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How Digital Trust Powers the Sharing EconomyPremium

Mazzella, Frédéric; Sundararajan, Arun; Butt d'Espous, Verena; Möhlmann, Mareike

 

Publisher: IESE

Original document: How Digital Trust Powers the Sharing Economy

Year: 2016

Language: English

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Over the centuries, each significant economic expansion has been enabled by the accompanying creation of new trust systems -- from village-based trade and informal trader networks, through contracts, government standards and financial institutions, to today's corporate brands. Emerging digital platforms are catalyzing a new expansion that will reintegrate into our economic interactions the social aspects of commerce that were marginalized by 20th century capitalism, creating a new form of crowd-based capitalism powered by the digital trust grid. This article shares the findings of an ongoing research collaboration between New York University and BlaBlaCar. The authors identify the mechanics of online trust and the resulting level of trust created. They show that, with the right digital tools, many of which are encapsulated in their D.R.E.A.M.S. framework, individuals can achieve high levels of trust without ever having met in person. This signals a radical move toward a friendlier, more personal, more connected, more empowered world of trust.

Tools and Frameworks:
> "The D.R.E.A.M.S. Framework by BlaBlaCar" explains the six pillars that underpin the creation of online trust on peer-to-peer platforms.
> "High Level of Trust" reports on the level of trust that people place in a BlaBlaCar member with a full profile relative to other familiar types of people, ranging from family and friends to strangers.
> "More Trusting Since Ride-sharing" reports on the extent to which people's participation in ride-sharing makes them want to try other collaborative services, and if the effect is higher for Millennials.

Examples Cited:
BlaBlaCar, Mediterranean traders, Pepsi, eBay, TripAdvisor, Facebook, LinkedIn, Uber, Jumio, Didi Chuxing, Craigslist, Etsy

Research Basis:
Part of an ongoing, independent, non-commercial research collaboration between New York University and BlaBlaCar, the France-based platform available on three continents that matches empty car seats with passengers looking for a long-distance ride. Findings based on the responses of 18,289 BlaBlaCar members surveyed across 11 European countries (France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Ukraine and the United Kingdom).

About the Authors:
Frédéric Mazzella is Founder and CEO of BlaBlaCar.

Arun Sundararajan is Professor and Rosen Faculty Fellow at New York University's Stern School of Business, and author of The Sharing Economy.

Verena Butt d'Espous spent 10 years working in sustainable finance before joining BlaBlaCar in 2014 to do Corporate Communications.

Mareike Möhlmann is a research scientist at NYU Stern.

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