Do I share because I care? The role of values in the acceptance, adoption and diffusion of collaborative consumption

Piscicelli, L., 2016. Do I share because I care? The role of values in the acceptance, adoption and diffusion of collaborative consumption. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Collaborative consumption is an emerging socio-economic model based on sharing, bartering, gifting, swapping, renting, lending and borrowing, enabled by new technologies and peer communities. When providing access to underutilised or idle assets, it promotes efficient use of resources, reduces their environmental burden and can rebuild social capital. For this potential to bring economic interests in line with positive environmental and social impact, collaborative consumption has been considered a promising approach towards more sustainable consumption. Nevertheless, its market uptake is still quite limited and further research is necessary to identify and understand the conditions that could support its wider introduction and scaling up. This thesis investigates how consumers’ values may contribute to the acceptance, adoption and diffusion of collaborative consumption. Drawing from two different, if not contrasting, theoretical perspectives to understand consumer behaviour – social psychology and social practice theory – the research explores the possibility that individual values influence, and are influenced by, the ‘meaning’ element of social practices, thereby facilitating or hindering participation. The examination was conducted through mixed methods research using Ecomodo, a UK-based online community marketplace for lending and borrowing, as a case study. Initial quantitative data collection and analysis was conducted to measure 63 Ecomodo users’ values through Schwartz’s Portrait Value Questionnaire. These results were followed up with 10 semi-structured interviews facilitated by a series of visual prompts. Findings suggest that variation between the values held by users of Ecomodo and by a representative sample of the UK population may be partly responsible for Ecomodo’s failure to become mainstream. In particular, the research found that there is a mutual relationship between individual values and the meanings that underlie practices (e.g. lending and borrowing). However, considerations around 4 ‘value’, the perceived convenience and practicality of a certain behaviour/practice, also play a role in determining participation in collaborative consumption. This led to the advancement of the Individual-Practice Framework, which complements approaches from social practice theory with insights from social psychology, as a configuration able to offer an alternative perspective to understand consumer behaviour. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the implications for sustainable design and possible practical applications of this framework.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Piscicelli, L.
Date: February 2016
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 08 Jun 2016 13:14
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2016 13:14

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