Unraveling customer sustainable consumption behaviors in sharing economy: A socio-economic approach based on social exchange theory

Customer sustainable consumption behaviors have attracted considerable attention recently. However, existing studies have been focused on individual sustainable consumption behaviors in a traditional economy context, such as energy saving, recycling, and green product consumption, and continuously ignoring its role in sharing economy. This study develops one conceptual model to explore how customer sustainable consumption behaviors are mobilised in the sharing economy context, drawing on the social exchange theory. Using a large data (Nvalid sample = 2967) crawled from a peer-to-peer (P2P) accommodation platform website (i.e. xiaozhu), we test the model to explore how customer sustainable consumption behaviors are boosted and expressed in the context of sharing economy. Specifically, drawing from the reciprocity tenet of social exchange theory, we show that social factor (i.e. social influence) exerts positive influence on customer sustainable consumption behaviors, whereas economic factor (i.e. price) exerts negative influence on customer sustainable consumption behaviors. Consequently, increased customer sustainable consumption behaviors result in improved objective sales performance. Furthermore, we also conclude that a service provider's strategies (i.e. reputation and response rate) could positively enhance the effect of social influence on customer sustainable consumption behaviors while the value of these strategies are limited and insignificant in the effect of price.

Wang, Yonggui, Diandian Xiang, ZhiYong Yang, and Shuang (Sara) Ma. 2019. “Unraveling customer sustainable consumption behaviors in sharing economy: A socio-economic approach based on social exchange theory.” Journal of Cleaner Production 208: 869–79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.10.139.

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