This study aims to conduct a critical review of the research on the sharing economy to identify its key intellectual foundations and their evolution and offers thematic and methodological recommendations for future research to advance the domain.
A tri-method approach using bibliometric (co-citation) analysis, thematic content analysis and a quantitative systematic literature review was conducted on sharing economy research in hospitality and tourism journals, up to and including May 2020.
The findings from the three methods were coherent and provide a clear picture of the fact that while research on the sharing economy in hospitality and tourism has achieved significant depth, the breadth of the understanding of this area remains somewhat limited. Each of the three periods of research on the sharing economy identified in the study were marked by a focus on specific thematic areas, with largely Western-situated researchers demonstrating limited theoretical engagement and using a limited range of methods and perspectives (disciplinary, stakeholders and sectors) to examine these themes.
Recommendations for future thematic research opportunities are provided using a multi-level perspective. The present review does not include research that incorporates the impacts of COVID-19, which has significantly disrupted the hospitality and tourism industry and is the focus of current research in the field. However, the review represents the largest and most comprehensive assessment of the state of research on the sharing economy prior to COVID-19, and, as such, can serve as a valuable baseline for future reviews of sharing economy research during and after the pandemic.
In contrast with previous literature reviews, the present review is comprehensive in its scope, methodology and temporal coverage of sharing economy research. It also examines the evolution of research on the topic, enabling a more nuanced identification of gaps and future thematic and methodological research opportunities.
The authors would like to thank the editor Dr Fevzi Okumus and Dr Nazan Colmekcioglu for their invaluable feedback and encouragement of the study.
Mody, M.A., Hanks, L. and Cheng, M. (2021), "Sharing economy research in hospitality and tourism: a critical review using bibliometric analysis, content analysis and a quantitative systematic literature review", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 33 No. 5, pp. 1711-1745. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-12-2020-1457
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