Shared Mobility and Sharing Culture
: The Case of Ride Sharing in Lagos, Nigeria

  • Abigail Ehidiamen

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


In recent times, transportation globally is experiencing significant transformation to suit the demands and the challenges of a rapidly changing world that on one hand enjoys unprecedented levels of ground-breaking technology and on the other hand tries to make consumption genuinely responsible. Shared mobility which is an umbrella term used to categorise the sharing of different modes of transport has experienced significant growth and attention over the last decade particularly in more developed countries. Shared mobility is also gaining momentum in Africa, although consumer behaviour within the African context remains largely understudied. Ride sharing as a form of shared mobility has existed informally for many years (i.e., since the early launch of private cars) and predates dynamic, real time, commercial ride sharing platforms. While academic literature on commercial ride sharing has grown significantly, little is known about informal ride sharing or the dynamics between the two, especially in the context of a developing country. African consumers engage in many sharing practices including informal ride sharing, which continues to be a major form of transportation particularly in cultures where sharing is a norm. Using a consumer centric research approach and Lagos, Nigeria as the context, the overall aim of this thesis is to study the interrelationship between sharing culture and ride sharing by examining how cultural factors shape consumers’ attitudes and participation norms in informal and commercial forms of ride sharing.

The thesis adopts a mixed methods approach starting with a quantitative study. Survey data collected from 824 respondents who reside in Lagos, Nigeria indicate that the Nigerian sharing culture influences consumers’ attitudes towards sharing in general and informal and commercial ride sharing in particular. Following this, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 45 of these respondents to delve more deeply into sharing culture and to enrich the findings from the quantitative data. A theory-driven thematic analysis approach was used to analyse the consumers’ lived experiences of ride sharing within the Nigerian context. The five core themes identified are: interdependence, obligations and expectations, morality, need for status and the practicality of ride sharing. These themes provide in depth understanding into how the sharing culture within the prevailing Nigerian culture shapes consumers’ lived experiences of sharing and hence influences their attitudes towards informal and commercial ride sharing. The thesis contributes to relevant literature in several ways. Firstly, it advances knowledge about ride sharing by situating the analysis of ride sharing in a specific cultural context. In so doing it proposes and delineates a conceptual and attitudinal framework which extends understanding in respect of the role of sharing culture in influencing consumers’ attitudes and participation in sharing in general and in informal and commercial ride sharing in particular. Secondly, it contributes towards the development of marketing and managerial policies relating specifically to the diffusion of commercial ride sharing in Nigeria and in markets that share similar socio-cultural and economic factors to the one examined in this study. Furthermore, the findings from the study provide sustainability-related guidance for the uptake of ride sharing in western cultural contexts.
Date of Award2 Feb 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorFiona Cheetham (Main Supervisor) & Alexandros Nikitas (Co-Supervisor)

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