Users’ motivations to participate in the sharing economy: Moving from profits toward sustainable development

Authors:  Gazzola, P., Vatamanescu, E., Andrei, A. & Marrapodi, C. 

Date Published:  November 2018

Why did we select this research? 

In order to expand and provide a more nuanced perspective regarding the current research on users’ (i.e. providers’) motivations to participate in the sharing economy, the present paper aims to offer a more comprehensive overview of the variation in these underlying forces. The multifaceted framework acknowledges the sharing economy as a self-propelling construct and has a diverse and dynamic ecosystem that is worth investigating as such, leaving the gray areas and the related controversies in terms of macroeconomic, government, workforce, and regulation-based issues open for scholars interested in contributing to the clarification of this kind of discussions.

Key Findings

  • Users’ participation in the sharing economy is influenced by both extrinsic and intrinsic motivations, including monetary and nonmonetary drivers, sustainable development and social responsibility concerns, and the level of knowledge and familiarization with the sharing market. Further, all of these factors account for the variation in profit level, as derived from sharing economy initiatives. 

  • In contrast to the theoretical arguments regarding the influence of product availability and practicality in terms of easier access to resources and various offers of products and services, the results of the present research suggest that the relationship between these drivers and participation and profit making in the sharing economy are statistically insignificant

  • The pivotal message for platform administrators is to approach their business through the lens of sustainable development and to improve their sustainability blueprint at both individual and societal levels as propelling factors for long-term economic gains. 

  • The study pinpoints the imperative for a company’s vision and mission to focus on both sustainable development and profit and the exigence for business owners to integrate sustainability and social responsibility into all of their strategic endeavors. 


Gazzola, P., Vatamanescu, E., Andrei, A. & Marrapodi, C. (2018) Users’ motivations to participate in the sharing economy: Moving from profits toward sustainable development. Corporate Social Responsibility Environmental Management, 2018: 1-11