Efficiency, Efficiency, Everyhwere Efficiency: From a Linguistic Detail to a Paradigm in Organization Studies

This reflection essay is authored by Fabian Lugert and Richard Kempert, students in the master program Organization Studies at University of Innsbruck.

As students of Organization Studies, we often find ourselves in discussions, less often they get as intense as the one we had over the meaning and performativity of the word efficiency. This was challenging for us, because we constantly get confronted with the terms “efficiency”, “efficient” or “inefficient”. Subjectively perceived the word stem is used in every paper we read, which is not surprising as it is widely used and variable in its use. The most general definition of “efficiency” seems to be “doing the things right” (Drucker 1963). Other sources differ in their explanations. For example, the Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “the good use of time and energy in a way that does not waste any” (Cambridge Dictionary “Efficiency”). Another explanation provided by the dictionary: efficiency is “a situation in which a person, company, factory, etc. uses resources such as time, materials, or labor well, without wasting any” or “a situation in which a person, system, or machine works well and quickly” (Cambridge Dictionary “Efficiency”).

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New Article: »Dynamics of the Sharing Economy between Commons and Commodification«

The essay “Dynamics of the Sharing Economy between Commons and Commodification” is based upon a conference paper presented at the conference “A Great Transformation? Global Perspectives on Contemporary Capitalisms” in 2017. It has now  been published in the most recent issue of Momentum Quarterly:

Revisiting scholarly debates around the weal and woe of the so-called “sharing economy,” this essay proposes a distinction between commons-based and market-based forms of the sharing economy. Applying a Polanyian lens to these two types of sharing economy not only reveals countervailing developments between commons and commodification depending on the type of platform governance; in addition, such a perspective also directs attention to externalities regularly associated with the expansion of market logics in previously nonmarket territories.

Check out the open access full text.