The role and influence of information technology related to business and value creation of a firm are discussed controversially. The question how technology can drive service innovations is especially crucial in highly competitive and quickly developing areas such as digital platforms – and at the same time not well understood. This study investigates the role of information technology for service innovation in sharing economy organizations. These organizations are digital platforms that conflate physical and digital service elements. Using a service-dominant logic perspective, we conduct an interpretive multiple-case study to gain a deeper understanding for types of service innovation in this area and the different roles that IT can play in these initiatives. Our findings reveal different areas for service innovation and thereby help identifying previously unexplored interdependencies between the service ecosystem and value co-creation. We furthermore find that organizations’ choices on the role of IT are dependent on the level of heterogeneity and standardization of the mediated transactions. We derive four archetypes for the role of IT in service innovation that serve to explain how and why IT is exploited sharing economy organizations. The findings are translated into practical guidelines for managers of digital platforms.

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