Business & Management Studies

Mapping intellectual structure and sustainability claims of sharing economy research – A literature review

sharing economy research

The authors identified influential and the most cited recent articles and their contribution in shaping the recent sharing economy literature.


Sumedha Chauhan, Associate Professor, Jindal Global Business School, O. P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.

Parul Gupta, Assistant Professor, Management Development Institute Gurgaon, Mehrauli Road Gurgaon, Haryana, India.


In this study, the authors employed bibliometric analysis to empirically examine recent sharing economy (SE) research published from Jan 2015 to Feb 2020. HistCite software was used to perform co-citation analysis, cluster analysis, and content analysis to study the intellectual structure of 425 articles containing 20,322 cited references. Authors identified influential and the most cited recent articles and their contribution in shaping the recent SE literature. 

Data statistics revealed the temporal distribution of recent SE articles, frequently used words, and the most influential authors. As regards intellectual structure of recent SE research, six distinct clusters of recent SE research were delineated that depicted core research themes in this field. It was observed that definitional and conceptual ambiguity, motivators and enablers, and sustainability and governance of SE activities remained the focal point of scholarly attention. 

While examining the sustainability claims of SE activities, authors found that empirical studies conducted in the recent past did not provide conclusive evidence to corroborate these claims. This study concluded by distilling concrete research questions for future research. 

Considering the upcoming trends of SE activities, authors invited the future studies to critically examine the overall impact of SE activities, enablers of SE in the context of cultural and societal differences and collect empirical evidences to substantiate the sustainability claims of SE.

Published in: Sustainable Production and Consumption

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