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Research Objectives

On completing this capstone unit the students will

• Understand the stages and processes involved in conducting independent research.

• Demonstrate an ability to negotiate and set critical deadlines and work to them

• Develop a sophisticated research proposal and design and implement it

• Produce a comprehensive report indicating the relevant theoretical basis for the research, the justification for the research strategy pursued, the findings or results and the implications of these for the future. Limitations in the research will also be acknowledged.

• Effectively communicate advanced concepts and the implications of the research through presentations and written work. Learning Outcomes:

1) Conducting independent research through developing a sophisticated research proposal, research design and its implementation. 2) Produce a comprehensive report indicating the relevant theoretical basis for the research, the justification for the research strategy pursued.

3) Appreciate the benefits of experiential learning by displaying good work habits, time management and self discipline.

4) Produce a comprehensive research report and effectively communicate advanced concepts and the implications of the research through additional presentations.

There are no set texts in this unit. However, students are expected to consult textbook purchased and used throughout their studies. Moreover, students are expected to undertake substantial secondary research making ample use of academic books and journals available in the Resource Centre and accessible via ProQuest. Please approach your supervisor if you are unsure how to use and/or access ProQuest. HC3131 Integrated Business Management Project 5 STUDENT ASSESSMENT SUBMISSION AND LATE PENALTIES To be eligible to pass this unit, you must complete all forms of assessment and demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes. All assignments must be submitted electronically ONLY using a word processor, uploaded to Blackboard via the Final Check and Submission of SafeAssign. Submission deadlines are strictly enforced and a late submission incurs penalties of 5 (five) % of the assessment value per calendar day unless an extension and/or special consideration has been granted by the lecturer prior to the assessment deadline.

Unless an extension and/or special consideration has been granted, no assessments are accepted after 14 calendar days of the due date, or the end of the trimester for assessments due later in a trimester. Students need to allow up to 24 hours for the Final Check of their assignment submission to SafeAssign to be available. VIEWING STUDENT GRADES AND ASSESSMENTS Results, including the final grade, can be viewed via the Grade Centre on Blackboard. Results for all assessments are usually published within two weeks of the due date of the assessment, and the final examination respectively. Students who wish to appeal their mark for any assessment are advised to do so within 14 days of the publication of results . Please note that students are eligible to view any of their assessments. For continuous assessments during the teaching period, students need to contact their lecturer immediately after the publication of results. For viewing of the final examination script, students need to complete the respective form (available on your Blackboard) and pay the applicable administrative fee. The form needs to be submitted within 14 days of the publication of the final/overall results. Please note that there is no review/remark option available for any student assessments.

Research Questions

ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT AND PLAGIARISM Holmes Institute views any forms of academic misconduct as most serious offences. Academic misconduct in any form, including plagiarism, contract cheating and cheating in a class test or examination, is not tolerated and will be dealt with according to the policies and procedures set out in the Holmes Institute Student Handbook. Plagiarism occurs when one uses another person’s ideas or manner of expressing them and passes them off as one’s own work by failing to give appropriate acknowledgement (that is, referencing the source). It is important that student reference their work appropriately. The Faculty of Higher Education at Holmes Institute uses the Harvard style of referencing. A detailed guide to referencing can be found in the Student Handbook and Resource Centres. It is expected that you will be familiar with the Harvard style of referencing.

Holmes Institute uses Blackboard Learn as its online learning platform. All students enrolled have access to Blackboard and it is imperative that students log onto their Blackboard immediately after they enrol for the trimester. Blackboard Learn allows students to view and download their lecture material, grades, important announcements on their units and discussion rooms for selected units. Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to check Blackboard on a regular basis. It is expected that students will have viewed lecture materials and additional readings before class. All students are advised to familiarize themselves with the use of Blackboard. Guides to Blackboard are available in the Resource Centre on each campus. Should you have difficulties accessing and/or using Blackboard, please contact your lecturer or the Holmes Institute Blackboard Helpdesk on:

USE OF RESOURCE CENTER AND PROQUEST As part of their degree studies, students are expected to engage in additional research. Textbooks and teaching materials available in the Resource Centre will be of use here. In addition, current students have access to a range of electronic academic journals via ProQuest, which is accessible once you log into Blackboard. Holmes Institute also supports students using Google Scholar. Should you require any assistance with the use of ProQuest and/or online research, please contact your lecturer and/or the Resource Centre staff on your campus.

STUDY SKILLS & ACADEMIC SUPPORT Students who have difficulties with their studies and/or specific forms of assessment are encouraged to contact their lecturer/tutor, academic mentor or the Student Engagement and Support Coordinator. Holmes Institute offers regular Academic and Study Skills Workshops throughout the semester, which are useful addressing important academic skills and are free for any student to attend. Students with insufficient academic progress may be required to attend these workshops and sessions with the Academic Progress Team. Academic and Study Skills Workshops are offered throughout the trimester for essay writing, doing research using ProQuest, giving business presentations, referencing and examination preparations. Announcements are made on your Blackboard and on noticeboards on campus.

Research Objectives

Sharing Economy is regarded as an economic system that leads to the sharing of the services or assets between the private industries with the help of internet. It can be either for free or for a specific fee (Hamari, Sjöklint and Ukkonen 2016). In today’s downturn in the world economic system, many aspects have emerged as the potential solution for the countries and the adoption of sharing economy can be considered as one of those solutions for the scarcity of economic resources. In today’s world, excessive consumption of the economic resources is considered as the main reason for the major environmental issues and these issues contribute to the reduction in the quantity of environmental resources (Zervas, Proserpio and Byers 2017). For this reason, countries all over the world are using sharing economy as a major tool as the cure of this problem as it provides the people with the facility to share or rent particular services or objects. It can be observed that many companies have adopted the model of sharing economy and have become majorly successful; like Uber, Obike, Airbnb and others (Schor 2016).

1.2 Research Objectives

            The large adoption of the model of sharing economy all over the world is the main reason behind this research. It can be observed that many of the large business corporations all over the world are using the platform of sharing economy for their business success; some of these companies are Uber, Airbbnb, Obike and others (Heinrichs 2013). Thus, the main objective of this research is the identification of the main reason that has increased the popularity of trending economy all over the world. Another main aim of this research lies in finding out the perception and attitude of common people towards sharing economy and to identify whether they want to use the sharing economy model or not. Another major objective of this research is the searching and analysis of business sectors like cars, house and others that involve sharing economy (Cusumano 2015). This research also involves analysing the structure of the companies using sharing economy in order o get better understanding about how they are using sharing economy to earn profit.  

1.3 Research Questions

            The primary research question is as below:

What are the reasons which have contributed in the popularity of the sharing economy model in the contemporary world and what are the perceptions of people regarding the same?

Research Questions

Keeping this into consideration the different secondary questions are as follows:

  1. What are the boundaries of sharing economy and collaborative consumption?
  2. What are the challenges that the companies and societies face in sharing economy?
  3. What are the areas or geographical locations where the existence of sharing economy can be seen?
  4. How well sharing economy is functioning in those areas?
  5. Do people want to stay on a particular commodity or product while buying or their requirement is new commodity or product on rent for limiter period?
  6. What can be the future behavior of the companies related to sharing economy?

1.4 Research Duration

            8 weeks is the total duration of this research program as the requirement is to provide the Literature Review portion on week 9. It can be observed that it is a long time for the research and the adoption of the strategy of survey for this research is the main reason for this. Completion of survey is a time-consuming aspect as it involves various crucial steps like collection of data, analysis of data and many others. At the same time, one major requirement is to conduct interviews of people as a part of this research that also requires time. 

1.5 Research Achievement

            The expected outcome or achievement of the research is to gain better as well as reasonable understanding about various dimensions of sharing economy as this is the core objective of this research. It is also expected that it will be possible to gain understanding about the structure of sharing economy companies along with their adopted procedures to deal with different aspects of sharing economy. Another major achievement is to gain effective understanding about the behaviour of common people towards sharing economy that whether the response of common people is positive or negative.

1.6 Research Structure

The concerned dissertation has been segregated into five sections which are as follows:The first chapter highlights the concerned research topic followed by an extensive review of the existing literary and scholarly works and empirical evidences present in the concerned domain, which has been put forward in the second chapter. The third chapter the research tools and analytical techniques used for the concerned study are explained. The analysis and interpretation of the data collected are organized and put forward in the fourth chapter followed by the fifth chapter, which provide a brief conclusion and recommendations on the concerned research topic.

1.7 Research Limitation

            There are certain limitations of this research. The research is dependent on the collection and analysis of primary data to get the results. However, a small number of primary data is collected and this aspect has made the data constricted. The effects and implications of sharing economy can be different in different markets and the aspects can also vary across different geographical and socio-economic domains, which the concerned research may not be able to take into account due to its data limitations.

Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

Expected Outcome

2.1 Introduction:

            Sharing economy is often termed as collaborative consumption, which is considered as economic-technological phenomenon developed due to rapid technological advancements. A cultural transformation is encouraged with the help of collaborative consumption in the consumption pattern of the current era, since a method of sharing asset is exercised, instead of owning the same and thus, it has gained widespread popularity (Koopman, Mitchell and Thierer 2014). This chapter would intend to provide critical highlights on the various aspects of collaborative consumption like the industries involved in the sharing economy, issues inherent in collaborative consumption and the motivational factors associated with it.

2.2 Collaborative consumption:

            The quick progress of information technologies has resulted in an increased amount of user-generated content over the past ten years and the way through which the creation and consumption of information is made with the help of collaborative internet outlets like Wikipedia, You Tube and others (Belk 2018). Hence, this has led to the emergence of the sharing economy, in which it becomes easy to share physical as well as non-physical products and services with the help of various internet platforms. One of the most prevalent forms of exchange in collaborative consumption is access over ownership, which implies that it becomes easy for the participants to share their products and services to the users via lending and renting. This is mainly carried out with the help of peer-to-peer platforms where the decentralisation and distribution of content is made arising out of organic growth and strong user organisation (Cohen and Kietzmann 2014). For instance, a peer-to-peer platform is Wikipedia, in which the users work in combination for developing contents by sharing their knowledge.

2.2.1 Industries in sharing economy:

            With the help of social platforms, it becomes possible to redistribute the used goods, which are not used wholly and hence, it leads to emergence of the second kind of collaborative consumption, which is redistribution market. This type of market strengthens the reuse as well as resell of old goods instead of destroying them (Richardson 2015). As a result, it minimises the unused resources and waste, which go along in case of a new product. Moreover, collaborative consumption could go beyond the tangible products like cars, bikes and others in the sense that individuals having identical interests work together by sharing less tangible assets comprising of space, skills, money and time (Cusumano 2015). Thus, an individual living in one nation could work with an individual residing in another nation by using the online platforms in terms of thought sharing.

Research Limitation

            In the words of Fraiberger and Sundararajan (2017), nearly 150 sharing economy organisations are present in twelve diverse industries and they include the following:

  • Learning
  • Municipal
  • Goods
  • Money
  • Health and wellness
  • Utilities
  • Space
  • Food
  • Services
  • Transportation
  • Corporate
  • Logistics (Stephany 2015)

            The emergence of sharing economy organisations is increasing in additional market sectors and thus, serious threats are imposed on few established industrial sectors. In accordance with the report of Deloitte Australia (2018), there would be more new entrants with the advancements of technology, since asset ownership is eroded as the conventional impediment of entry in several industries. Out of the above-stated industries, the most inherent sharing economy organisations include the following:

  • Uber and Lyft in transportation sector
  • Kickstarter and Indiegogo in money sector
  • Couchsurfing and Airbnb in space sector
  • Deliv and Boxbee in logistics sector
  • E-bay and Craigslist in goods sector
  • Task Rabbit and Fiverr in services sector (Sundararajan 2013)

            Transportation signifies the association of the individuals with the help of various means like bicycles, buses and cars. Space falls under the accommodation sector, in which the individuals participate for finding destinations to reside in travelling, vacation and long-term planning. On the other hand, money concentrates on peer-to-peer lending, which is carried out via online services to match the lenders with the borrowers. Logistics denote the flow of products, goods and services, while goods imply the stimulation of requirements and wants, in which the goods are tangible in nature in contrast to the service sector and intangible characteristics (Ert, Fleischer and Magen 2016).

2.2.2 Issues with collaborative consumption:

            It is often believed that the individuals working under shared economy are deprived of the advantages accorded to the full-time staffs like sick pay, paid leaves and bonuses and hence, they are underpaid. Moreover, organisations like Uber minimise the number of individuals availing taxis at its inception and thus, the profits made by the taxi companies and their drivers are minimised. Another setback of collaborative consumption is that the government receives lower tax revenues. This is because there is absence of any regulation for the online businesses offering services such as web development and legal writing. As a result, this restricts the number of individuals paying taxes from their earnings online leading to fall in tax revenues of the government (Hamari, Sjöklint and Ukkonen 2016).

            When online transactions are made for purchasing products and services, there is chance of fraud for both buyers and sellers, if there is an intention of misleading information. The online product purchasers are exposed to those sellers offering low quality merchandise and as a result, it could lead to stress for the buyers. In case of sharing economy, since a third party is used, it often takes away most of the profits (Ranchordás 2015). Thus, the players and the capitalists are benefitted the most and the individuals offering their products and services through these websites could not make adequate earnings.

Collaborative Consumption

2.3 Motivational factors in collaborative consumption:

            It has been identified that the consumers could be inclined to involve in collaborative consumption, as they could seek certain economic benefits. Motivation could be of two types, which include intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Pleasure often helps in driving intrinsic motivation, while any external influence helps in driving extrinsic motivation. The influences could be in the form of tangible rewards like privileges, money and grades or intangible rewards such as praise (Belk 2014). The consumers could be motivated to involve in collaborative consumption with the help of five different factors, which are enumerated briefly as follows:

2.3.1 Economic factor:

            As cited by Malhotra and Van Alstyne (2014), the sharing of products and services is considered as a sustainable option as well as an economical one. Considerable researches have been made in order to address this topic. Economic factors are considered as the primary reason in various instances at the time of practicing collaborative consumption. This is because when the options are shared, the overall costs are minimised and hence, it instils price consciousness among the customers to be a major determinant of utilising sharing options (Rauch and Schleicher 2015). Hence, when the individuals are involved in collaborative consumption, it could be viewed in the form of utility maximising behaviour, in which the customers substitute goods ownership with cheaper cost options from within a service of collaborative consumption.

2.3.2 Trust factor:

            According to Martin (2016), trust has been conceptualised as a significant determinant of the involvement in collaborative consumption. However, Zervas, Proserpio and Byers (2017) argued that the role of trust is not that significant at the time of empirical evaluation of the motivational determinants within the services of collaborative consumption. From the perspective of collaborative consumption, trust signifies the confidence in the collaborative consumption service provider and the other consumers with whom it is shared (Puschmann and Alt 2016). Hence, one of the significant motivational determinants is trust, when it comes to selecting options related to collaborative consumption.

2.3.3 Quality factor:

            The discernment of quality relies on the customer experience at the time of using a service. It is already a proven fact in service and consumer research that discerned quality is a crucial determinant of satisfaction, if the same good or service is to be used again, which has been confirmed in numerous empirical researches (Matzler, Veider and Kathan 2015). From the viewpoint of sharing economy, users of car sharing services might be probable in using the service again after possessing a positive experience.

Industries Involved in Sharing Economy

2.3.4 Sustainability factor:

            The involvement in collaborative consumption is primarily a sustainable option and it denotes the culture of sharing, instead of owning the asset. Hence, by lending a machine in exchange of a fee or counter performance, a sustainable option is provided in the sharing economy by minimising purchases, which enable in minimising environmental influence and costs along with increasing the social relation (Frenken and Schor 2017). The latest developments within the platforms of collaborative consumption denote the advancement of a sustainable marketplace for optimising the social, economic and environmental consumption consequences so that the needs of current generation as well as future generation could be met.

2.3.5 Social factor:

            The movement in collaborative consumption contains another driver, which is an evident change in the societal values (Möhlmann 2015). The desires often drive the consumers in developing relationships with individuals via friends and other members in the community. Thus, one of the most inherent reasons is the social aspect that urges the consumers to be involved in collaborative consumption. Hence, the desires play a crucial role in motivating the customers to help other individuals and this leads to the formation of social cohesion. The technological advancements have made further contributions in fuelling this type of mindset among the consumers (Kathan, Matzler and Veider 2016).

2.3.6 Practical factor:

            Practicality, in other words termed as convenience, has a significant role in order to partake in collaborative consumption. According to the research work of Schor and Fitzmaurice (2015), practicality is perceived as the crucial reason to be involved in collaborative consumption under various platforms of the sharing economy. The expediency of collaborative consumption as opposed to the conventional types of consumptions has occurred due to a variety of reasons. Out of them, the most crucial reasons include the technological growth and the varying values in relation to ownership (Teubner 2014). For instance, the smart phones and their ability of displaying various applications ensure immediate access to various platforms of collaborative consumption. As the mobile technology has enabled greater mobility level, the importance of practicality has grown widely in sharing economy (Wallsten 2015).

2.4 Conceptual framework:2.5 Summary:

            Based on the above discussion, it could be stated that sharing economy is often termed as collaborative consumption, which is considered as economic-technological phenomenon developed due to rapid technological advancements. Various industries like services, aviation, transportation, logistics and others are observed to be a part of collaborative consumption and more new entrants are expected in the future years. This might pose serious threats on the already established industries. On the other hand, certain issues are present in collaborative consumption like absence of governmental regulation, chances of frauds and scams, development of a capitalist economy and others. Finally, it has been evaluated that there are various motivations factors involved in sharing economy and they include economic factor, trust factor, quality factor, sustainability factor, social factor and practical factor. All of them are deemed to be extremely significant from the perspective of sharing economy or collaborative consumption.Chapter 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Inherent Issues with Collaborative Consumption

3.1 Introduction

For any research to be robust, insightful and productive, it is of immense importance to take build an effective research methodological structure which explains the research framework for the concerned study along with the design and philosophies taken, the methods employed and the nature of data collected and used (Neuman 2013). Keeping this into consideration, this chapter of the study highlights the overall research framework which has been used for the concerned study.

3.2 Research Design

The design of a research facilitates in enhancing the information gathered and interpreted for a particular study in an organized and efficient manner. There are usually three broad types of research design:While explanatory design helps in analysing large and generally cardinal form of data, thereby finding the general trends for the concerned research topic (Maxwell 2012). On the other hand, the exploratory research design mainly helps in analysing the evidences in depth and in detailed study of cause and effect trends in any research. Descriptive design, on the other hand, helps in gaining different and widespread knowledges regarding the concerned topic (Mitchell and Jolley 2012).

The concerned research, aiming to explore the reasons of the increasing popularity and different perceptions regarding the phenomenon of sharing economy in depth, takes the exploratory research design.

3.3 Research Philosophy

The research philosophical construct refers to the overall beliefs regarding the data collection, analysis and interpretation method for a concerned research and the same are of different types:Positivism refers to the hypothesis formation before analysing the evidences and are mainly used for quantitative analysis while the realism philosophy has the provision for both qualitative and quantitative analysis and has a more flexible structure. Interpretivism, on the other hand has the provision for in depth analysis of generally abstract and qualitative data for usually a small and detailed sample size (Hughes and Sharrock 2016).

The concerned research, for the purpose of exploring the issue in consideration, takes the interpretivism approach in order to conduct a detailed exploration and analysis of the concerned issues.

3.4 Research Approach

The overall procedure and different steps taken while conducting a research is shown by the research approach which are generally of two broad types:In the inductive approach, the evidences are first collected and then interpreted, thereby finding new results and forming new assertions while the deductive approach forms the hypothesis first and then tests the same with the help of the real evidences collected, thereby rejecting or accepting the pre-formed assertions (Savin-Baden and Major 2013).

In this case, the inductive approach is incorporated and the evidences are collected first, based on which the reasons behind the increasing popularity of the sharing economy and the perceptions of the people regarding the same.

3.5 Data Sources

There are usually two types of data sources, which are as follows:The primary sources of data are those raw data which are collected by the researcher directly for the purpose of gathering necessary information for the research, through interviews and direct interactions with the respondents. This type of data is authentic and less erroneous but the procedure of collection is time-consuming and costly process (Ikpeze 2015). The secondary data sources are those where the data already remains pre-collected. However, this type of data although being cost effective and time-saving these data can be erroneous and also have the threat of the presence of biasness.

Keeping this into consideration, the concerned research takes primary data for the purpose of analysis and interpretation of the same to study the reasons behind the growing popularity of the sharing economy model (Englander 2012).

3.6 Data Types

There are generally two broad types of data, which are as follows: 

The quantitative data types take into account the cardinal, numerical and measurable aspects of an issue which can be usually statistically analysed and interpreted. These types of data are generally easily comprehensible, representable and analysed. However, often in an issue, there remain aspects which cannot be cardinally studied and which are abstract or ordinal in nature (Silverman 2016). For this purpose, qualitative data are collected and analysed to take into account these non-numerical aspects of a study.

As the concerned tries to study the reasons behind the growing popularity of the sharing economy and the present perceptions, which are primarily abstract and non-cardinal, the research has collected qualitative data for the same purpose.

3.7 Data Collection and Sampling techniques

For the purpose of collecting primary and qualitative data, primarily direct interactions with the respondents have been done. For direct interaction 30 of the respondents have been randomly selected from those who avail the services of Uber, Obike and other services which use the shared economy model and they have been questioned regarding their reasons for usage of these services and perceptions regarding the different aspects of such services (Panneerselvam 2014). Also, for the purpose of in-depth analysis of the issue, a detailed interview with five selected respondents in the peer circle of the researcher has been done and the snowball technique has been used for the concerned research.

3.8 Data analysis

Thematic qualitative analysis method has been used for the purpose of analysing the collected data and interpreting the results, thereby exploring the factors which contribute in the increasing implementation and popularity of the sharing economy model and the perceptions present in the aspects of challenges and hurdles faced by the companies, the positives and negatives of the model, the geographical aspects and other aspects which have been aimed by the concerned research to study, in the context of sharing economy model (Smith 2015).

3.9 Ethical Considerations

Keeping into consideration the importance of the ethical framework in researches for making the studies robust, productive and effective, the concerned research has been carried out following the ethical norms existing (Miller et al. 2012). The research has been carried out after getting permission from the ethical body. The interviews have been carried out only after getting consents from the respondents and for maintaining their dignity, confidentiality and anonymity have been maintained which also has helped in ruling out any kind of intentional or unintentional bias in the analysis and interpretation of the collected data (Kono 2012).

3.10 Research Limitations

The primary limitation of the concerned research is that it takes into consideration a small sample size for the purpose of viewing the huge aspect of the dynamics and popularity of the sharing economy model, the reasons behind its growing popularity and for incorporating the perceptions which are present among people regarding the pros and cons of the same, the attracting aspects of the model and other immensely significant aspects in the domain of sharing economy. The data size being small and geographically constricted, there remains considerable possibility of the research to miss out the different aspects of the concerned model which may vary across geographical and socio-economic levels across the globe. Not all the types of perceptions can be taken into account due to the time and cost limitations of the concerned study. The model can perform differently with different levels of prospects in different economies but the concerned research cannot incorporate the same, which limits the concerned research, thereby leaving avenues for future researches in this aspect. 

Chapter 4. DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS

4.1. Qualitative Research and Findings:

The concerned research ventures in the area of exploration of the perceptions of people regarding different aspects of the model of sharing economy in the real economic scenario. Most of these aspects being ordinal or not measurable numerically, the qualitative research framework has been incorporated in the concerned study as with the help of this framework, the abstract aspects and the perceptions of the selected respondents can be taken into consideration (Lewis 2015).

The observations gathered are organized, analysed and interpreted under several themes and have also been divided in two sub-groups, one for the buyers and the others for those in the supply side of the concerned economy. This in turn helps the researcher to get a wholesome view of the implications of the sharing economy and its pros and cons as well as the future of this model of economy.

The qualitative research indicates that out of 30 samples surveyed in the form of interview, 15 people are consumers and rest of the 15 people are suppliers. The demographics are also included in this data collecting and analysis process. It is mainly a thematic analysis where the researcher considers various themes for different data sets.

The sampled data set of “Consumers” indicates towards the following observations:

Theme 1: General Information regarding the Customers

  • Out of 15 consumers 9 are males and rest of 6 people are females. Hence, the number of male samples is greater than number of female samples.
  • The ages of responders who responded in this survey lie in the interval of 25 to 50, with the major cluster being between 23 years to 30 years.
  • The consumers mainly prefer Uber travelling services followed by eBay. Uber is found to be very popular among the consumers. Not only that, eBay and Airbnb are also preferred by some consumers. Only few people informed that they also take services of Hop, Class bento, Air tasker as well as “Food by us” as transportation and food services.
  • Most of the responders informed that owning assets and renting them in need is not favorable to them. Most of them do not prefer to rent unnecessarily. As per convenience, some of them also informed that they are not completely against the renting behavior and have habits to rent in necessity. The renting behavior depends on the types of commodities and the situation. A few of them are completely against the renting behavior of the responders.

Theme 2: Advantages of the Sharing Economy Model

            The conveniences or advantages to use the renting travelling medium such as Uber, eBay or AirBnb is found from most of the consumers to be the lower price and higher convenience as well as of that of presence of higher options. Some people are also amazed with the friendly behaviour of the travelling service along with convenience. Some companies are also found to be highly cost effective as well as cheap. The consumers found the budget friendly and affordable nature to most of the cases.

Theme 3: Drawbacks of the Sharing Economy Model

            The potential drawbacks that can be found from the analysis of sharing economy services are lack of safety, availability of desired commodities, lack of assurance of quality and assurance. Some of them also informed about the scarcity of regulation of governance as well as lack of availability of desired communities. However, a significant number of people informed that they face no special challenge in the “Sharing Economy Model”, which in turn indicates towards the presence of a general positive perception regarding the model of sharing economy in the real economic scenario.

Theme 4: Recommendations of the customers

            Various kinds of recommendations are received from the responses of the samples. The role of customer experience and customer insurance is necessary in this aspect. Some people recommended about enhancing the quality of services. A responder highlights about harassment issue whereas another one responder informed his dissatisfaction. Delivery issue and service satisfaction in case of quality also get proved to be major obstacles. Proper training and improved service framework are also demanded by some other people. However, on the contrary several extremely satisfied customers can also be found as can be seen from the collected narratives, where some people also informed that no enhancement in service is at all required.

Theme 5: Future of the Sharing Economy Model

            Depending on the current situation, some people informed that the travelling and food services have bright and perspective future. The future in the market economy is going to be promising from the end of some of them. The prospects are immensely positive and the sharing model could be promising in future as an alternative form of operations in the market. The trend is also significant as per current scenario. Some of them pointed out that quality service in affordable cost is accelerating the form of economy. However, some people indicated that several changes are still possible and are needed to be implemented. The improvement in the balance of profitability and liabilities are pointed out by some of the respondents regarding the aspects which can brighten and ensure more dominance of this form of economy in the coming years.

However, the perceptions of the suppliers are also equally important like that of the customers as in the sharing economy both of these parties contribute significantly and have equal responsibilities and roles to play as well as equal level of implications in the aspects of determining the overall success of this form of economy (Dyal-Chand 2015). Keeping this into consideration, the suppliers’ perceptions are taken into account and the same are analysed and interpreted in the following section.

            The samples of “Suppliers” indicate towards the following trends:

Theme 1: General Information regarding the Supply-side players

  • Out of 15 service suppliers 10 are males and rest of 5 people are females. It could be said that the number of males is higher than the number of females.
  • The ages of the samples have range from 22 to 40, with more concentration below 30 years than above the same.
  • The services or commodities that the sampled suppliers generally supply is transportation service, food service and cooking service. Some of the sampled suppliers provide the service in case of teaching sector, tourism sector and pet sitter sector also.

Theme 2: Advantages of the Sharing Economy Model

            The advantages of the sharing economy are found to be mainly earning sources, alternative earning sources, opportunity of earning pocket money as well as building up relation and professional contacts. It expanded additional income, business and earnings for the usage of the commodities. The suppliers interested in arranging the new people and earned a decent amount of money. Some of the respondents also pointed out at the fact that under this form of economy, the resources (especially the previously unutilised and under-utilised ones) are utilised in a much more efficient way than that in the conventional framework.

Theme 3: Problems in the Sharing Economy Model

            The obstacles that sharing economy generally face is low satisfaction, issues regarding service provider and awareness due to privileges and economic set up. The demand supply mismatch is also found to be a significant hurdle. The infrastructural framework could also be enhanced in this regard. However, most of the responders informed that they do not have any significant issues. It is a notable fact that some suppliers accused the customers to be problematic. Such jobs are required to be created whereas a new form of economic set up and payment system are to be upgraded from the point of view of some suppliers.

Theme 4: Recommendations on part of the supply side players

            The recommended improvements that the respondents were able to deliver was proper payment framework, presence of profitability as well as design of proper government policies. One of them informed that the companies must attract more customers from all parts of the world. The adequate management of profitability is very much needed. They should not only view the profitability from their end but also create lots of confusion. A supplier recommended the intervention of the government especially in the field of wages and salaries of the employees. Also, from economic transactions to device policies, the interventions are required in every field. Two suppliers recommended to enhance the quality of services to improve the components of sharing economy. More resources and talents should be recognized and properly appreciated and utilised. A supplier stated that the provision of these services should also be done for the old aged people. The balance of profitability and supply chain of services is a very essential integral part of improvement that people should look for.

Theme 5: Future of the Sharing Economy Model

            The future of the sharing economy prospects majorly the role of customer and supplier interaction. The next generation of the various types of services is going to be more promising and updated. In coming years as per current trend, such type of form of economy is more promising. Many reputed hotel service, transportation, Food Company and teach company have huge impact in case of sharing economy in future days. The potential and growth are very approaching in such types of services. Accurate policy making, proper management and efficiency would bring the conventional economy nearer to the current economy. More or less all the responders regard that proper governance, scope of resources and sustainable environment may determine and depict bright future. The selling and renting would significantly increase after that. However, like in that of the perceptions of the customers, considerably positive perceptions can also be found among the supply side providers participating in the sharing economy model in real world scenario.

4.2 Discussion

Thus, the analysis and interpretation of the data shows that the sharing economy model already has considerable implications on both the players in the demand side as well as in the supply side. In both the cases considerable amount of satisfaction and optimism can be found to be recorded in the perceptions of the respondents regarding the mode of working of this form of economy and its future. Significant advantages can also be found to be perceived by both the customers and the suppliers, who recommend several way outs for better implementation and higher dominance of this form of economy in the coming years. However, in terms of the socio-demographic trend, the age of the customers as well as the suppliers can be seen to be mostly varying between 20 years to 35 years, which in turn indicates towards the fact that the proponents of this form of economy are in general the young population in the countries.

The model of sharing economy, as can be seen from the above discussion, has been steadily gaining its place in the contemporary global scenario, with its unique ways of mediating the demand and supply dynamics being acknowledged by the population of different countries, both by the consumers as well as by the producers and the supply-side providers. The main advantages of this form of economy are that of better and more efficient usage of resources and the increase in the overall economic welfare of the consumers, the producers as well as the economy as a whole, many industries in the contemporary global scenario can be seen to be incorporating this form of economic framework in their operational dynamics and in their buyer-seller interactions.

The sharing economy model can also be seen to be predominantly gaining popularity in the economy of Australia with nearly one in every three residents participating in this economic form, either as a consumer or as a producer or a supply-side provider as well as a mediator between these economic forces. Keeping this into consideration, the concerned research ventures in the markets of Australia to analyse and interpret the significance of sharing economy model in the concerned country and also to explore the prospects and advantages which this form of economy has over the conventional economic pattern and the hurdles which may be present in the sharing economy model, which may hamper its further growth, in terms of the perceptions of people who are directly attached with this form of economic activities in some way (from the demand side or from the supply side).

The research takes into account both the perceptions of the consumers as well as the supply side providers. From the data collected (in the form of detailed interviews with the help of open-ended questions) and analysed (in terms of qualitative thematic analysis) it can be seen that there in general exists positive perceptions regarding the sharing economic model, among both the consumers and the supply side providers. As can be seen from the data collected, the proponents of this form of economy are mainly those belonging to the young population (mainly between 20 years to 35 years) in the country.

The main benefits which have been highlighted in this form of economy are that of affordability, utilisation of resources, higher number of options and convenience, on part of the consumers and effective resource utilisation, source of income, alternative employment generation and social integration on part of the supply side players. On the other hand, the hurdles which can be seen to be present in this form of economy are that of lack of government regulations, quality control and demand-supply mismatch on part of the consumers and those of employee quality and proper training to operate in this form of economy. Several recommendations can also be found to be proposed by the respondents, which include those of proper development of infrastructure for expansion of this form of economy, service delivery and many others. However, the general perception of the consumers and the producers regarding the future of this form of economy, can be found to be mostly positive as can be seen from the data collected and analysed.

The concerned research, however limits itself to the Australian economy and the sample size taken into consideration, is also small, thereby constricting the implications of the findings of the concerned research as the working of the sharing economy model as well as that of the perceptions of the people regarding the same can vary from region to region due to their inherent differences. Nevertheless, the concerned research paves the way for further and more inclusive as well as widespread studies in the concerned domain in the coming years, across the globe.

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