Value Co-creation in Sharing Systems

«Sharing systems, i.e., systems of economic actors who participate in a flow of exchange enabled or managed by a physical or virtual platform, have captured the interest of the industry and academia, for its disruptive innovation, growth curves, flexible supply and potential to extract value from underused resources. Given its novelty, marketing research on such systems is underwhelming. Timely, marketing researchers, have been expressing a growing interest in the active role that a consumer plays in his/her own value creation. The notion of consumer value co-creation and its ground on SD-logic has propelled researchers into a new marketing paradigm, that reveals itself to be an adequate lens to study a new breed of business models and markets such as sharing systems. This dissertation explores the marketing implications of guests participating in value co-creation for the Airbnb system. As such, it aims at meeting the following research goals: 1. Evaluate the participation of guests in value co-creation in Airbnb experiences; 2. Evaluate the participation of guests in value co-destruction in Airbnb experiences. We conducted an online questionnaire to Portuguese Airbnb’ guests and obtained 101 valid answers. We found that though guests participate in some value co-creation processes and practices, and to some extent, value co-destruction, participation in isolated practices/processes has an insignificant relationship with satisfaction and the likelihood of choosing a sharing system again constructs. We also found participation in co-creation to be relatively homogenous across age, gender, duration and house sharing, and found small differences among group size and travel goal. We conduct a critical analysis of our results and comparing them with existing literature for further elaboration. This study finds that single practices alone or all-encompassing processes may hold poor significance in value determination for the consumer and the firm. It also includes a practice and processes approach and suggests practices may hold more analytical power for marketers. As such, it provides the academia with suggestions and directions for conducting research on this topic. For the industry, this study informs decision makers, practitioners and entrepreneurs on the idiosyncrasies of designing, managing and promoting sharing systems with value co-creation in mind. The study endures the limitation of the infancy state of research in value co-creation (namely the lack of problem-focused developed scales), the use of a convenience sample and consumer bias.»


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