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No one rides for free! Three styles of collaborative consumption

Hugo Guyader (Division of Business Administration, Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 13 July 2018

Issue publication date: 5 November 2018

2832

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on collaborative consumption, that is, the peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange of goods and services facilitated by online platforms. Anchored in the access paradigm, collaborative consumption (e.g. accommodation rental and ridesharing services) differs from commercial services offered by firms (e.g. business-to-customer [B2C] carsharing). The aim of this study is to examine the nuanced styles of collaborative consumption in relation to market-mediated access practices and socially mediated sharing practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Following the general research trend on mobility services, the context of long-distance ridesharing is chosen. Data collection was conducted using participant observation as peer service provider, 11 ethnographic interviews of consumers and a netnographic study of digital artifacts.

Findings

Using practice theory, ten ridesharing activities were identified. These activities and the nuances in the procedures, understandings and engagements in the ridesharing practice led to the distinction of three styles of collaborative consumption: communal collaborative consumption, which is when participants seek pro-social relationships in belonging to a community; consumerist collaborative consumption, performed by participants who seek status and convenience in the access lifestyle; and opportunistic collaborative consumption, when participants seek to achieve monetary gain or personal benefits from abusive activities.

Originality/value

By taking a phenomenological approach on collaborative consumption, this study adds to the understanding of the sharing economy as embedded in both a utilitarian/commercial economic system and a non-market/communal social system. The three styles of collaborative consumption propose a framework for future studies differentiating P2P exchanges from other practices (i.e. B2C access-based services and sharing).

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author is thankful for the three anonymous reviewers’ insightful suggestions and the guiding discussions, as well as the associate editor’s comments. The author would like to thank Professor Charles Hofacker, Mario Kienzler, Carolin Schütze, Aku Valtakoski and Professor Lars Witell for their helpful comments on previous versions of the manuscript.

Citation

Guyader, H. (2018), "No one rides for free! Three styles of collaborative consumption", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 692-714. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-11-2016-0402

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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