User Roles on Peer-to-Peer Sharing Platforms: A Critical Review of the Literature and Recommended Remedies

Sebastian Hermes, Manuel Maier, Andreas Hein, Markus Böhm, and Helmut Krcmar (2020) – 53rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences


The success of sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Uber sparked interests in research, practice, and legislation in equal measures. However, studies about user roles on sharing platforms are very heterogeneous and have yet not dived into the theoretical complexity of these roles. In order to prevent incomparability of results and scattered theory building, this study reviews existing literature and identifies flaws in terminology and conceptualization of user roles and in applied measurement approaches. We discuss why these flaws matter and how they can be resolved. Finally, we propose a research agenda and emphasize to study the role of the prosumer, why different user roles lead to differences in constructs, and how the transition of user roles takes place.

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