Are You Ready For The Sharing Economy?        

The sharing economy is disrupting businesses and jobs all around the world, as it uses the mobile internet to connect customers and workers with products and services. It is destroying many traditional business practices and transferring risk from the organisation to the individual. But the sharing economy is here to stay.

Success stories

Success stories like Airbnb (room hire) and Uber (car hire) challenge hotel and taxi markets and show how the new economy works in a way that is difficult for conventional businesses to battle.

The sharing economy is growing at tremendous speed as it disrupts markets and invents and reinvents new businesses and business models.

Supporters see it as a means to use technology to bring buyers and sellers together in a transparent way that benefits customers.

Supporters also argue that it frees workers from an employer’s control and gives greater choice about how and when and where they work.

Critics see the sharing economy as less attractive and less innocent as it returns workers to the days of short-term, insecure, non-unionised work where they, rather than the organisation, carry the risk.

Critics also argue it reduces a worker’s services to no more than a commodity; thereby, introducing insecurity as part of their daily life while benefiting the organisation.

Supporter or critic, however, the sharing economy is making an impression as it pushes workers, businesses, markets and government to rethink their attitudes and ideas about how the economy will work in the future.

What’s driving the change?

The current shift is driven by a number of factors: technology, the recession, and an erosion of the power of organised labour.

Technology in the form of the internet has fuelled the sharing economy in recent years, as has the growth of the smartphone and the mobile internet.

The sharing economy creates a different dynamic from which new and business models are formed to capture and create new and different services.

The recession and follow-on austerity measures led to massive changes in the workforce and provide a ready-made pool of flexible workers connected by technology.

The labour market and the tradition of organising labour through unions are changing too, as the contract between company and employee is whittled to extinction.

The sharing economy is growing fast, as people co-operate and connect with each other to buy and sell and trade and swap goods and services.

Even at this early stage with opinion still divided the sharing economy is causing seismic shifts in management thinking and business practices.

Organisational management used to focus on strategy and structure but the sharing economy turns the whole idea of the organisation upside down and inside out.

SO, the debate about whether the sharing economy is good or bad will continue to rage but nothing will stop its disruptive march into our lives.