Why do consumers become providers? Self-determination in the sharing economy
Type of content
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore why and how sharing economy users switch from consumer (e.g. Airbnb guest) to provider (e.g. Airbnb host), and how this helps enrich self-determination theory. Design/methodology/approach: The authors conducted an exploratory study with users who had been consumers (i.e. Airbnb guests) and had switched to being providers (i.e. Airbnb hosts). Findings: Consumers switch to being providers across four phases: “catalysts”, “enablers”, “drivers” and “glue”. The authors identify various extrinsic and intrinsic motivations unique to the switch and map these against motivators postulated by self-determination theory. Research limitations/implications: The authors propose a four-phase process through which consumers become providers. The present study enriches self-determination theory by showing how users' psychosocial needs are addressed through a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that are unique to the role switch. The authors further show how the importance of the three key psychosocial self-determination needs varies through the switch process, thus providing a more nuanced understanding of users' drive for self-determination. Practical implications: This study offers several recommendations to help sharing economy platforms improve their processes and communication to encourage a greater number of consumers to switch roles and become providers. These recommendations address two aspects: (1) encouraging consumers to switch roles and become providers (i.e. acquisition) and following this (2) encouraging providers to continue to perform that role (i.e. retention). Originality/value: Much research has investigated why users become consumers (e.g. Airbnb guests) or providers (e.g. Airbnb hosts) in the sharing economy. However, research to date has not fully embraced the two-sided nature of the sharing economy. Therefore, this is the first paper to explore why and how consumers switch roles and become providers in the sharing economy, and how this helps enrich self-determination theory.
Ngā upoko tukutuku/Māori subject headings
ANZSRC fields of research
Fields of Research::35 - Commerce, management, tourism and services::3506 - Marketing::350611 - Service marketing