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The Role of Municipality in the Sharing Economy: Governance Approaches in Malmö and Gothenburg

Sulkakoski, Simo LU (2018) In IIIEE Master Thesis IMEN41 20181
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
Today, many cities around the world are looking for means to reduce their consumption-originated emissions and in this way improve their sustainability. Consequently, local governments are becoming increasingly interested in the potential of the ‘sharing economy’ (SE). By enabling the consumption of resources and services through sharing as opposed to purchasing goods for ownership, urban sharing organisations (USOs) that form a key element of the SE promise to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits to cities and their citizens. However, experience has shown that not all dimensions of the SE yield positive sustainability outcomes, which raises the need for local governments to intervene in the phenomenon. At the same time,... (More)
Today, many cities around the world are looking for means to reduce their consumption-originated emissions and in this way improve their sustainability. Consequently, local governments are becoming increasingly interested in the potential of the ‘sharing economy’ (SE). By enabling the consumption of resources and services through sharing as opposed to purchasing goods for ownership, urban sharing organisations (USOs) that form a key element of the SE promise to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits to cities and their citizens. However, experience has shown that not all dimensions of the SE yield positive sustainability outcomes, which raises the need for local governments to intervene in the phenomenon. At the same time, academic research on the role of local governments in the SE is scarce, and practical as well as theoretical knowledge on the topic is incomplete. Adopting a comparative case study approach, this thesis analyses how two Swedish municipalities, Malmö and Gothenburg, govern the SE and how they relate the SE to their overall sustainability agendas. Data collection and analysis is guided by an existing conceptual framework on the roles of local governments in the SE. Primary data was collected through 20 interviews with municipal civil servants, local USOs and experts, and four study visits to USOs. Secondary data was gathered from academic and grey literature and municipal documents and websites. The analysis of the collected data was performed using coding and thematic analysis techniques. It was found that both municipalities most actively govern the SE in the role of enabler, followed by the role of provider. The least evident roles for the municipalities were those of consumer and regulator. This thesis contributes to current local governance practices by offering recommendations to municipal leaders on how to enhance the coherence and effectiveness of the governance of the SE to improve the alignment of the SE with the municipal sustainability goals. The thesis also contributes to theory by suggesting the revision and advancement of the conceptual framework. Finally, areas for future research are proposed. (Less)
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author
Sulkakoski, Simo LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN41 20181
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
sharing economy, collaborative consumption, urban sustainability, municipality, local governance
publication/series
IIIEE Master Thesis
report number
2018:32
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
8962451
date added to LUP
2018-10-26 12:27:59
date last changed
2018-10-26 12:27:59
@misc{8962451,
  abstract     = {Today, many cities around the world are looking for means to reduce their consumption-originated emissions and in this way improve their sustainability. Consequently, local governments are becoming increasingly interested in the potential of the ‘sharing economy’ (SE). By enabling the consumption of resources and services through sharing as opposed to purchasing goods for ownership, urban sharing organisations (USOs) that form a key element of the SE promise to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits to cities and their citizens. However, experience has shown that not all dimensions of the SE yield positive sustainability outcomes, which raises the need for local governments to intervene in the phenomenon. At the same time, academic research on the role of local governments in the SE is scarce, and practical as well as theoretical knowledge on the topic is incomplete. Adopting a comparative case study approach, this thesis analyses how two Swedish municipalities, Malmö and Gothenburg, govern the SE and how they relate the SE to their overall sustainability agendas. Data collection and analysis is guided by an existing conceptual framework on the roles of local governments in the SE. Primary data was collected through 20 interviews with municipal civil servants, local USOs and experts, and four study visits to USOs. Secondary data was gathered from academic and grey literature and municipal documents and websites. The analysis of the collected data was performed using coding and thematic analysis techniques. It was found that both municipalities most actively govern the SE in the role of enabler, followed by the role of provider. The least evident roles for the municipalities were those of consumer and regulator. This thesis contributes to current local governance practices by offering recommendations to municipal leaders on how to enhance the coherence and effectiveness of the governance of the SE to improve the alignment of the SE with the municipal sustainability goals. The thesis also contributes to theory by suggesting the revision and advancement of the conceptual framework. Finally, areas for future research are proposed.},
  author       = {Sulkakoski, Simo},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {sharing economy,collaborative consumption,urban sustainability,municipality,local governance},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Master Thesis},
  title        = {The Role of Municipality in the Sharing Economy: Governance Approaches in Malmö and Gothenburg},
  year         = {2018},
}