In Airbnb we trust: Understanding consumers’ trust-attachment building mechanisms in the sharing economy

Sung Byung Yang, Kyungmin Lee, Hanna Lee, Chulmo Koo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


The sharing norm has enabled many of unused resources revamped and returned with some value to both travelers and local communities in the sharing economy. Airbnb requires remarkable trust that goes beyond the level where both user and host take risks from a sharing transaction. This paper suggests an empirical research model developed based on the trust building model and attachment theory explaining how users develop their trust and further attachment through two major routes. The results indicate that the cognitive trust-identity attachment building mechanism is more effective than affective trust-bond attachment depending on the emotional distance between the users and hosts. Finally, this paper provides scholars with theoretical enhancement on the trust and attachment literature and recommends managers of the sharing businesses to enrich users’ trust-attachment toward the firm and the service provider that has a strong influence on users’ behavioral intention to use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-209
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Affective-based trust
  • Airbnb
  • Attachment theory
  • Bond-based attachment
  • Cognitive-based trust
  • Identity-based attachment
  • Sharing economy
  • Trust building model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this