Couchsurfing (CS) was founded in 2003 as a non-profit for those interested in creating a common resource for world-wide hospitality exchange and low cost tourism. Built around a non-market communal sharing model, it became a for-profit in August 2011. Applying a discourse relational model approach, this study characterizes how competing discursive articulations over the conversion led to a discursive strategy of moral justification as management sought to retain its non-profit, alternative, democratic imaginary. The study finds that the justifications gained initial appeal, but ultimately lost credibility due to a mismanaged conversion. By articulating the competing discourses through the sacred value protection model (SVPM), this study provides insights into the way in which a management strategy can be interpreted at a micro-analysis level. It recommends that management decisions need to start from the activities of the organizations members, groups and networks so as to account for their emotions, motivations and actions.
- communal sharing
- relational model
- volunteer management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management