A Study of the Antecedents of Collaborative Consumption Engagement and the Moderating Effect of Self-Identity

A Study of the Antecedents of Collaborative Consumption Engagement and the Moderating Effect of Self-Identity

Youngkeun Choi (Sangmyung University, Seoul, South Korea)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/IJeC.2019040103

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationships between motivation factors and collaborative consumption engagement and explore the moderating effect of self-identity on that relationship. For this, the present study collected data from 228 college students in South Korea through a survey method. In the results, first, the more sustainable or economic benefit participants perceive in collaborative consumption platforms, the more they are engaged in collaborative consumption. Second, the positive relationship between perceived sustainability and collaborative consumption engagement is stronger for participants in collaborative consumption platforms higher in interdependent self-view. However, interdependent self-view was found to have no significance on the relationship between perceived economic benefits and CC engagement.
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1. Introduction

In recent years, consumer attitudes have changed and concerns about ecological, social and developmental impact have increased (Albinsson & Perera, 2012). Indeed, public awareness of the environmental and ethical implications of mass consumption contributed to the emergence of the sustainable consumption concept around the beginning of the new millennium (OCSC, 2000). The Oxford Commission for Sustainable Consumption (OCSC) defines the concept as, consumption that supports the ability of current and future generations to meet their material and other needs, without causing irreversible damage to the environment or loss of function in natural systems. In pursuit of this ideal, diverse stakeholders (e.g., businesses, government agencies and consumer advocates) have begun to develop initiatives to produce consumer goods that lower environmental impacts and, subsequently, provide positive social impacts (Cho, Gupta & Kim, 2015). Among the evolving examples of initiatives to promote sustainable consumption, collaborative consumption (CC) has emerged as a promising initiative for reducing consumer waste among diverse product categories. Collaborative consumption represents a range of business models that are fundamentally based on deviations from the concept of traditional ownership including examples such as renting, lending, bartering, and swapping products and services (Johnson, Mun & Chae, 2016).

One outcome of recent hyper-connectivity, in concert with the higher levels of efficiency and trust, has been peoples’ willingness to engage in all kinds of social and economic exchange with members of their extended digital networks. Technology, and the applications that come with it, has changed the nature of activities ranging from dating (Tinder) to referencing (Wikipedia) to traveling (Airbnb); our connectedness is changing how humans interact. In particular, more people are open to sharing with each other. Whether it is photos or statuses or breaking news, people are offering up more to their networks than ever before.

Despite a growing practical importance, there is a lack of quantitative studies on motivational factors that affect participants’ attitudes and intentions towards CC. This article explores people’s motivations to participate in CC. For this, the article is structured as follows. The next section presents the theoretical framework and background for the hypotheses. This study adopts the lens of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations in attitude formation and use intentions related to CC (Lindenberg, 2001). The context is of especially great interest since participation in CC communities and services is generally characterized as driven by obligation to do good for other people and for the environment, such as sharing, helping others, and engaging in sustainable behavior (Prothero et al., 2011). However, CC may also provide economic benefits (saving money, facilitating access to resources, and free riding), which constitute more individualistic reasons for participating. For these reasons there exists a real practical problem of how CC could become more widespread. In particular, the possible discrepancy between motivations and their effect on attitudes and behavior warrants an interesting context for research (Bray et al., 2011). And, theories on the development of the self-identity as well as the relationship between the self and objects of consumption suggest that the sharing of an object will be associated with closer perceived social distances (Belk, 1988). Belk’s (1988) work on the Extended Self established the idea that people expand their concept of who they are to include their possessions and objects they consume. This study applies ideas on the extended self to P2P collaborative consumption and propose that by sharing a personal object of consumption, perceived social distances will be closer, vis-à-vis B2C exchange. And, the subsequent section then outlines data and methods, followed by the results. The article concludes with a discussion on implications and avenues for future research.

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