Trust in transit
: unravel the strategies of peer-to-peer sharing economy firms in emerging markets

  • Lea Zirngibl (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The research explores effective trust-building mechanisms for peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing economy firms intending to expand to emerging markets. By adopting a qualitative research approach consisting of primary and secondary data, the study combines expert interviews across different fields with a content analysis of existing research on trust-building mechanisms and institutional voids in emerging markets. The study concludes by developing a model illustrating the process of addressing institutional voids within emerging markets and leveraging them as strategic advantages for the P2P sharing firm. Findings underline four essential trust-building mechanisms in emerging markets: reputation systems, localisation, technical in-app mechanisms, and educational content. The study highlights the synergy between the mentioned mechanisms and the strategic filling of institutional voids as part of the business model, maximising consumer trust and consequentially enhancing potential market success. This research contributes theoretical insights by introducing a new perspective that combines trust-building mechanisms with the strategic filling of institutional voids in the peer-to-peer sharing economy. Seeing the significant cultural differences within emerging markets, the research recommends that industry practitioners adapt their business models and strategies to local preferences and needs. Notably, the study underlines the implementation of pilot projects in different areas of the emerging country to establish more effective, culturally aligned services, thereby diminishing risks associated with entering new markets.
Date of Award23 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPedro Parada (Supervisor)


  • Peer-to-peer sharing
  • Sharing economy
  • Emerging markets
  • Institutional voids


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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