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Christian Flick

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter mit Lehraufgaben

Technische Universität Berlin
Fakultät VI: Planen Bauen Umwelt
Institut für Soziologie

Fraunhoferstraße 33-36
Sekretariatszeichen FH 9-1
10587 Berlin

Tel.: +4930 314 27308

Raum: FH 925



The Social Constitution of Scaling - Examining the Creation of Societal Alternatives in the Case of Platform-Based Ridehailing-Organizations

Accompanying the rise of the platform economy, scaling and scalability have become crucial topics for platform-based organizations. While not being a novelty as 20th century companies were already discussing different ‘ways to scale’, both the relevance of scaling and its social forms changed substantially due to the favourable conditions resulting from online-platforms as socio-technical infrastructures. Most commonly describing a technical and economic procedure oriented towards market dominance, scaling in recent years is also seen as a generalized concept implemented by platform-based organizations in order to strive for divergent kinds of impacts from market disruption to the socio-ecological transformation of contemporary societies. So far, research on scaling either exclusively focusses on technical and economic factors or lacks complexity regarding the way scaling processes are socially constituted. As I will argue, scaling takes different social forms: organizational frameworks, the coordination and legitimization of practices and the overall embeddedness of organizations in plural institutional settings have to be taken into account in order to understand why organizations scale in a specific way and what enables or restricts them in doing so.

My dissertation project aims to build on this idea by taking a qualitative approach building case studies to examine how ridehailing-platforms, who try to scale for varying purposes and under different conditions in contested fields of personal transportation, make a compelling case for examining why and how social processes of scaling are coordinated differently in changing organizational and institutional settings. Competing with various platform-mediated services ranging from car-, bike- to e-scooter-rentals, ridehailing platforms try to establish alternatives or additions to conventional kinds of personal transportation, often being associated with discourses around “New Mobility” or the “Sharing Economy”. While some, most prominently the market-based ridehailing-platform Uber, seem to purely strive for global market dominance, others like the cooperative ridehailing-platform Eva protest these strivings by establishing a similar service embedded in a cooperativist framework to promote a societal cause. Located between these two extremes, corporate-based ridepooling-platforms such as CleverShuttle (Deutsche Bahn) or BerlKönig (BVG) take a third approach by framing themselves as a sustainable addition to public transport. By pursuing divergent goals and by acting under different conditions, ridehailing-platforms address the issue of scaling in a different way, eventually leading, as I will argue to specific social forms of scaling.


Seit 2018
Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am DFG Graduiertenkolleg "Innovationisgesellschaft heute", Institut für Soziologie, Technische Universität Berlin
Juniorwissenschaftler am Institut für Zukunftsstudien und Technologiebewertung (IZT), Berlin
Studentischer Mitarbeiter am Institut für Zukunftsstudien und Technologiebewertung (IZT), Berlin
Masterstudium der Sozialwissenschaften, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Auslandsstudium an der Universität Kopenhagen, Dänemark
Studentische Hilfskraft am Deutschen Institut für Urbanistik (DIFU), Abteilung Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, Berlin
Bachelorstudium der Politikwissenschaften, Universität Duisburg-Essen
Tutor am Institut für Soziologie, Universität Duisburg-Essen


Flick, Christian; Henseling, Christine (2019): Plattformen des Peer-to-Peer Sharing, in: Behrendt, Siegfried; Henseling, Christine; Scholl, Gerd (Hrsg.): Digitale Kultur des Teilens. Mit Sharing nachhaltiger Wirtschaften, Springer Gabler, Wiesbaden, Seite 13-26.

Behrendt, Siegfried; Henseling, Christine; Flick, Christian (2017): Zukunft des Peer-to-Peer Sharing. Schlüsselfaktoren, Szenarien und Herausforderungen, PeerSharing Arbeitsbericht 5, abrufbar unter: https://www.peer-sharing.de/data/peersharing/user_upload/Dateien/PeerSharing_AP_5.pdf

Gossen, Maike; Henseling, Christine; Bätzing, Maike und Flick, Christian (2016): Peer-to-Peer Sharing: Einschätzungen und Erfahrungen. Ergebnisse einer qualitativen Befragung, PeerSharing Arbeitsbericht 3, abrufbar unter: http://www.peer-sharing.de/data/peersharing/user_upload/Dateien/PeerSharing_Ergebnispapier_Vorstudie.pdf

Scholl, Gerd.; Behrendt, Siegfried.; Flick, Christian; Gossen, Maike.; Henseling, Christine.; Richter, Lydia (2015): Peer-to-Peer Sharing, Definition und Bestandsaufnahme PeerSharing Arbeitsbericht 1, abrufbar unter: http://www.peer-sharing.de/data/peersharing/user_upload/Dateien/PeerSharing_Ergebnispapier.pdf





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