University of Twente Student Theses


The Phenomenon of the Sharing Economy in Germany: Consumer Motivations for Participating in Collaborative Consumption Schemes

Schiel, Fanny (2015) The Phenomenon of the Sharing Economy in Germany: Consumer Motivations for Participating in Collaborative Consumption Schemes.

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Abstract:Collaborative consumption describes the growing trend from ownership to joint access of resources. Being extremely fashionable amongst social-innovative consumers, the sharing economy is also increasingly debated in popular science and politically of interest. With regard to academic discourse, current theory is insufficiently developed. Above all, a gap exists in the understanding of why users engage in sharing schemes in the first place. Therefore, I immersed myself into the field to collect explorative know-ledge on the phenomenon and to provide a snapshot of the sharing economy today, with particular focus on Germany. Drawing from research into motivations, consumer culture and sustainable behaviour, I derive an overview of benefits and thus reasons of people to use peer-to-peer marketplaces. A quantitative analysis (n ≈ 600) clarifies the impact of different types of motivations onto attitude towards and participation in co-consumption models. Findings suggest that the majority of respondents has been in touch with alternative modes of use and consumption. Across sharing categories, participants are driven by a triad of economic, ecological and social motivations. At the same time, respondents with no sharing history differ significantly in demographic attributes and personal values. Concluding, this study has found evidence that shared ownership is not only a trend but an alternative to hyper consumption as more people intend to participate. Limitations to this research are essentially rooted in its sample composition. Never-theless, it yields valuable contributions to an underdeveloped field. From here, larger scale research can depart e.g. to investigate on consumer profiles, the issue of trust in digital marketplaces or conflicting motivations when sharing.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Frau, Deutschland
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science, 71 sociology, 73 cultural anthropology, 83 economics
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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