Trust in the Sharing Econmy

Debbie Morielle Andersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The economic crisis and the increased focus on shortage on resource have created new economic and social activities based on sharing. The development of the Internet has created online platforms that make sharing easier. The sharing economy covers a wide range of opportunities and business models where the focal point is access to products and services, rather than the ownership of them. The technological development has resulted in the Sharing Economy, as we know it today. And trust is a prerequisite for that.
This case study addresses trust in a sharing economy perspective on Airbnb. The digitisation has made it possible to create digital platforms, and this is where the trust evolves.
Trust makes it possible for consumers to engage in relations with others. This community on the platform requires that the consumers are willing to show trust in others, but that also means that consumers must be willing to take a risk.
Trust is considered as the key on the Airbnb platform, but we need to add some useful strategies, for the company to create trust. Safety, transparency and cooperation are all strategies that will lead to trust, when they are used on an organization and individual level. The study argues that we need to add a dimension of valuation, to see how reviews affect the trust. Valuation and the three trust-building strategies have an impact on the consumers. This is shown in both a host/guest context, but also in an organization to consumer context.
This study also suggests the three dimensions ability, benevolence and integrity in the digital communication systems is affected by trust.
The trust-building strategies are the foundation of the analysis. With these I am able to conclude, that trust on the digital platform arises when safety, transparency and cooperation are communicated to the consumers as well as between them.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages74