Business & Information Systems Engineering

Document Type

Research Paper


With the ever-growing popularity of sharing economy platforms, complementors increasingly face the challenge to manage their reputation on different plat- forms. The paper reports the results from an experimental online survey to investigate how and under which condi- tions online reputation is effective to engender trust across platform boundaries. It shows that (1) cross-platform sig- naling is in fact a viable strategy to engender trust and that (2) its effectiveness crucially depends on source–target fit. Implications for three stakeholders are discussed. First, platform complementors may benefit from importing rep- utation, especially when they have just started on a new platform and have not earned on-site reputation yet. The results also show, however, that importing reputation (even if it is excellent) may be detrimental if there occurs a mismatch between source and target and that, hence, fit is of utmost importance. Second, regulatory authorities may consider reputation portability as a means to make platform boundaries more permeable and hence to tackle lock-in effects. Third, platform operators may employ cross-plat- form signaling as a competitive lever.