When is Ours Better than Mine? A Framework for Understanding and Altering Participation in Commercial Sharing Systems

Journal of Marketing, July 2012

51 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2011 Last revised: 30 Aug 2014

Cait Poynor Lamberton

University of Pittsburgh - Katz Graduate School of Business

Randall L Rose

University of South Carolina

Date Written: January 2, 2012

Abstract

Sharing systems are increasingly challenging sole ownership as the dominant means of obtaining product benefits, making up a market estimated at over $100 B annually in 2010. Consumer options include cell phone minute sharing plans, frequent flyer mile pools, bike sharing programs, and automobile sharing systems, among many others. However, marketing research has yet to provide a framework for understanding and managing these emergent systems. The present paper conceptualizes commercial sharing systems within a typology of shared goods. Three studies then demonstrate that beyond cost-related benefits of sharing, the perceived risk of scarcity related to sharing is a central determinant of its attractiveness. Results suggest that managers can use perceptions of personal and sharing partners’ usage patterns to affect risk perceptions and subsequent propensity to participate in a commercial sharing system.

Keywords: sharing, marketing communications, risk, competition, pooled resources, social similarity

Suggested Citation

Lamberton, Cait Poynor and Rose, Randall L, When is Ours Better than Mine? A Framework for Understanding and Altering Participation in Commercial Sharing Systems (January 2, 2012). Journal of Marketing, July 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1939289 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1939289

Cait Poynor Lamberton (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - Katz Graduate School of Business ( email )

Marketing Department
364 Mervis Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Randall L Rose

University of South Carolina ( email )

701 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

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