Working Papers

How Consumer Empathy Drives Platform Success

Markus Giesler, Ela Veresiu, and Ashlee Humphreys

Jan 7, 2019

Brings recent advances in the sociology of emotions to bear on an ethnography of Uber’s ride-hailing market; identifies a mythology of empathetic platforms that ideologically contains consumer anxieties inherent to platform markets by promulgating powerful mythic contrasts between a regular market’s apathetic consumers and platform consumers’ ability to compassionately relate to another market actor’s situation; shows how Uber’s marketing team has leveraged this mythology over time to contain three types of consumer risks (physical, financial, and social).

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