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Sustainability Potentials of the Sharing Economy: The case of accommodation sharing platforms

Zvolska, Lucie LU (2015) In IIIEE Master thesis IMEN41 20151
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
The sharing economy, which facilitates technology-enabled sharing of underused assets, is an umbrella for a variety of segments and platforms. The concept includes peer-to-peer, business-to-business and business-to-consumer platforms which are celebrated for their potential to facilitate a transformative change towards a sustainable society grounded in access over ownership, empowerment, inclusiveness, democracy and an economically, environmentally and socially sound way of doing business. While claims emphasising the sustainability potentials of the sharing economy are ubiquitous in the literature, research on the sustainability implications of the sharing economy is scarce and the potentials have not been contested in scientific studies.... (More)
The sharing economy, which facilitates technology-enabled sharing of underused assets, is an umbrella for a variety of segments and platforms. The concept includes peer-to-peer, business-to-business and business-to-consumer platforms which are celebrated for their potential to facilitate a transformative change towards a sustainable society grounded in access over ownership, empowerment, inclusiveness, democracy and an economically, environmentally and socially sound way of doing business. While claims emphasising the sustainability potentials of the sharing economy are ubiquitous in the literature, research on the sustainability implications of the sharing economy is scarce and the potentials have not been contested in scientific studies. Critics of the sharing economy have brought to light some of the negative repercussions sharing platforms might create: exacerbation of wealth inequality, increase of environmental degradation and a race to the bottom. This thesis takes an explorative approach and synthesises the overarching sustainability claims inherent to the sharing economy which are then tested on the accommodation segment. The analytical framework utilised for the discussion of sustainability claims emerged from the literature and primary data was collected via ten in-depth interviews with providers of accommodation sharing platforms and a quantitative survey with their users. The research found a wide spectrum of business models and identified different sustainability implications for each of type of accommodation sharing platforms. (Less)
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author
Zvolska, Lucie LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN41 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Sustainability, Accommodation Sharing Platforms, The Sharing Economy, Claims, Potentials, Tourism
publication/series
IIIEE Master thesis
report number
31
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
8055286
date added to LUP
2015-10-13 08:17:17
date last changed
2015-10-20 07:53:22
@misc{8055286,
  abstract     = {The sharing economy, which facilitates technology-enabled sharing of underused assets, is an umbrella for a variety of segments and platforms. The concept includes peer-to-peer, business-to-business and business-to-consumer platforms which are celebrated for their potential to facilitate a transformative change towards a sustainable society grounded in access over ownership, empowerment, inclusiveness, democracy and an economically, environmentally and socially sound way of doing business. While claims emphasising the sustainability potentials of the sharing economy are ubiquitous in the literature, research on the sustainability implications of the sharing economy is scarce and the potentials have not been contested in scientific studies. Critics of the sharing economy have brought to light some of the negative repercussions sharing platforms might create: exacerbation of wealth inequality, increase of environmental degradation and a race to the bottom. This thesis takes an explorative approach and synthesises the overarching sustainability claims inherent to the sharing economy which are then tested on the accommodation segment. The analytical framework utilised for the discussion of sustainability claims emerged from the literature and primary data was collected via ten in-depth interviews with providers of accommodation sharing platforms and a quantitative survey with their users. The research found a wide spectrum of business models and identified different sustainability implications for each of type of accommodation sharing platforms.},
  author       = {Zvolska, Lucie},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {Sustainability,Accommodation Sharing Platforms,The Sharing Economy,Claims,Potentials,Tourism},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Master thesis},
  title        = {Sustainability Potentials of the Sharing Economy: The case of accommodation sharing platforms},
  year         = {2015},
}