Expanding the Rise of Collaborative Consumption: A qualitative study on how to increase the attitude-behavior consistency
Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
A major transformation within the traditional market exchange has taken place during the last decade. Sustainability concerns and individuals’ attempt to protest against the crazy consumption have giving birth to a new movement, namely collaborative consumption. A new trend is identified where the consumers desire more sustainable types of consumption and a preference of access over ownership. Collaborative consumption is aiming to maximize the utility by a peer-to-peer solution, providing access to a wide range of products and generating environmental, social and economic benefits. Whereas sharing is considered as a universal form of economic human behavior, its implementation within a business context is relatively new, creating a scarcity of existing research. Previous research revealed that consumers possess a positive attitude towards sharing activities, however the adoption of using the services and products available on the market has been slow. Hence, the authors deemed it interesting to investigate the inconsistency regarding attitude and behavior within the concept of collaborative consumption.
The preliminary purpose of the study was to contribute with knowledge of how a collaborative consumption firm can increase the attitude-behavior consistency. The authors conducted the study through the perspective of non-users familiar with and positive to the concept in regard to the objective of the research. The study has throughout the process been guided by the research question; “How can a collaborative consumption firm increase the consumers’ attitude-behavior consistency?”. In consideration of existing research mainly been conducted by a usage of quantitative methods, the authors found it relevant to apply qualitative methods in combination with an inductive approach. Hence, the authors hoped to discover additional insights that have been overlooked by previous studies. Additionally, the authors investigated the phenomenon by taking the epistemological position of interpretivism together with the ontological position of constructivism. The authors conducted the study in two partsapplying different methods to examine whether a group setting would impact the individuals’ responses. The study on individual level was based on four unstructured interviews with two representatives from each age group; 20-30 and 30-60. These findings served the purpose of creating a framework for the following study on group level, conducted by two semi-structured focus groups.
Whilst the findings from the study revealed that positive attitudes were possessed, stronger conflicting attitudes also existed. The findings further provided evidence that individuals’ attitude and behavior consistency is affected by intrinsic motives or social pressure. Hence, the authors recommend two strategies that could be applied in order to increase the consistency among non-users within collaborative consumption. The firms should enhance the intrinsic motives by emphasizing the desired attributes provided; convenience and the ability to match preferences with purpose and by educating the non-users in order to inspire a reflective thinking. A social pressure could be achieved by highlighting the attributes that are in line with today’s social norms and by encouraging current users to display their participation. These two strategies could be applied to minimize the attitude-behavior gap and transform a non-user into a user.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 92 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-122847OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-122847DiVA: diva2:941816
Service Management Program