Bicycle sharing: Sustainable value creation and institutionalisation strategies in Barcelona

Julia Winslow, Oksana Mont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (SciVal)


A highly debatable issue is whether or not a paradigm shift toward the sharing economy could help to address the economic, social and environmental challenges of our time. This article contributes to the academic discussion by exploring the types of value created by sharing organisations and the strategies they use to institutionalise themselves in relation to powerful institutions. The study applies two analytical frameworks, based on value creation and institutional strategies, to three empirical case studies of bicycle sharing systems (BSS) in Barcelona. Rich data was collected from a variety of primary and secondary sources, including a field visit to Barcelona, interviews with representatives of the three bicycle sharing systems, observations and literature analysis. We found that the environmental value these organisations create is closely interlinked with the social value they produce and that these values outweigh negative impacts of their operations. All case organisations employ regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive strategies for their institutionalisation but are also subject to powerful institutions beyond their individual control. We recommend that entrepreneurs, city officials, the public and other stakeholders engage in collaborative and open development processes to shape the emerging sharing economy alongside the institutional work of sharing organisations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number728
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 30

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Bicycle sharing systems
  • Business models
  • Economic and social sustainability
  • Environmental
  • Institutionalisation strategies
  • Value creation


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