Collaborative Service Networks, Case Study of Uber and Airbnb

Babak Mohajeri, Riko Nyberg, Mark Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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In recent years, conventional business model of ownership has been changed towards accessibility in variety of markets. Two trends can be observed in evolution of this rental-like business model. Firstly, technological development that enables emergence of new business models. These new business models increasingly become agile and flexible. For example “Spotify and SoundCloud”, online music stream companies, provides consumers access to over millions of music tracks, conveniently through the smartphone, tablet or computer. Similarly, “Car2Go, Zipcar, and Getaround” car sharing companies give flexible access to nearby cars for its members. Second trend is the increasing communication and connections via social networks. This trend enables a shift to peer-to-peer accessibility based business models. Conventionally, companies provide access for their customers to own companies’ products or services. In peer-to-peer model, nonetheless, companies facilitate access and connection across their customers to use other customers owned property or skills, competencies or services .The so-called the sharing economy business model which is referred as “the platform economy” as well.

The promising start-ups that are active in this very specific and rather new market signify the potential of the so-called “the platform economy” business model. In this paper, we investigate into a new and emerging type of the platform economy business model in which role of customers and service providers may dramatically change. This new mechanism is called “Collaborative Service Networks”. We probe this mechanism from different aspects. Uber and Airbnb, two successful growing companies, have been selected for our case studies. There are similar companies that are competing in the same market like Lyft and Homeaway. However, the case study companies are significantly more successful and larger. We propose the way this mechanism can capture value in five-steps, which creates a virtuous cycle and reinforces the viability of the mechanism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-13
JournalInternational Journal of Innovative Studies in Sciences and Engineering Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • The Sharing Economy
  • The platform Economy
  • Collaborative Service Networks
  • Social Media
  • Value Creation


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