Exploring the Language of the Sharing Economy: Building Trust and Reducing Privacy Concern on Airbnb in German and English

Zarifis, A., Ingham, R., & Kroenung, J. (2019). Exploring the Language of the Sharing Economy: Building Trust and Reducing Privacy Concern on Airbnb in German and English. Cogent Business & Management. DOI: 10.1080/23311975.2019.1666641

15 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2019

See all articles by Alex Zarifis

Alex Zarifis

University of Mannheim; Loughborough University - School of Business and Economics

Richard Ingham

Richard Ingham

Julia Kroenung

University of Mannheim

Date Written: September 12, 2019

Abstract

Several countries’ economies have been disrupted by the sharing economy. Global champions like Airbnb and Uber use similar models and platforms across many countries. However, each country and its consumers have different characteristics including the language used. The text in the profile of those offering their properties in England in English and in Germany in German, are compared to explore whether trust is built, and privacy concerns are reduced in the same way. Six methods of building trust are used by the landlords:

(1) the level of formality,

(2) distance and proximity,

(3) emotiveness and humor,

(4) being assertive and passive aggressive,

(5) conformity to the platform language style and terminology and

(6) setting boundaries.

Privacy concerns are not usually reduced directly as this is left to the platform. The findings indicate that language has a limited influence and the platform norms and habits are the biggest influence.

Keywords: Sharing economy, trust, privacy, Airbnb

JEL Classification: O32, M10, M15, M31, O35

Suggested Citation

Zarifis, Alex and Zarifis, Alex and Ingham, Richard and Kroenung, Julia, Exploring the Language of the Sharing Economy: Building Trust and Reducing Privacy Concern on Airbnb in German and English (September 12, 2019). Zarifis, A., Ingham, R., & Kroenung, J. (2019). Exploring the Language of the Sharing Economy: Building Trust and Reducing Privacy Concern on Airbnb in German and English. Cogent Business & Management. DOI: 10.1080/23311975.2019.1666641, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3452868

Alex Zarifis (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim ( email )

Bismarckstrasse
L14
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Loughborough University - School of Business and Economics ( email )

Epinal Way
Leics LE11 3TU
Leicestershire
United Kingdom

Richard Ingham

Richard Ingham ( email )

309 Regent Street
London, W1R 8AL
United Kingdom

Julia Kroenung

University of Mannheim ( email )

Universitaetsbibliothek Mannheim
Zeitschriftenabteilung
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

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