Coercive and legitimate power in the sharing economy: Examining consumers’ cooperative behavior and trust

Eva Hofmann*, Erik Hoelzl, Thomas Sabitzer, Barbara Hartl, Sarah Marth, Elfriede Penz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sharing economy organizations depend on customer cooperation. According to the existing theory, namely, the extended slippery slope framework, coercive and legitimate power are two means of achieving cooperation and trust. Based on this theory, we examine the role of coercive and legitimate power in the sharing economy in four studies. Study 1 has examined the extent of existing sharing organizations’ coercive and legitimate power (B2C, P2P, and communities) by employing website analysis. In Study 2, consumers have discussed which forms of power (coercive or legitimate) were perceived by sharing organizations in focus groups. Study 3 has investigated the impact of coercive and legitimate power on consumer cooperation in a laboratory experiment using a give-or-take-some (GOTS) game. Study 4 has examined the impact of coercive and legitimate power on cooperation using an experimental online questionnaire. We find that providers of sharing economy services highlight coercive measures on their websites, whereas consumers in the focus group discussions highlight the importance of legitimate power, as is evident in the experiments. Thus, while sharing organizations could increase their use of legitimate power, they should apply coercive power carefully.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102565
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Volume93
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Code 3920 Consumer Attitudes Behavior
  • Coercive power
  • Cooperative behavior
  • Extended slippery slope framework
  • Legitimate power
  • Sharing economy
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics

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