Less Risk, More Fun? The Role of Ownership Risk Perception for Access-based Service Value Perception and Usage

Tobias Schaefers*, Stephanie J. Lawson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Services that give customers access to goods, such as car sharing, bike sharing, or rental platforms for fashion items or tools, have been receiving an increasing attention as an alternative to ownership (e.g., Bardhi and Eckhardt 2012; Botsman and Rogers 2010; Gansky 2010; Moeller and Wittkowski 2010). As Lovelock and Gummesson (2004, p. 34) note, such “marketing transactions that do not involve a transfer of ownership are distinctively different from those that do.” This is mainly due to customers neither acquiring full property rights to the accessed product nor the risks and responsibilities attached to ownership (Moeller and Wittkowski 2010; Wirtz and Ehret 2009), but rather engaging in “a temporary and circumstantial consumption context” (Bardhi and Eckhardt 2012, p. 882). However, the connection between the “burdens of ownership (Berry and Maricle 1973) – i.e., risks and responsibilities that come with owning a good – and the evaluation as well as the usage of access-based services has not been sufficiently investigated. Based on risk perception theory (Mitchell 1999), we hypothesize the effects of different risk dimensions (financial, performance, social) on the utilitarian and hedonic value of an access-based service as well as its actual usage. Using a unique dataset that links survey and actual usage data of car sharing users, we test seven corresponding hypotheses. The results reveal that the value and the usage of an access-based service are influenced by consumers’ risk perception of ownership. While the utilitarian value of an access-based service is positively influenced by financial and performance risk, the hedonic value is driven by performance and social risk; access-based service usage is positively influenced by financial and social risk as well as the service’s utilitarian value. On a theoretical level our study contributes to the growing research on access-based consumption by advancing the understanding of consumers’ decision processes and usage patterns. Moreover, several managerial implications can be derived from our research results. For instance, companies should highlight the social risk of ownership and highlight the temporary and experiential nature of their access-based services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLet’s Get Engaged! Crossing the Threshold of Marketing’s Engagement Era : Proceedings of the 2014 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference
EditorsMichael W. Obal, Nina Krey, Christian Bushardt
Number of pages2
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date2016
ISBN (Print)9783319118147, 9783319791739
ISBN (Electronic)9783319118154
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event2014 AMS Annual Conference - Indianapolis, United States
Duration: 21 May 201423 May 2014
Conference number: 42


Conference2014 AMS Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science

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