Openness and Legitimacy Building in the Sharing Economy: An Exploratory Case Study about CouchSurfing

Date
2017-01-04
Authors
Marton, Attila
Constantiou, Ioanna
Lagoudakos, Georgios
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Abstract
Sharing economy start-ups are claiming legitimacy by drawing on notions of openness and, at the same time, by adapting to business institutions. We use the case of CouchSurfing to investigate how openness, which has been part of the organization’s raison-d’être, contributed in the legitimacy building efforts and why it was replaced by notions of profitability and revenue generation. Thus, we contribute the concepts of legitimacy and legitimacy building to the academic discourse of openness.
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Keywords
sharing economy, openness, legitimacy, couchsurfing
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