zervas, G., Proserpio, D., & Byers, J. W. (2017). The rise of the sharing economy: Estimating the impact of Airbnb on the hotel industry. Journal of Marketing Research. 54(5), 687–705.  https://doi.org/10.1509/jmr.15.0204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zrenner, A. (2015). The Ethics of Regulating the Sharing Economy. Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, Durham, NC. CEPS▪ Place Du Congrès, 1.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations