Managing a non-profit hospitality platform conversion: the case of

Michael O'Regan*, Jaeyeon Choe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-146
Number of pages9
JournalTourism Management Perspectives
Early online date5 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • communal sharing
  • couchsurfing
  • hospitality
  • nonprofit
  • relational model
  • tourism
  • volunteer management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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