Journal of Business Ethics 158 (3):679-697 (2019)

Collaborative consumption is proposed as a potential step beyond unsustainable linear consumption patterns toward more sustainable consumption practices. Despite mounting interest in the topic, little is known about the determinants of this consumer behavior. We use an extended theory of planned behavior to examine the relative influence of consumers’ personal norms and the theory’s basic sociopsychological variables attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control on collaborative consumption. Moreover, we use this framework to examine consumers’ underlying value and belief structure regarding collaborative consumption. We measure these aspects for 224 consumers in a survey and then assess their self-reported collaborative consumption behavior in a second survey. Our structural model fits the data well. Collaborative consumption is more strongly—through intentions—influenced by personal norms and attitudes than by subjective norms. Personal norms to consume collaboratively are determined by consumers’ altruistic, biospheric, and egoistic value orientations. Cost savings, efficient use of resources, and community with others are found to be consumers’ attitudinal beliefs underlying collaborative consumption. We conclude that collaborative consumption can be pin-pointed neither as a mere form of economic exchange nor as a primarily normative form of sharing resources. Instead, collaborative consumption is determined by economic/egoistic and normative motives. Implications for collaborative consumption research, the theory of planned behavior, and practitioners are discussed.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-017-3675-3
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