Digital technologies are reshaping the way we organize economic activity, shifting us from activities conducted within traditional institutions towards new, fluid peer-to-peer marketplaces, sharing communities and other firm-market hybrids. Along the way, novel forms of crowd-based capitalism emerge, the lines between personal and professional blur, social cues subsume many of the roles of market forces, additive manufacturing replaces traditional mass manufacturing and what it means to have a job changes. We fund our projects through Kickstarter and RocketHub; staff our projects through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, TaskRabbit and Upwork; build our products from open-source designs using micro-manufacturers like Local Motors and FirstBuild; and sell, exchange and share them through communities like Etsy, Yerdle and OurGoods. We find our accommodation using Airbnb and Couchsurfing while transporting ourselves using a range of alternatives from Uber and Lyft to SnappCar, Getaround, BlaBlaCar, La’Zooz and Didi Kuaidi. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, and their underlying blockchain protocols, are increasingly becoming the focus of the financial sector across the globe and spawning the next generation of entirely decentralized peer-to-peer marketplaces and institutions.
This track welcomes research that expands our knowledge of how digital technologies are influencing the sharing of and access to resources through peer-to-peer networks and communities and the effect of these systems on value creation in the public and private sectors of society. We are equally interested in work that provides insight into the sharing of and access to tangible resources, such as financial capital, property and physical goods, as in work investigating the sharing and access to intangible resources, such as knowledge and social capital. We encourage studies that assess today’s newer crowd-based systems as well as those rooted in precursors like Apache, Linux, Wikipedia and Innocentive, tracing the influence of these models on individuals, firms, industries, governments and societies. As peer-to-peer networks reshape the structures, boundaries and business models of traditional firms, they simultaneously enable bottom-up, emergent forms of organizing that challenge many of our basic assumptions related to value creation and firm-market boundaries. Firms in established industries struggle to understand the implications of these disruptive forces as they experiment with models of open innovation and a range of partnership and investment strategies. As the blockchain promises new forms of government, meanwhile today’s government regulators, policy makers and labor organizations struggle with how to deal with consumer protection, taxation, employee rights, the social safety net, data privacy and intellectual property issues. The need for rigorous scholarship to guide business and society is clear.