Buying to share: How prosumption promotes purchases in peer-to-peer asset sharing

Jan F. Klein*, Katrin Merfeld, Mark Philipp Wilhelms, Tomas Falk, Sven Henkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
146 Downloads (Pure)


Advocates of the sharing economy cite sharing as a viable alternative to asset purchases and ownership. However, Peer-to-peer (P2P) asset sharing, as a service innovation in the sharing economy, enables consumers to capitalize on their asset ownership by providing others with access to those assets for a fee. These prosumers acquire and consume the asset but also provide it as a service sold to others. In exploring the connection between prosumers and asset manufacturers, this study particularly notes the implications of prosumption for initial asset acquisition. A review of existing P2P asset sharing initiatives, three focus groups, and two experimental studies illustrate a positive effect of prosumption on willingness to acquire an asset from manufacturers, especially expensive assets. These results challenge the conventional notion that sharing is exclusively an alternative to ownership. A mediation analysis further indicates that reduced burdens of ownership can explain the positive link between prosumption and willingness to purchase assets from manufacturers. As another novel contribution, this study reveals an interdependency between prosumers and P2P service users, such that prosumers consider their own and also other P2P users’ brand preferences when acquiring assets. In summary, and contrary to conventional wisdom, promoting prosumption via P2P asset sharing might increase sales by manufacturers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-183
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date1 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Access-based services
  • Burdens of ownership
  • Mixed methods
  • Peer-to-peer asset sharing
  • Purchase decision
  • Sharing economy


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