Mini Workshop on “Entrepreneurs, Firms and the Platform Economy”

Hosted by Utrecht University, Innovation Studies Group,
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development
in collaboration with Professor Karl Wennberg,
Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Sweden
12 September 2019: 14.00 – 17.00 pm
Location: Academiegebouw Utrecht, Opzoomerkamer

Call for Papers and Participants
The ‘platform economy’ – enabling economic exchange via internet-based platforms – is revolutionizing the often stationary operation of our traditional economy. With offer and demand meeting online, the platform economy implies a genuine globalization of economic interaction: Information, advice, service providers, and goods to share (to give just some examples) are accessible for professionals and private individuals around the world. At the same time, platforms allow for major efficiency increases in local service markets notably taxi, food delivery and domestic cleaning. The socio-economic consequences of the platform economy are thus massive.
Interestingly, though, existing research chiefly investigates the impact of the gig economy on individuals. Accordingly, we start to have a better understanding of – for example – the types, motives, reviews, trust-relationships, income levels, and socio-economic conditions of gig workers, asset sharers, and crowd workers.
Strikingly, though, the impact of the gig economy on the corporate world remains largely unexplored. Accordingly, we know little about the types and motives of incumbent firms that make use of the platform economy. While it is widely acknowledge that the gig economy offers ample entrepreneurial opportunities (both for platform start-ups and platform users), we know virtually nothing about how and to what extent the platform economy facilitates entrepreneurship. Are their distinct types of platform entrepreneurs? And what about the platform companies themselves, their revenue models, competitive strategies, and co-development with incumbent firms?
This mini workshop aims to address such and similar questions on the link between “entrepreneurs, firms, and the platform economy”. Through research presentations on these topics, we will learn from our peers and help them to further improve their work. This mini workshop therefore explicitly calls for the presentation of research ideas from different disciplines, which are still ‘work in progress’ that benefits from the input of fellow researchers.
Colleagues who are interested to participate and/or to present a paper, please register by email to A.M.Herrmann@uu.nl. For logistical reasons, this workshop is limited to 20 participants who will be admitted on a “first-come, first-served” basis.

 

Preliminary Program:
14:00 – 14:05: Welcome by the organizers Andrea M. Herrmann, Koen Frenken (Innovation Studies, Utrecht University)
14:05 – 14:35: “Towards a new theory of the firm in the gig economy – Some preliminary ERC ideas“
Andrea M. Herrmann (Innovation Studies, Utrecht University)
14:35 – 15:05: “Master of Puppets: How common ownership interferes with competitive dynamics in platform markets“
Bilgehan Uzunca (Utrecht School of Economics, Utrecht University)
15:05 – 15:35: “What can we learn from the (brand-new!) GEM data on entrepreneurship in the gig economy?“
Niels Bosma (Utrecht School of Economics, Utrecht University)
15:35 – 15:55: Coffee Break
15:55 – 16.25: “Why companies hire gig workers – A survey of the Dutch hotel and manufacturing industries“
Yannick de Vries (Innovation Studies, Utrecht University)
16:25 – 16:55: “Moving into the access-based car future – Opportunity creation and exploitation in car leasing markets“
Karla Münzel, Taneli Vaskelainen, Wouter Boon and Koen Frenken (Innovation Studies, Utrecht University)
16:55 – 17:00: Closure
17.00 – 18.15: Borrel in “De Rechtbank” (just around the corner: Korte Nieuwstraat 14, 3512 NM Utrecht)

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