Access vs. Ownership: Understanding Consumers’ Consumption Mode Preference
48 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2014
Date Written: July 7, 2014
Accessing products instead of owning them is becoming increasingly popular. In case of both types of consumption modes being available, consumers face the choice between traditional ownership and access. A better understanding of consumption mode choice is not only an important step towards a theoretical basis, but also highly relevant for businesses and policy makers. This paper describes (a) the development of a formative measurement tool of consumers’ perceptions and the resulting attitude towards access and ownership and (b) the results of its application to four different product categories and to consumers with and without access consumption experience. Based on literature review and qualitative interviews, a second-order formative model is conceptualized and validated in a mixed-methods approach. It is found that functional and monetary perceptions are generally most important, followed by experiential and symbolic perceptions. On a more granular level, access offerings in different categories are perceived differently, highlighting the importance of multi-category studies. Managers, policy makers and science benefit from the provided measurement tool, the description of various applications and the implications of its utilization in this study.
Keywords: Access, Ownership, Collaborative Consumption, Sharing Economy, Consumption Mode, Car Sharing, Bike Sharing
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