What is Mine is NOT Yours : Further insight on what access-based consumption says about consumers
Kiri, Sushma Premnath
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the interaction between Access Based Consumption (ABC) and consumer culture in the specific context of baby products, and connect the two streams of consumer research and design theory, by associating ABC with Product Service Systems (PSS) which are seen as desirable as they offer a promise of sustainability. Methodology/Approach: Within an Action Research approach consisting of the establishment of a pilot service provision, we conducted ethnographies including in depth interviews and focus groups. Findings: The adoption of Access Based provisions is constrained by low compatibility with consumer culture. Consumers are concerned with the provision’s ability to satisfy their needs, what this mode of consumption says about them, and the extent to which it associates them with communities of practice. Research Limitations: The limitations are the typical ones of Action Research, which is linked to a unique, researcher generated context where the researcher is also a participant, and therefore are difficult to generalize. Research Implications: The large scale implementation of PSS underpinning Access Based Consumption is problematic as it challenges consumers’ needs for self expression and affiliation; however we found that consumers in this specific context are responsive to the environmental efficiency of PSS. Originality/Value: Our research explores the intersection between Consumer Research and Design, and consumers’ response to sustainable business models which underpin Access Based Consumption.