Phoenix rising: A study of the challenges sharing economy companies face when internationalizing
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
International business strategy is a widely investigated topic, with a plethora of related research. Aspects such as the internationalization process and the challenges faced when entering a foreign market have been widely examined, with the majority of existing literature linked to multinational corporations and companies of a traditional nature. However, there is a lack of research based on companies operating within the sharing economy. This is in contrast to the attention that has been given to the study of small entrepreneurial firms, such as international new ventures and born globals. Hence making the sharing economy a valuable area of investigation in terms of internationalization.
With more and more companies breaking away from the traditional norms of operation, this modern approach to business requires a deeper understanding. Due to the very nature of the sharing economy, companies are highly likely to internationalize and do so from an early stage, and knowledge of the challenges related to the process is therefore vital. Such recognition provided the motivation for this study, in the belief that it will provide valuable knowledge to companies, as well as contribute to the existing body of literature.
This study sets out to fill this knowledge gap by exploring the challenges faced by sharing economy companies when internationalizing. Furthermore, the study seeks to examine the effects such challenges have on the company and how they can be overcome. Research was carried out through a qualitative case study of six companies, out of which; four have already internationalized and two are yet to internationalize. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the founders and senior managers, with questions relating to both internal and external challenges. The challenges were examined and their impact on the internationalization process explained.
The researchers conclude that both internal and external challenges impacted the internationalization process, and that many challenges were somewhat interconnected. From the challenges identified, the following were considered critical: networks, business model, funding and leadership decision-making. Overcoming such challenges can lessen the effects of other challenges and make the internationalization process more successful.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 149 p.
Internationalization, sharing economy, collaborative consumption, peer-to-peer consumption, sharecom, challenges, networks, culture, business model, funding, innovation, leadership decision-making
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-54543OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-54543DiVA: diva2:946877
Subject / course
Business Administration - Marketing
International Business Strategy, Master Programme 60 credits