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Delving into the Sharing Economy

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Starting: 2021
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


With the rapid growth of sharing economy platforms like Airbnb and Uber, many industries have been disrupted in different ways. The Sharing Economy, often associated with collaborative consumption, is an economy in which people conduct sharing activities (Möhlmann, 2015). Sharing resources is not a new idea, it has been in existence for a long period of time but more recently people have addressed the notion and came up with the term the “sharing economy” (Teubner and Hawlitschek, 2016). Shareable products and services include rides and vehicles (Uber, Turo, BlaBlaCar), apartments (Airbnb, couchsurfing), tools (1000tools) and may more (e.g. Teubner and Hawlitschek, 2016; Sundararajan, 2016).

The main driver of the development of sharing economy is technology. The sharing economy is transforming accommodations, transport, personal services and other sectors radically (Davidson and Infranca, 2016). In addition, the technologies behind the sharing enterprises are becoming mature compared to the past few years (Cheng, 2019) in that sharing activities have expanded to a big scale (PWC, 2015; Plewnia and Guenther, 2017). According to Plewnia and Guenther (2017), the term ‘sharing’ can have different meanings. From an economic perspective, it could help to save costs and resources (Benkler, 2004). From a social perspective, sharing can be seen as an activity of giving and receiving (Belk, 2010). John (2013) pointed out that sharing relates to conveying feelings, ideas, knowledge and experiences from a communicational perspective. Although the amount of research on the Sharing Economy is increasing, it is still in its infancy (Lee et al., 2018). Previous literature can be classified into two types: organisational level literature and individual literature (Lee et al., 2018). In the organisational level studies, researchers proposed business models, which are applicable to industries and which established guidelines to small and medium enterprises (Lee et al., 2018). In the individual level studies, there are increasing amounts of research about motivations, attitudes and behavioural intentions towards participation in the Sharing Economy from a user’s point of view (Hamari et al., 2016; Ert et al., 2016; Möhlmann, 2015; Zhu et al., 2017; Tussyadiah, 2016; So et al., 2018; Bardhi and Eckhardt, 2012; Liang et al., 2018).

Proposed Methodology:

  • Mixed methods approach based on qualitative and quantitative (Structural Equation Modelling: SEM) research methodology. The first phase will consist of an exploratory study using qualitative research methods to uncover some variables and constructs that will help design a new model. The second phase will consist of confirming the prior model by conducting quantitative research study and analysing the data using SEM.
  • Big Data Analytics is a novel and emerging method of drawing patterns and uncovering new insights from large amounts of data available, for instance, online.  This method can help to systematically extract information and knowledge based on publicly available data that are large and complex in nature.


Doctor Salma Alquezaui

Entry qualifications

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.

International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0). Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. A research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) must be submitted as part of the application.

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

Applications are accepted all year round.

Please visit our how to apply page for a step-by-step guide and make an application.

Fees and funding

This is a self-funded PhD opportunity.

Guidance and support

Further information on guidance and support can be found on this page.

Still need help?

Salma Alquezaui