To Own or to Access: Exploring the Sharing and Access Practices of Arab Millennials
This study examines modern non-ownership practices like sharing and access in previously unexplored socio-demographic and cultural contexts. It focuses on millennial consumers – an influential segment globally who are fervent users of sharing economy services, in the Arab world – an emergent market for these services and home to a large concentration of millennials. This research explores how Arab millennials in Lebanon engage with sharing and access-based consumption practices with a focus on transportation sharing economy platforms, and it questions how these practices are perceived vis-à-vis ownership, the meaning and nature of trust within these practices and the role income level plays in these interactions. To formulate a more nuanced and culturally attuned understanding of the nonownership sharing and access practices, this research used practice theory as an enabling lens and was conducted using a qualitative methodology. The collected primary data included 36 semi-structured interviews with Lebanese Arab millennials, supplemented by participant observations and two interviews with sharing economy service providers. The data was then iteratively analysed using thematic analysis. The findings reveal the complex and contingent nature of non-ownership practices like sharing and access that goes beyond what was uncovered in the existing Western literature. The study suggests that to advance our understanding of these practices, more contextual studies need to be undertaken. The findings of this study would help academics and marketers better understand the different consumption practices within the sharing economy and how the rules, understandings, and teleoaffectivities within these practices interact to sustain or shift these practices between sharing, access, and ownership. This would result in a more attuned and sustainable sharing economy concept, taking this disruptive global business megatrend to the next level.
Supervisor(s)Georgios Patsiaouras; Michael Saren; Cristina Galalae
Date of award2022-08-25
Author affiliationSchool of Business
Awarding institutionUniversity of Leicester