Systematic Framework to Assess Social Impacts of Sharing Platforms

Steven Curtis, Jagdeep Singh, Oksana Mont, Alexandra Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


(1) Background
Research and user experience suggests both positive and negative social impacts resulting from practices in the sharing economy: social cohesion vs. gentrification; inclusiveness vs. discrimination; flexible employment vs. exploitation. However, as yet, there is no framework for understanding or assessing these social impacts holistically.
(2) Objective
We aim to improve understanding of the social impacts of sharing platforms and develop a systematic framework to assess these impacts.
(3) Methods
We conduct a narrative literature review and stakeholder workshop, integrating insights to produce a systematic social impact assessment framework and a practice-oriented tool.
(4) Results
We identify four social aspects—trust, empowerment, social justice, and inclusivity—and eighteen indicators that make up the framework. We describe each indicator and its relevance to the sharing economy as well as suggest measurable variables in the form of a practice-oriented tool.
(5) Conclusions
The framework and tool are the first holistic method for assessing social impact in the sharing economy, which may inform researchers, sharing platforms, regulators, investors, and citizens to mitigate adverse social impacts while enhancing the overall net social value of the sharing economy.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0240373
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sep 8

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Social sustainability assessment
  • Framework
  • sharing economy


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