Call for Papers for publication in a scholarly book and presentation in associated paper development workshop (Under SPARC).

Sharing Economy at the Base of the Pyramid: Opportunities and Challenges, Dec 21-22, 2020 at Udaipur, India.

Abstract Deadline – May 10, 2020.


  • Israr Qureshi, Australian National University, Australia.
  • Babita Bhatt, Australian National University, Australia.
  • Dhirendra Mani Shukla, Indian Institute of Management Udaipur, India.

The sharing economy, an economic system in which assets or services are shared between peers, groups, or organizations for free or for a fee1 has grown, exponentially in both scale and scope over the past years. According to PwC, sharing economy global revenues could grow from roughly US$15 billion in 2014 to around US$335 billion by 20252. In addition, the range of products and services currently offered through the sharing economy has also expanded dramatically to include resources such as transportation (Lyft, Blablacar), accommodation (Airbnb, Couchsurfing), office space (LiquidSpace, PivotDesk), as well as a diverse range of services such as training (Skillshare, Fitmob) and labor (Taskrabbit, Thumbtack).

Research has shown various potential benefits of sharing economy (Logue & Grimes, 2019; Mair & Reischauer, 2017; Reischauer & Mair, 2018; Roberts & Zietsma, 2018; Schor, 2016). The sharing economy models that leverage information and communication technology are professed to provide access to strangers to exchange product and services with each other (Stofberga et al, 2019). Economic benefits of sharing economy have been claimed to be associated with an increase in income, access to goods and services and decline in cost of consumption (Sundararajan, 2016). The positive environmental benefits of sharing economy have been argued to be linked with enabling the use of idle assets rather than the creation of new assets (Frenken & Schor, 2019). The act of sharing also seen to have potential to bring people together and stimulate social cohesion in the communities (Benjaafar et al., 2019).

However, how important are these developments for those who live in poverty? The research on sharing economy business models is limited to commercial platform and has been conducted mainly in the context that are situated in the developed countries or relevant to high- and middle-income groups.

The potential and risk of sharing economy to base of the pyramid (BOP)3 contexts remain under explored. The vast majority of those at the BOP are employed in the informal economy and live in rural areas or urban slums, where critical infrastructure and institutions are lacking. Evidences suggest that in BOP sharing economy models exist to serve communities who have often been excluded from or are unable to meet their needs through more traditional models (Perini & Schwarten, 2013). Scholars have also highlighted the role of cultures and social norms in facilitating or inhibiting sharing models (Belk, 2010). Therefore, in the BOP contexts, the emerging sharing models might be structured differently, and may or may not leverage digital technologies.

This call aims to analyse sharing economy in base of the pyramid, identifying characteristics that can be particularly important for sustainable development. Some of such initiatives include community-led social innovations models of sharing economy (Schaefers, Moser & Narayanamurthy, 2018; Wiprächtiger et al, 2019) that leverage social intermediation (Kistruck, Beamish, Qureshi & Sutter, 2013), digital social innovation (Qureshi, Pan & Zheng, 2017), social inclusion (Angeli & Jaiswal, 2016; Hall et al, 2012; Qureshi, Sutter & Bhatt, 2018) and social entrepreneurship (Bhatt, Qureshi & Riaz, 2019; Qureshi, Kistruck & Bhatt, 2016) to offer products and services for free or at prices more affordable than traditional options, while also finding ways toward economic sustainability and inclusive growth. These models are creating new ways to take into account local resources, community social capital, and bricolage (Hota, Mitra & Qureshi, 2019) to develop sharing economy models that take into account the specificities of particular communities while ensuring that the solutions can be quickly modified and replicated. Some of them leverage the digital revolution to advantage of cheaper computational capacity and global connectivity, while rapidly adapting to engage with those that have less digital literacy at the base of the pyramid. In addition, and more importantly, these sharing economy models at the base of the pyramid, are engaged in promoting a type of economic development that is more connected with traditional social values and environmental concerns of local communities. However, these new sharing economy models face various challenges and there are concerns in relation to the efficiency, reliability and sustainability of these initiatives at the BOP (Perini & Schwarten, 2013).

We invite papers around the impacts, benefits, and potential risks of sharing economy on BOP communities. While the sharing economy has evolved rapidly in less resource constraint environments, the impacts of these new models on the world’s poorest is far less clear. This call for papers is to explore potential and challenge of sharing economy models at the BOP. Some of the suggested questions for the papers are mentioned below but neither they are exhaustive nor restrictive:

  • What are the key principles that drive and accelerate the growth of sharing economy in BOP? What types of risk and challenges these businesses face? How these initiatives can be sustained?
  • What are the emerging community-led social innovation model of sharing economy that are designed or geared towards low-income communities? What is the potential positive impact? What are the risks inherent with these innovations?
  • What roles do social entrepreneurship, social intermediation, and digital social innovation play in promoting and suppressing sharing economy at the BOP?
  • What is the role of cultural and social factors in facilitating sharing economy models in BOP?
  • Is sharing economy changing the perception about consumption and ownership of those living in base of the pyramid?
  • How can governments, businesses and development institutions foster the growth of a sharing economy that empowers poor communities? how to make sharing economy a more inclusive economy?

Paper Development Workshop

The editors will organize a workshop on Dec 21-22 at Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur, India. To be considered for the workshop, please submit an extended abstract (maximum 2000 words excluding references, figures, and tables) by the deadline May 10, 2020. Upon receiving an accept decision by June 1, full papers (maximum 10000 words excluding references, figures and tables) for the workshop will be due by November 15, 2020. Participation in the workshop is highly encouraged to develop the papers but is neither necessary nor a guarantee of acceptance for the book. All submissions must be made to sparcworkshop-se@iimu.ac.in . Final revised submission after receiving feedback in the workshop will be due by January 31, 2021.Those who will not be able to attend the workshop will receive feedback through email by end of December 2020, and will be expected to submit final revised version by January 31, 2021.


  • Angeli, F., & Jaiswal, A. K. (2016). Business model innovation for inclusive health care delivery at the bottom of the pyramid. Organization & Environment, 29(4), 486-507.
  • Belk, R. (2010). Sharing. Journal of Consumer Research, 36(5), 715-734.
  • Benjaafar, S., Kong, G., Li, X., & Courcoubetis, C. (2019). Peer-to-peer product sharing: Implications for ownership, usage, and social welfare in the sharing economy. Management Science, 65(2), 477-493.
  • Bhatt, B., Qureshi, I., & Riaz, S. (2019). Social entrepreneurship in non-munificent institutional environments and implications for institutional work: Insights from China. Journal of Business Ethics, 154(3), 605-630.
  • Frenken, K., & Schor, J. (2019). Putting the sharing economy into perspective. In A Research Agenda for Sustainable Consumption Governance. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Hall, J., Matos, S., Sheehan, L., & Silvestre, B. (2012). Entrepreneurship and innovation at the base of the pyramid: a recipe for inclusive growth or social exclusion? Journal of Management Studies, 49(4), 785-812.
  • Hota, P. K., Mitra, S., & Qureshi, I. (2019). Adopting bricolage to overcome resource constraints: The case of social enterprises in rural India. Management and Organization Review, 15(2), 371-402.
  • Kistruck, G. M., Beamish, P. W., Qureshi, I., & Sutter, C. J. (2013). Social intermediation in base of-the-pyramid markets. Journal of Management Studies, 50(1), 31-66.
  • Logue, D., & Grimes, M. (2019). Platforms for the people: Enabling civic crowdfunding through the cultivation of institutional infrastructure. Strategic Management Journal.
  • Mair, J., & Reischauer, G. (2017). Capturing the dynamics of the sharing economy: Institutional research on the plural forms and practices of sharing economy organizations. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 125, 11-20.
  • Qureshi, I., Kistruck, G. M., & Bhatt, B. (2016). The enabling and constraining effects of social ties in the process of institutional entrepreneurship. Organization Studies, 37(3), 425-447.
  • Qureshi, I., Pan S. L., & Zheng, Y (2017) Digital Social Innovation, Special Issue Call for Papers. Information Systems Journal.
  • Qureshi, I., Sutter, C., & Bhatt, B. (2018). The transformative power of knowledge sharing in settings of poverty and social inequality. Organization Studies, 39(11), 1575-1599.
  • Reischauer, G., & Mair, J. (2018). How organizations strategically govern online communities: Lessons from the sharing economy. Academy of Management Discoveries, 4(3), 220-247.
  • Roberts, A., & Zietsma, C. (2018). Working for an App: Organizational Boundaries, Roles, and Meaning of Work in the “On-demand” Economy', Toward Permeable Boundaries of Organizations. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 57, 195-225.
  • Schaefers, T., Moser, R., & Narayanamurthy, G. (2018). Access-based services for the base of the pyramid. Journal of Service Research, 21(4), 421-437.
  • Schor, J. (2016). Debating the sharing economy. Journal of Self-Governance and Management Economics, 4(3), 7-22.
  • Stofberg, N., Bridoux, F., Ciulli, F., Pisani, N., Kolk, A., & Vock, M. (2019). A relational‐models view to explain peer‐to‐peer sharing. Journal of Management Studies.
  • Sundararajan, A. (2016). The sharing economy: The end of employment and the rise of crowd-based capitalism. MIT Press.
  • Wiprächtiger, D., Narayanamurthy, G., Moser, R., & Sengupta, T. (2019). Access-based business model innovation in frontier markets: Case study of shared mobility in Timor-Leste. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 143, 224-238.


This workshop is related to a project supported by the Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India, SPARC Grant No. SPARC/2018-2019/P463/SL

About the Editors

Israr Qureshi
Israr Qureshi is a Professor at Research School of Management, Australian National University. He is engaged in projects that investigate various aspects of social value creation through sustainable development, social intermediation, social entrepreneurship, and ICT. He is also engaged in various initiatives to address climate change. He has been published in Academy of Management Learning and Education, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Organization Behavior, MIS Quarterly, Organization Studies, Research in the Sociology of Organizations among others. Israr has chaired panels and delivered keynote speeches on emerging business models to address social and environmental issues.

Babita Bhatt
Babita Bhatt is a Lecturer at Research School of Management, Australian National University. She earned her PhD from Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Her research interest lies at the intersection of community, civil society and organizations. She applies social capital theory and capability approach to understand how social impact is achieved by organizations engaged in poor communities. Her work has been published in Organization Studies and Journal of Business Ethics, and has received funding from IDRC, Canada and RGC, Hong Kong. Her work on social cohesion and social entrepreneurship has been recognized with a grand challenge grant of about A $3 million.

Dhirendra Mani Shukla
Dhirendra Mani Shukla is an Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Management Udaipur. He received his doctoral degree from Indian Institute of Management Lucknow. His research interests include social networks, strategic alliances, interorganizational relationships, and social entrepreneurship. His work has been published in Journal of Business Research, Management Decision, and Journal of Management & Organization. His projects on social networks and entrepreneurship have received funding from MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development, India) and ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Science Research) under prestigious granting initiatives such as SPARC and IMPRESS. His work on interorganizational relationships and innovation received the Scholars Exchange Grant from ICSSR under Indo-Swiss joint research programme in social sciences.