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MAN 770 Research Seminar (Spring 2017)

MAN 770 Research Seminar (Spring 2017)

"Entrepreneurship in the Sharing Economy"

MAN 770 Research Seminar in spring semester 2017



Course Description

Within the last years, a large number and variety of organizations and initiatives has emerged in the sharing economy: Digital entrepreneurs have set-up crowdfunding platforms (e.g. or online platforms through which products and services can be exchanged (e.g., Social entrepreneurs have developed local grassroots initiatives (e.g. community gardens or repair shops) to enhance social interactions within neighborhoods and to strengthen local communities. Other social entrepreneurs have built up online peer-to-peer platforms, that enable the sharing or giving of goods within local or online communities (e.g., Institutional entrepreneurs create networks of grassroots initiatives aiming to raise awareness for collaborative ideas and concepts (e.g. Some entrepreneurs thereby choose cooperative organizational forms (e.g. “Genossenschaft” in Germany) with which they aim to achieve not only economic, but also ecologic and social goals (e.g. fairmondo eG). 

In the seminar, we aim to develop a thorough understanding of this diverse phenomenon of entrepreneurship in the sharing economy from different conceptual and methodological perspectives and angles. For instance, from a discursive perspective, it can be analyzed, how and by whom current developments within the sharing economy are discussed and how such discourse shapes the reality for organizations. From a historical perspective, it should be understood, how, where and why cooperatives have evolved in the past and what old and new forms of sharing have in common. From an entrepreneurship perspective, the motives and strategies of entrepreneurs in the sharing economy can be assessed.

In the research seminar, participants can decide to work on a research project individually or in groups of students. The project typically consists of the following steps: Students or groups of students start by identifying a relevant research question within a broader research topic they are assigned. They then choose an appropriate theoretical or conceptual background and a research design to answer the research question. They present their results in class and also write a research paper. Each student or group of students is supervised by one of the instructors who will assist them throughout the research project. 



Stefan Berwing, Moritz Bischof, Achim Oberg, Dominika Wruk



Research paper: 50%; Oral presentation: 35%; Attendance and participation: 15%



Lectures. Discussions lead by instructor. Student presentations. Self-study.



Courses: MAN 630, 631 or MAN 632 accomplished (mandatory). See "Writing your Master Thesis at the Chair of SME Research and Entrepreneurship (Prof. Dr. Woywode)".


Important dates

To register, please write an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before February 13th.

The introductory session will take place on February 17th 2017, 10:00 am – 2 pm, in L9, 1-2 room 210. In the introductory session, research topics will be assigned to students or groups of students. 

Research paper writing: Mid-February till Mid-May

Final presentations: 

May 2017, 12th (L9, 1-2 room 210, 9 am - 6 pm)

May 2017, 13th (L9, 1-2 room 210, 9 am - 6 pm)


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  • University of Mannheim
  • Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
  • Gründerverbund
  • ESF
  • Europäische Union
  • Baden-Württemberg - Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft
  • Absolventum