Ordo-responsibility in the sharing economy: a social contracts perspective (ABS 2018: 4)

Stefan Hielscher, Sebastian Everding, Ingo Pies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Business ethics has remained strikingly silent in face of the legitimacy questions surrounding the rule innovations in the sharing economy. We argue that one reason is rooted in a conceptual challenge to link the sharing economy’s rule-setting function with the political role of companies as corporate citizens. To address this challenge, we develop a social contracts perspective of the sharing economy. First, we use a strand of classical liberalism to understand how free and responsible sharing partners can agree to being governed by market rules that digital sharing-platform organizations have set up without their participation. Second, we complement the ordonomic approach to corporate citizenship with novel forms of ordo-responsibilities that address the upstream conditions of establishing a constitution of sharing. Finally, we argue that legitimately assuming ordo-responsibility requires constructive contributions to societal rule-setting processes and rule- finding discourses by governments and civil society.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberBEQ-TH-20-165
Pages (from-to)1-50
Number of pages49
JournalBusiness Ethics Quarterly
Publication statusAcceptance date - 11 Jun 2021


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