11 August 2020

Both society and companies must gain deeper knowledge of sustainable consumption and how the sharing economy functions. This is the opinion of Hugo Guyader, researcher in business administration at Linköping University. He starts the new season of Lunchklubben, with a Zoom meeting to be held (in English) on 17 August.

A picture of a car.
Tim Allen
“Lunchklubben” is a meeting place in Linköping and Norrköping for the university, the business world and society. It provides insight into what is happening within research at Linköping University, with a focus on future opportunities. Normally, it’s also possible to meet people and make new contacts over the lunch that’s provided. This meeting, however, will be held remotely using Zoom.

“Even if questions that concern economic sustainability are relatively well advanced in Sweden, there are still enormous knowledge gaps, not least about what the discerning consumers of today request. I will use the lunch seminar to describe what is happening in the field, such that companies can benefit from the available knowledge, not only financially, but also from a sustainability perspective”, says Hugo Guyader, senior lecturer in the Department of Management and Engineering. His research focusses on new forms of consumer behaviour, the sharing economy, and the development of environmental services. The field goes under the dignified name of “collaborative consumption”. Other researchers have studied the economic effects experienced by companies and consumers when the latter borrow and hire instead of purchasing. Another factor that interests Hugo Guyader is the significance of collaborative consumption for community spirit and the feeling of belonging among consumers. He has shown that shared services can be as important from a social point of view as from an economic one, if they manage to create a feeling of comradeship among consumers. Indeed, a community feeling can sometimes be a prerequisite for a sharing economy to develop.Hugo Guyader.Hugo Guyader.

Making money

A company can make money through collaborative consumption.

“It may be, for example, a case of constructing a technical platform that enables the sharing economy to function. And then it’s important to gain consumer participation, such that companies can achieve stability and growth. There are several examples of companies that have failed because they didn’t understand the logic of sharing that consumers embrace.”

Sustainability in focus

In the spring of 2020, Hugo Guyader published, together with two researcher colleagues (Mikael Ottosson at LiU and Anders Parment at Stockholm University), the first Swedish textbook that links marketing and sustainability. This is Marketing & Sustainability (published by Studentlitteratur). The book combines fundamental knowledge in traditional marketing with material on the circular economy, the sharing economy, and sustainability.

“I will describe the contents of the book in more detail, and I hope to be able to persuade both small and large companies to implement a more acute sustainability perspective when they do business”, promises Hugo Guyader.

Translated by George Farrants


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