Unraveling the diverse nature of service quality in a sharing economy: A social exchange theory perspective of Airbnb accommodation

Constantinos-Vasilios Priporas, Nikolaos Stylos, Roya Rahimi, Lakshminarasimhan Vedanthachari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – This paper aims to investigate customers’ perceptions of the service quality facets of Airbnb
accommodation using social exchange theory as a suitable conceptual framework to explain aspects of
interactivity between guests and hosts.
Design/methodology/approach – A self-administered questionnaire consisting of 25 accommodationspecific service quality attributes, structured according to Akbaba’s (2006) measurement scale and based on
the service quality hierarchical conceptualization described by Brady and Cronin (2001) and Cronin and
Taylor (1992), was distributed to Airbnb international guests visiting Phuket, Thailand. The sample was
chosen through a two-stage sampling process and the PLS-SEM technique was used for data analysis.
Findings – The results showed that convenience and assurance are critical contributors to the measurement
of service quality in remote Airbnb lodgings. The findings further revealed that Airbnb guests are mainly
interested in lodgings which have access to certain tourist sights, and in easily accessible information and
efficient resolution of problems during their stay. The authors also found that guests greatly value the
convenience and flexibility offered by Airbnb, and that they particularly appreciate the warm hospitality
provided by the hosts. Finally, Airbnb guests have very low expectations of the amenities and services
available at the lodgings.
Research limitations/implications – Airbnb is one of the most well-known examples of hospitality in
the sharing economy, and results cannot be generalized to similar accommodation providers in sharing
economies. Despite the appropriateness of using the measurement tool provided by Akbaba (2006), it is only
one option among others for measuring service quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2279-2301
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2017

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