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City Administrations' Facilitation Role in Sharing Participation for Sustainable Shared City Living: A Co-Creation Perspective
Authors: Dominik Georgi (Lucerne School of Business), Tom Chen (The University of Newcastle, Australia, Australia), Matthes Fleck (Lucerne School of Business)
The increased popularity of both commercial sharing services and non-commercial sharing services has led to the global expansion of the sharing economy. Given the rising popularity of sharing services such as Airbnb and Uber around the globe, city administrations, therefore, must decide how to address sharing in their cities. This raises the question of whether and how to regulate sharing services. Their options range from letting the ‘sharing economy’ flow to actively regulating sharing by restricting the sharing economy. Another option might be to actively design and manage the city’s sharing economy. Regardless, city administrations must understand the different motives for sharing to develop consistent policies around the various facets of sharing and the business models of the sharing industries. This active approach is a valid strategic option given that the potential effects of sharing in the areas of ecological, social and economic sustainability fall within the purview of cities’ common objectives. Therefore, the idea that guides our research is how cities structurally use sharing principles to support their objectives.
Little to no attention has been paid to the question of how cities and local authorities should respond to the increasing importance of the sharing economy in service literature. Specifically, we examine how city administrations actively manage the sharing economy to support their objectives from a co-creation perspective. Our study addresses the following questions:
(1) What are the effects of sharing participation on sustainable city development?
(2) What are the drivers of sharing participation?
(3) What are the policy options for cities?
A two-step research design was employed to ensure that multiple stakeholders and perspectives relevant to public policy-making are considered. To guarantee the relevance of the studies, all the research was conducted in cooperation with a city government. Firstly, to understand the nature of sharing within a public policy-making context, we conducted expert interviews. To understand personal motives for sharing, we asked individuals about their sharing motivations and intentions for use in various sharing scenarios. The results indicate that cities and urban areas can benefit from the sharing economy through the smarter use of resources. Secondly, we conducted a survey study which identifies major factors that support a sharing economy in a public context. We contribute to the theory by proposing four propositions to inform city administrations’ facilitation role in responding to the determinants of sharing participation in the sharing economy. To facilitate the achievement of sustainability goals, we also provide three strategic approaches in responding to sharing participation, i.e. restricting, feeding and living in a sharing economy, for city administrations to derive sharing strategies.