Sharing values: the relationship between value(s) and meanings in collaborative consumption

Piscicelli, L., Cooper, T. ORCID: 0000-0001-8623-2918 and Fisher, T. ORCID: 0000-0003-2565-8805, 2015. Sharing values: the relationship between value(s) and meanings in collaborative consumption. In: K. Thornton, ed., Unmaking Waste 2015, Adelaide, South Australia, 22-24 May 2015: conference proceedings. Adelaide, South Australia: Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour, pp. 143-151. ISBN 9780994336071

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Collaborative consumption (also referred to as the ‘collaborative economy’, or the ‘sharing economy’) is an emerging socio-economic model based on sharing, bartering, gifting, swapping, renting, lending and borrowing enabled by network technologies and peer communities (Botsman and Rogers 2011). When enabling shared access to under-used assets and thereby making use of spare capacity, it reduces the environmental impact of consumption and prevents unnecessary waste. Often underpinned by belief in openness, inclusivity and the commons, sharing may additionally encourage meaningful interactions and trust between strangers (Stokes et al. 2014).
The aim of the research project which informs this paper was to investigate how consumers’ values may contribute to the acceptance, adoption and wider diffusion of collaborative consumption. Drawing from two different, if not contrasting, theoretical perspectives to understand consumer behaviour, social psychology and social practice theory, the exploration was conducted through a mixed methods study using Ecomodo, a UK-based online sharing platform, as a case study. Initial quantitative research was carried out to measure its users’ values through Schwartz's Portrait Value Questionnaire (cf. Schwartz et al. 2012). A subsequent strand of qualitative research was carried out to explore values in the specific context of collaborative consumption.
This paper focuses on this latter phase and presents findings from 10 semi-structured interviews which uncovered the values associated with alternative ways of consuming in the areas of transportation, holiday accommodation, clothing and consumer goods. In particular, it explores the relationship between individual values and socio-cultural meanings and the potential benefits of combining psychological and sociological insights in order to understand consumer behaviour. Finally, it considers the importance of engaging values in order to move away from individualistic and wasteful consumerism towards sharing and more sustainable patterns of consumption.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Piscicelli, L., Cooper, T. and Fisher, T.
Publisher: Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour
Place of Publication: Adelaide, South Australia
Date: 2015
ISBN: 9780994336071
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Schools > School of Art and Design
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 04 Jan 2018 14:52
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2018 14:52

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