How do bike-sharing platform companies overcome the operational challenge? A social exchange perspective

Dun Li, Fu Jia, Guoquan Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to explain what is and why the operational challenge of bike-sharing companies exits and how it can be overcome for bike-sharing platform companies to achieve the expected outcomes. This study finds that operational challenges exist for these companies because the reciprocity norm is not obeyed by some customers, who immorally damage or displace the bikes; the government, who does not provide subsidies; and investors, who pursue their own agenda; or because there is a lack of coordination between the company’s online and offline operations arising from a lack of technology and expertise. To overcome the operational challenges of bike-sharing platforms, the study identifies two antecedents (i.e. social capital and technology application) that facilitate the operations process of bike-sharing, and in turn affect operational efficiency. Moreover, three types of social exchange (i.e. exchange between the platform and its customers, government and capital organizations) are identified as moderators of the relationship between bike-sharing operations process and operational efficiency. The proposed theoretical model provides an overall framework to assist bike-sharing platform companies to design and operate their business so that they can overcome operational challenges and achieve expected outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1355-1371
Number of pages17
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Bike-sharing
  • operational challenges
  • operations process
  • social exchange


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