Power versus trust – what matters more in collaborative consumption?

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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Collaborative consumption, such as car sharing, specifically implicates customer-to-customer interaction, which must be regulated by service providers (companies, peers and self-regulating communities), comprising different challenges for business organizations. While in conventional business relations, consumers are protected from undesirable customer behavior by laws, regulations (power) in the context of collaborative consumption are rare, so that trust becomes more relevant. It is the purpose of the study to investigate possible mechanisms to prevent undesirable customers in collaborative consumption.
In between subject designs, samples of 186 and 328 consumers filled in experimental online questionnaires with vignettes. Analyses were made of differences among car sharing companies, private persons and car sharing communities in terms of the power of providers, trust in providers and trust in other users of the shared goods, undesirable customer behavior and consumer–provider relations. Companies, private persons and self-regulating communities differ in terms of perceived power and trust. Participants specifically perceive mainly coercive power with the car sharing company, but with the private person and the community, reason-based trust in other users is perceived as prevalent. Nevertheless, undesirable customer behavior varies only marginally over the models.The present study is the first to investigate measures to prevent undesirable customer behavior over different collaborative consumption models. This enables appropriate identification of market segments and tailoring of services. The study identifies opportunities for companies in contrast to private persons and self-regulating communities and, in doing so, provides important stimulation for marketing strategy and theory development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589 - 603
JournalJournal of Services Marketing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502019 Marketing
  • 501003 Occupational psychology
  • 501006 Experimental psychology
  • 501021 Social psychology
  • 501015 Organisational psychology

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