The Power of Trust in the Sharing Economy: The Impact of Trust and its Antecedents on an Asset Provider’s Behaviour Through the Example of

Paulina Julia Bedzinska & Jakub Skwarski

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis aimed to explore trust as phenomenon within sharing economy business models. Primarily, it was desired to determine trust antecedents and their impact on user’s behaviour within a C2C platform. This study was based on, as a chosen Danish C2C platform provider. Therefore, findings are specifically applicable to this company. In the first part of the thesis, the literature review was conducted in order to develop a theoretical background. Additionally, relevant variables and relationships between them were identified. A conceptual model based on trust was developed from an asset provider's perspective. Basing on a proposed model, eight hypotheses were developed. Four independent variables representing customer’s trust antecedents were as follows: Broad scope trust, Disposition to trust, Familiarity and Company’s reputation. Narrow scope trust, identified as trust to, was recognised as being at the same time dependent and independent variable, and was placed in the centre of the model. Both variables - Renters’ reputation and Trust in the community of renters, were acknowledged as additional factors influencing an asset provider’s engagement in sharing activities within the platform. Furthermore, an outcome variable - Willingness to accept the rental request - was applied. A self-administered online-mediated survey was conducted on the sample of 190 asset providers to test whether the hypotheses can be supported. The study results were analysed by the means of three multiple linear regressions conducted in SPSS Software. This analysis implied that among four proposed trust antecedents, only Familiarity did not significantly influence user’s trust to the platform provider. Nevertheless, significant correlations were found between every other tested variable, thereby, seven hypotheses could have been supported. Additionally, the analysis shown that Renters’ reputation had a weaker impact on Trust in renters than Trust to the examined platform provider. This, in turn, implied that Narrow scope trust plays the most important role when a C2C platform provider wants to enhance an asset provider’s involvement in its business activities. Finally, this thesis provides managers and governmental authorities with a few theoretical and managerial implications stressing the reciprocally beneficial power of trust associated with consumer involvement in sharing economy activities. Furthermore, suggestions for future researchers were provided.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages94
SupervisorsAlexander Josiassen