The sharing economy is an emerging social and technological phenomenon based on developments in information and communications technology (ICT) that implies the collaborative consumption of physical, virtual, and intellectual goods. Booms in Internet technology and mobile online services have psychologically, sociologically, environmentally, and economically altered consumer purchase behaviors. The sharing economy is a new model of consumer–company relationship that combines the concepts of social movement and eco-friendliness, and relies on social networks and mobile technology. The combination of the sharing economy with collaborative consumption is a new economic model and business system beyond traditional production in both consumption psychology and behavior. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) defined the sharing economy as the allowing of individuals and groups to make money from underused assets. This can be categorized into hospitality, automotive, consumer goods, and even knowledge sharing. Sharing economy revenues are expected to grow at around 35% per year. The five key sharing sectors, including travel, car sharing, finance, music, video streaming, and even staffing have the potential to increase to $335 billion by 2025. Furthermore, 76% of consumers in this research agree that the sharing economy is better for the environment. This means that for companies still toeing the line on corporate social responsibility (CSR), the sharing economy concept can be a wake-up call.
The rise of the sharing economy is predicted to have a major societal impact, and thus has relevance to both practitioners and policy makers. This study investigates the power of this emerging trend and the behavior intention of the sharing economy and CSR. The sharing economy has now garnered the attention of government officials, researchers, and service providers of online platforms, bringing many reports and much information into availability through research papers, magazines, and newspaper articles relating to the sharing economy. However, authors found a general lack of operational details and suggestions in these publications, specifically marketing strategies and branding design for more powerful consumer intent. The emergence of a new economic model with a CSR concept needs to be studied regarding the motivational factors on consumer perception value of sustainability, consumer-company (C–C) identification, and social currency toward consumer citizenship intentions in the sharing economy business model.
CSR is a crucial concept in the academic world and is becoming a more pressing item for practical corporate agendas. Studies have argued that a socially responsible corporation should strive to make a profit, obey the law, be ethical, and be a good corporate citizen [1
]. Moreover, a great number of scholars have suggested that companies can derive enormous benefits when they are perceived as being socially responsible by their stakeholders [5
]. Of all of a company’s stakeholders, consumers are particularly susceptible to a company’s CSR [7
]. Previous academic research efforts have demonstrated that CSR has a positive influence on consumer evaluations and purchase intentions [9
]. CSR allows consumers to identify with a particular company [13
], specifically through the concept of C–C identification as suggested by [14
]. Hence, when consumers recognize that a company’s CSR belief has certain traits that overlap their own self-concepts, they develop a greater identification with that specific company and are more likely to support it [10
]. Researchers have also found that consumer product evaluations and judgments of product attributes are influenced by a company’s CSR [16
Dr. Black, the founder of Managing Direct and a globally recognized CSR and sustainability expert, has said that sharing economy services such as Airbnb and Uber have strong CSR potential, particularly in terms of environmental impact. “The sharing economy as a concept is very attractive from the perspective of corporate social responsibility and sustainability”, Dr. Black said. Although there are different models within the sharing economy, she still believed that they have same promise of reducing environmental impact through reliance on technology and a focus on sharing, reusing, and recycling. She also mentioned that there is the promise of increased social capital in communities and societies as a result of this, and people learn to trust complete strangers through the level of transparency and the reliability of the technology platforms in the social economy. Thus there is a lot of promise with these business models of something that really is very sympathetic to the values and the perceptions of CSR and sustainability [18
In addition, researchers believe that consumer evaluations of a company are based on behavioral intentions, such as consumer citizenship behavior. This empirical study explores a research framework of consumer citizenship behavior in the CSR environment and the sharing economy trend. This study will reveal specific information for how CSR can operate under the context of the sharing economy. First, the authors will develop a theoretical framework that describes how companies participating in CSR can affect C–C identification and perceived sustainability to influence consumer citizenship behavior and how those behaviors are further influenced by social capital. Second, the study uses structural equation modeling (SEM) as the methodology to test the model and hypotheses. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of marketing significance, the theoretical and practical implications, and limitations for future research. In this research, the authors advance and defend two major contentions. First, in the context of the sharing economy, investing in CSR can positively increase environmental performance (perceived value of sustainability and C–C identification) and business performance (customer citizenship behavior). Second, examining social capital, it emerges as a moderator for customer citizenship behavior.