Personal encounters and the illusion of acccountability in the sharing economy

dc.contributor.advisor Boedker, Christina en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Free, Clinton en_US McDaid, Emma en_US 2022-03-15T11:28:57Z 2022-03-15T11:28:57Z 2017 en_US
dc.description.abstract Technologies of online ratings and reviews have recently emerged as mechanisms to facilitate transparency and accountability in the provision of goods and services. While online ratings have been shown to create trust in systems, trust in ratings by users has been largely neglected by researchers, despite the relationship between trust and reviews that has been posited in many accounts. Drawing on 30 field interviews with Airbnb guests and hosts and analysis of a range of secondary materials, I found that users are largely sceptical towards the information content of Airbnb s ratings and reviews. Scepticism is driven by initial perceptions of online ratings as being too high, and also by the face-saving practices adopted by users in the process of reviewing. Employing face-saving practices, users are found to adopt three distinct strategies (1) use of private messenger channels, (2) creation of tactful reviews that camouflage reality and (3) abstinence from reviewing entirely when leaving ratings and reviews on Airbnb. Trust in Airbnb s online ratings and reviews is found to be fragile, and users need support through other mechanisms to become informed. In addition to affecting trust, these three strategies combine to create illusory accountability in Airbnb s online ratings. This new form of accountability is conceptualised as crowd-sourced accountability and is found to survive without genuine engagement by users. These findings raise important questions about the efficacy of online ratings and reviews as a mechanism for self-regulation in the sharing economy. en_US
dc.language English
dc.language.iso EN en_US
dc.publisher UNSW, Sydney en_US
dc.rights CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject.other Online ratings en_US
dc.subject.other Sharing economy en_US
dc.subject.other Accountability en_US
dc.subject.other Airbnb reviews en_US
dc.title Personal encounters and the illusion of acccountability in the sharing economy en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dcterms.accessRights open access
dcterms.rightsHolder McDaid, Emma
dspace.entity.type Publication en_US
unsw.accessRights.uri 2019-02-28 en_US
unsw.description.embargoNote Embargoed until 2019-02-28
unsw.relation.faculty Business
unsw.relation.originalPublicationAffiliation McDaid, Emma, Accounting, UNSW Business School, UNSW en_US
unsw.relation.originalPublicationAffiliation Boedker, Christina, Accounting, Australian School of Business, UNSW en_US
unsw.relation.originalPublicationAffiliation Free, Clinton, Australian Graduate School of Management, UNSW en_US School of Accounting *
unsw.thesis.degreetype Masters Thesis en_US
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