Dear All,

You are invited to submit a paper to the special issue “The Sharing Economy and its implications for Sustainable Value Chains” in the respected journal “Resources, Conservation & Recycling”.


The sharing economy has become a popular term based on different new business models (Parente et al., 2017). It is believed to reduce environmental issues via enhancing asset usage (Belk, 2014). Therefore, this special issue looks for investigations and insights into the sharing economy especially with respect to value chain implications, for example production, logistics, consumption, etc. It also welcomes the exploration to the sharing economy from the globalisation perspective which may be of interest to AIB members.

Please find more information:

Manuscript submission deadline: September 1, 2018

Reviewer reports completed and returned: November 1, 2018

Revised paper submission: January 15, 2019

Final manuscript submissions to publisher: As soon as accepted (VSI)

Thank you very much.





Call for Papers of Virtual Special Issue on The Sharing Economy and its Implications for Sustainable Value Chains

Ke Rong*, Institute of Economics, Tsinghua University, [log in to unmask]

Jialun Hu, Business School, Coventry University, [log in to unmask]

Yuge Ma, Department of Geography, Oxford University, [log in to unmask]

Ming Lim, College of Mechanical Engineering, Chongqing University, [log in to unmask]

Yang Liu, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, [log in to unmask]

Chao Lu, School of Management, Shanghai University, [log in to unmask]

*Corresponding guest editor

The sharing economy has become a popular term based on new business models including bike sharing (Mobike and OfO), sharing accommodations (Airbnb), and sharing automotive vehicular mobility (Uber and Didi) (Parente et al., 2017). It represents a new business model in which the access to goods, services, spaces, and other assets can be shared or obtained. With ICT (information and communication technology) sector support, companies can construct online platforms to increase connectivity between service providers and users. Sharing economy commerce is estimated to grow from 14 billion in 2014 to 335 billion USD in 2025 (Yaraghi and Ravi, 2017).

The sharing economy can be a solution to a variety of grand challenges, including societal inequality, economical improvement, and especially environmental issues. It alleviates environmental problems as it allows idle assets to gain more usage and generates more frequent economic activity (Belk, 2014). Because, the sharing economy associated business model innovations could reduce the demand for new goods, the construction of new facilities, and maximize product utilization rate (Zervas et al., 2017). Reduced consumer resource consumption is a major contribution of the sharing economy towards the sustainability agenda, although the total impact is still debated in the literature. Besides, cities are natural incubators for new sharing models and organizations due to high population densities and reliable ICT infrastructure. It could bring about social benefits such as increased social ties and social cohesion. The sharing economy will also influence the production side of commerce through building capabilities through shared manufacturing access. However, there is not yet clear empirical evidence on these claims, especially when considering the broader value chain. Hence, it is thus necessary to analyze all the impacts that are set in motion in the entire systems as a result of the new sharing practice.

Sharing economy consumers jointly share and access products and services without owning them (Parente et al., 2017). Advanced ICT technologies and data analytics capability make it possible for the firms to match the demand and supply efficiently. For example, the Chinese bike sharing company Mobike established a fully station-less bicycle-sharing system to allow customers to pick up and leave a bike at any legal parking destination at any time. Specially designed smart locks allow for sharing purposes, which is regarded as a born sharing model. When a born sharing model (access-based sharing) becomes so convenient that it has become the mainstream, the traditional route of a market based on selling and renting is replaced by accessing.

The rise of the sharing economy and sharing enterprises on the demand side drives producers to make or design products or services more amenable to sharing. Furthermore, with B2B (business-to-business) sharing emerging such as cloud computing services, the sharing economy practices on the supply side should also be explored in order to better understand its impact on the value chain. In short, the emergence of B2C and B2B sharing economy influences not only the demand side, but the broader value chain.

However, there is not yet much exploration of the impact of sharing economy on the sustainability of value chains, as customer consumption is only one part of it. Along with growth of sharing economy activities and supporting ICT, its impact various parts of the value chain becomes evident, including production (cloud manufacturing), logistics, product design, and supplier management. Currently, the sharing economy is supported by augmented IT technology including IoT (Internet of Things) and Blockchain. There is unclear impact and effects of evolving technologies (e.g., 3D printing, smart manufacturing, and artificial intelligence) on the sharing economy a value chain.

This virtual special issue (VSI) looks for investigations and insights into the sharing economy especially with respect to value chain implications. We invite comprehensive reviews, conceptual and analytical analyses, and case studies to describe and deepen this understanding with respect to various dimensions of sustainability. Sharing economy implications for upstream value chain, organizational operations, downstream consumption and its associated resource efficiency and waste minimization dimensions are encouraged. Discussion of the ‘sharing’ phenomenon, organizations, mechanisms, supporting technology, and policy implications are also welcomed.

A VSI is an online-only grouping of Special Issue articles traditionally assigned to a single Special Issue. Each article in a VSI is assigned a unique identifier and then published in a regular journal issue as soon as available. The unique identifier allows us to simultaneously add the article to a VSI on ScienceDirect which is gradually built up as individual articles are published online. Articles grouped together in a VSI retain their original citation details. A VSI speeds up the publication of individual articles as, unlike the publication process for conventional Special Issue articles, a VSI does not need to wait for the final article to be ready before publication.

Examples of possible topics include, but are not limited to the following.

A. production: 

A1: How does the sharing economy impact sustainable production and waste reduction?

A2: What are the impacts of collaborative consumption on the production system? How does the industrial organization change in the sharing economy?

A3: What are the new visions of flexible and contract manufacturing in the context of the sharing economy?

A4: How can the sharing economy contribute to the life cycle thinking for production?

A5: How can digitalization and intelligent manufacturing facilitate sharing practices in production?

A6: What constrains and enables the application of the sharing economy in production?

B. Logistics: 

B1: How could the sharing economy contribute to logistics re-configuration and enable its sustainability?

B2: How does the ecosystem of sharing logistics work? How do the stakeholders in sharing logistics interact with each other?

B3: What drives different actors to enter and operate in sharing logistics?

B4: What are the visions of future urban transportation and other logistics?

B5: Is there a role for closed-loop and reverse logistics in the shared economy?

C. Consumption:

C1: How can sustainable consumption and production be integrated into the sharing economy especially with respect to resource savings and waste reduction?

C2: Which theories and analytical frameworks are being used to understand the evolution from C2C sharing to B2C & B2C sharing?

C3: How does the matching system in a sharing economy work to facilitate cleaner and greener consumption?

C4: How does transaction cost/access cost in the marketplace change in the sharing economy?

D. Sustainability:

D1: How can sharing economy improve allocative and usage efficiency along the value chain?

D2: How can the sharing economy help to cope with the growing environmental problems of consumption?

D3: How will the sharing economy create new visions for resources conservation, and recycling activities?

D4: What are the positive and negative externalities of the sharing business? How can the firms transform from corporate social responsibility (CSR) to corporate social value (CSV) in sharing economy?

Please follow the “Guide for Authors” of RCR to prepare your manuscripts. Please submit your manuscripts via Elsevier Editorial System at and select “VSI: Sharing” when asked to indicate the “Article Type.”

Publication schedule:

Manuscript submission deadline: September 1, 2018

Reviewer reports completed and returned: November 1, 2018

Revised paper submission: January 15, 2019

Final manuscript submissions to publisher: As soon as accepted (VSI)


Belk, R., 2014. You are what you can access: Sharing and collaborative consumption online. Journal of Business Research 67, 1595–1600.

Parente, R., Geleilate, J.-M., Rong, K., 2017. The Sharing Economy Globalization Phenomenon: A Research Agenda. Journal of International Management, In press.

Witjes, S., Lozano, R., 2016. Towards a more Circular Economy: Proposing a framework linking sustainable public procurement and sustainable business models. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 112, 37–44.

Yaraghi, N., Ravi, S., 2017. The Current and Future State of the Sharing Economy ( No. 032017), Brookings India IMPACT Series.

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, 687–705.



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