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Achieving loyalty for sharing economy platforms: an expectation–confirmation perspective

Fu Jia (Department of Management, The University of York , York, UK)
Dun Li ( Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University , Suzhou, China)
Guoquan Liu ( Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University , Suzhou, China)
Hui Sun ( University of Sheffield Management School , Sheffield, UK)
Jorge E. Hernandez (School of Management, University of Liverpool , Liverpool, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 2 June 2020

Issue publication date: 20 November 2020




This study explores how sharing platforms achieve platform loyalty through various operation management strategies.


A multiple case study method has been conducted in two Chinese sharing economy industries: ride- and bike-sharing. Data were collected through 30 semi-structured interviews with managers from four platform companies (DiDi, Uber China, ofo and Mobike). Individual case studies were developed from the triangulation of all existing data. Concurrent with the development of these individual case studies was a cross-case analysis. Emerging patterns have been identified and compared to previous findings in the literature to build upon and modify the existing knowledge base and to formulate a series of propositions.


Platform asset characteristics and mergers and acquisitions affect supply network readiness and operational capacity, respectively, and this effect would consequently contribute to achieving platform loyalty through user satisfaction. Moreover, externality, as a moderator, may influence the strength of the relationship between satisfaction and platform loyalty.

Practical implications

The proposed theoretical model provides an overarching framework for sharing platform companies to design and operate their businesses while carefully examining the situations, contexts and actions of users and other stakeholders and choosing an appropriate strategic mechanism to drive platform growth.


This study is one of the first to empirically explain how firms in a sharing economy sector could gain platform loyalty by adopting an expectation–confirmation theory perspective.



We acknowledge the financial support of National Social Science Fund of China (Grant no. 18BGL105).


Jia, F., Li, D., Liu, G., Sun, H. and Hernandez, J.E. (2020), "Achieving loyalty for sharing economy platforms: an expectation–confirmation perspective", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 40 No. 7/8, pp. 1067-1094.



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