Where do we draw the line? : how far different cultures are willing to adopt the concept of the sharing economy

University essay from Högskolan Kristianstad/Fakulteten för ekonomi; Högskolan Kristianstad/Fakulteten för ekonomi

Abstract: In the recent decades a new type of economic system based on collaborative consumption has increased in popularity. The new cost competitive model challenges the traditional business model that has fueled the hyper consumption, which the 20th century is known for. This research focuses on how national cultures impact the development of this new economic system, in order to understand how much people of different cultures are willing to share. A conceptual model was created to try to understand cultural influence on sharing. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions have been used to measure and compare the empirical data, that was collected through five focus groups representing four different countries: Sweden, France, China and United States. Out of the six cultural dimensions, it was found that the indulgence dimension together with power distance might influence people’s willingness to share. Indulgence was also found to explain socialization as a motivational factor together with power distance and long-term orientation. In conclusion, four different sharing sectors were analyzed, and it was found that transportation and clothing was considered shareable, disregarding national culture. Accommodation might be dependent on national culture since the focus groups that were supposed to be indulgent showed resistance to share, while the restraint groups showed a greater willingness. Technology was not considered shareable by any group. Furthermore, three motivational factors, that might be depend on national culture, was identified. These are environment, socialization and technology. An additional four motivational factors were identified, but these might be independent of national culture. These four are personal, economical, trust/safety and convenience. Lastly, additional findings showed that similar genders have similar willingness to share across cultures which makes it a topic of interest for future research. 

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