Department of Organization

New Publication: Legal affordances in global wealth chains: How platform firms use legal and spatial scaling

12/01/2021

New Publication: Legal affordances in global wealth chains: How platform firms use legal and spatial scaling in the Journal Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space

Assistant Professor Maj Grasten, Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP), Copenhagen Business School (CBS)
Professor Leonard Seabrooke, Department of Organization (IOA), Copenhagen Business School (CBS)
Professor WSR Duncan Wigan, Department of Organization (IOA), Copenhagen Business School (CBS)

Abstract
Firms can use legal and spatial scaling to increase their control and capacity to exploit assets. Here we examine how platform firms, like AirBnB, Uber, and Bird, scale their operations through global wealth chains. Their use of law is to maximize wealth creation and protection, while their services use local spaces to extract value from established property, labor, and public thoroughfares. We examine how such ‘networked accumulation’ platform firms use legal and spatial scaling through legal affordances. This includes opportunities for absences, ambiguities and arbitrage that are realized via multi and inter-scalar strategies and produce variegation. Our analysis draws on legal documents, as well as interviews, from Barcelona and San Francisco. The article contributes with a model of how platform firms use legal and spatial scaling, as well as how activists can challenge their operations.

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The page was last edited by: Department of Organization // 12/01/2021