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Can you see opportunity knocking? An examination of technology-based political skill on opportunity recognition in online communities for MTurk workers

Paul M. Di Gangi (The University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama, USA)
Charn P. McAllister (Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA)
Jack L. Howard (The University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama, USA)
Jason Bennett Thatcher (Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Gerald R. Ferris (Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 17 January 2022

Issue publication date: 4 July 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

Political skill has emerged as a concept of interest within the information systems literature to explain individual performance outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to adapt political skill to technology-mediated contexts. Specifically, the authors seek to understand political skill's role in shaping microtask workers' opportunity recognition when utilizing online communities in microtask work environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors tested their research model using a survey of 348 Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) workers who participate in microtask-related online communities. MTurk is a large, popular microtasking platform used by thousands of microtask workers daily, with several online communities supporting microtask workers.

Findings

Technology-based political skill plays a critical role in shaping the resources microtasking workers rely upon from online communities, including opportunity recognition and knowledge sharing. The ability to develop opportunity recognition positively impacts a microtask worker's ability to leverage online communities for microtask worker performance. Tenure in the community acts as a moderator within the model.

Originality/value

The present study makes several contributions. First, the authors adapt political skill to an online community to account for how microtask workers understand a community's socio-technical environment. Second, the authors demonstrate the antecedent role of political skill for opportunity recognition and knowledge sharing. Third, the authors provide empirical validation of the link between online communities and microtask worker performance.

Keywords

Citation

Di Gangi, P.M., McAllister, C.P., Howard, J.L., Thatcher, J.B. and Ferris, G.R. (2022), "Can you see opportunity knocking? An examination of technology-based political skill on opportunity recognition in online communities for MTurk workers", Internet Research, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 1041-1075. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-03-2021-0175

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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