The Emergence of Collaborative Economy : Towards a Changing Relational Mindset
The arising economic phenomenon collaborative economy challenges the traditional relationship between producer, retailer and consumer, where the shift has changed to consumers valuing access over ownership. With the help from semi-structured interviews with company representatives using either a traditional business model or/and a collaborative business model in the transportation and accommodation industry, this thesis aims to investigate how this shift is affecting the relationship between companies and consumers. The results show that the main difference is the level of consumer integration applied within the two different business models. A traditional business model is mostly interested in maintaining its’ own company's health by focusing on keeping the consumer satisfied. In contrary, collaborative business models are equally interested in maintaining the health of the community as the consumer is highly involved and rooted around the platform and are in a sense more important in the latter business model. Moreover, this thesis add on existing theory by mapping out collaborative economy, while also forming empirical evidence by presenting key values related to how companies coordinate their relationship as well as how relational structures are built up within each business model in order for a company to capture, create and deliver value to the consumers. From a practical standpoint, this will provide useful information of companies within each of the business models, but especially for companies interested in adopting a collaborative business model, as it is of importance since one easily can become blindfolded by the light of others success.
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