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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2019

Anoush Margaryan

This paper aims to explore workplace learning practices within two types of crowdwork – microwork and online freelancing. Specifically, the paper scopes and compares the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore workplace learning practices within two types of crowdwork – microwork and online freelancing. Specifically, the paper scopes and compares the use of workplace learning activities (WLAs) and self-regulatory learning (SRL) strategies undertaken by microworkers (MWs) and online freelancers (OFs). We hypothesised that there may be quantitative differences in the use of WLAs and SRL strategies within these two types of crowdwork, because of the underpinning differences in the complexity of tasks and skill requirements.

Design/methodology/approach

To test this hypothesis, a questionnaire survey was carried out among crowdworkers from two crowdwork platforms – Figure Eight (microwork) and Upwork (online freelancing). Chi-square test was used to compare WLAs and SRL strategies among OFs and MWs.

Findings

Both groups use many WLAs and SRL strategies. Several significant differences were identified between the groups. In particular, moderate and moderately strong associations were uncovered, whereby OFs were more likely to report (i) undertaking free online courses/tutorials and (ii) learning by receiving feedback. In addition, significant but weak or very weak associations were identified, namely, OFs were more likely to learn by (i) collaborating with others, (ii) self-study of literature and (iii) making notes when learning. In contrast, MWs were more likely to write reflective notes on learning after the completion of work tasks, although this association was very weak.

Originality/value

The paper contributes empirical evidence in an under-researched area – workplace learning practices in crowdwork. Crowdwork is increasingly taken up across developed and developing countries. Therefore, it is important to understand the learning potential of this form of work and where the gaps and issues might be. Better understanding of crowdworkers’ learning practices could help platform providers and policymakers to shape the design of crowdwork in ways that could be beneficial to all stakeholders.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Book part
Publication date: 4 July 2019

Christine Gerber and Martin Krzywdzinski

The term “crowdwork” describes a new form of digital work that is organized and regulated by internet-based platforms. This chapter examines how crowdwork platforms ensure…

Abstract

The term “crowdwork” describes a new form of digital work that is organized and regulated by internet-based platforms. This chapter examines how crowdwork platforms ensure their virtual workforce’s commitment and control its performance despite its high mobility, anonymity, and dispersion. The findings are based on a case study analysis of 15 microtask and macrotask platforms, encompassing 32 interviews with representatives of crowdwork platforms, and crowdworkers, as well as an analysis of the platforms’ homepages and community spaces. The chapter shows that performance control on crowd platforms relies on a combination of direct control, reputation systems, and community building, which have until now been studied in isolation or entirely ignored. Moreover, the findings suggest that while all three elements can be found on both microtask and macrotask platforms, their functionality and purpose differ. Overall, the findings highlight that platforms are no neutral intermediaries but organizations that adopt an active role in structuring the digital labor process and in shaping working conditions. Their managerial structures are coded and objectified into seemingly neutral technological infrastructures, whereby the underlying power relations between capital and labor become obscured.

Details

Work and Labor in the Digital Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-585-7

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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2020

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

The two core types of work in crowdworking differ in certain respects. However, similar learning activities and strategies are key to success in both cases making it imperative to gain greater knowledge of the practices. Gaining such insight will aid future development of crowdworking and subsequently help increase its impact to the advantage of different stakeholders involved.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2019

Eliane Bucher, Christian Fieseler and Christoph Lutz

Online gig labor platforms bring together a global and fast-growing workforce to complete highly granular, remote and decontextualized tasks. While these environments…

Abstract

Purpose

Online gig labor platforms bring together a global and fast-growing workforce to complete highly granular, remote and decontextualized tasks. While these environments might be empowering to some workers, many others feel disenfranchised and removed from the final product of their labor. To better understand the antecedents of continued participation in forms of crowdsourced digital labor, the purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between worker’s ability to create a narrative of their work mattering regardless, and their continued work engagement (WE) in these work setups.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors approach the relationship between individual mattering and digital WE through a longitudinal study among workers on the crowdworking platform Amazon Mechanical Turk. The authors further provide qualitative insight into individual perceptions of mattering based on essay data.

Findings

The authors develop a measure of mattering in crowdworking with four dimensions: reliance, social recognition, importance and interaction. Reliance is the most pronounced dimension, followed by interaction, importance and social recognition. In the final longitudinal model, only importance affects WE positively, while the other three mattering dimensions do not have a significant effect.

Originality/value

The findings indicate that individuals who feel that they themselves and their work “count” and “make a difference” will be more engaged in their digital labor. By clarifying the dimensionality of mattering in crowdwork and studying its differentiated effect on WE, the paper makes a contribution to research on crowdwork and the future of work. Beyond the theoretical contributions, the finding that perceived importance fosters WE has important implications for task and platform design.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 4 July 2019

Abstract

Details

Work and Labor in the Digital Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-585-7

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Yuhki Shiraishi, Jianwei Zhang, Daisuke Wakatsuki, Katsumi Kumai and Atsuyuki Morishima

The purpose of this paper is to explore the issues on how to achieve crowdsourced real-time captioning of sign language by deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) people, such that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the issues on how to achieve crowdsourced real-time captioning of sign language by deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) people, such that how a system structure should be designed, how a continuous task of sign language captioning should be divided into microtasks and how many DHH people are required to maintain a high-quality real-time captioning.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors first propose a system structure, including the new design of worker roles, task division and task assignment. Then, based on an implemented prototype, the authors analyze the necessary setting for achieving a crowdsourced real-time captioning of sign language, test the feasibility of the proposed system and explore its robustness and improvability through four experiments.

Findings

The results of Experiment 1 have revealed the optimal method for task division, the necessary minimum number of groups and the necessary minimum number of workers in a group. The results of Experiment 2 have verified the feasibility of the crowdsourced real-time captioning of sign language by DHH people. The results of Experiment 3 and Experiment 4 have shown the robustness and improvability of the captioning system.

Originality/value

Although some crowdsourcing-based systems have been developed for the captioning of voice to text, the authors intend to resolve the issues on the captioning of sign language to text, for which the existing approaches do not work well due to the unique properties of sign language. Moreover, DHH people are generally considered as the ones who receive support from others, but our proposal helps them become the ones who offer support to others.

Details

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-7371

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Book part
Publication date: 10 April 2020

Stefan Kirchner and Elke Schüßler

Critics increasingly highlight the dark sides of the sharing economy resulting from the insufficient regulation of competition, labor, or taxes in its for-profit sector…

Abstract

Critics increasingly highlight the dark sides of the sharing economy resulting from the insufficient regulation of competition, labor, or taxes in its for-profit sector. In this chapter, the authors argue that regulatory solutions for the sharing economy hinge on the understanding of the ways in which the sharing economy is organized. Here, digitalization undermines established regulation through underlying organizational shifts pertaining to places, labor inputs and output responsibilities. Mapping out the field of actors that are or could be involved in regulating the sharing economy, the authors highlight a particular role played not only by digital platforms as market organizers, but also of a variety of other public and private actors such as standard setting organizations, social movements, trade unions, organized buyers and sellers, incumbents, or policy makers. The authors suggest that an understanding of sharing economy markets as fields can not only capture the highly organized nature of the sharing economy, but also serve to untangle the contestations and power dynamics unfolding among various actors engaged in different regulatory issues associated with the sharing economy. Seeing “Uberization” as a next development stage away from the modern corporation after global supply chains, the authors highlight regulatory challenges associated with the even more individualized and dispersed way in which sharing economy markets are organized and also discuss new opportunities for regulation provided by digital technology.

Details

Theorizing the Sharing Economy: Variety and Trajectories of New Forms of Organizing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-180-9

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 19 November 2019

Simon Joyce, Mark Stuart, Chris Forde and Danat Valizade

The chapter presents emerging evidence on the development of the platform economy, paying particular attention to the motivations for entering platform work, the…

Abstract

The chapter presents emerging evidence on the development of the platform economy, paying particular attention to the motivations for entering platform work, the conditions of platform work, and the extent of social protections afforded platform workers. Debate thus far has tended to be highly speculative and lacking in grounded empirical analysis, with policy-makers in particular actively looking to regulate platform work on the basis of its novelty as a form of employment within the wider context of the decline of the “standard employment relationship.” The chapter explores such concerns through an analysis of European Union labor market data and a unique data-set of circa 1,200 online “click workers” across four established platforms. A novel contribution of the analysis is to differentiate between those that only work on platforms (work-dependent platform workers) and those that do such work in addition to another job. The analysis suggests that work-dependent platform workers are more likely to be differentiated by their motivations for doing such work than their experiences of job quality or access to social protections. However, the relationship between platform working and levels of social protection is complex, notably in terms of combined level of social protection and the contractual arrangement of additional job holders. This leaves us to conclude that policy initiatives designed to address gaps in social protections for platform workers would be more appropriately targeted toward problems of insecure work more broadly. Finally, a number of areas for future research are outlined.

Details

Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-192-6

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 3 December 2018

Cristiano Codagnone, Athina Karatzogianni and Jacob Matthews

Abstract

Details

Platform Economics: Rhetoric and Reality in the ‘Sharing Economy’
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-809-5

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Abstract

Details

Platform Economics: Rhetoric and Reality in the ‘Sharing Economy’
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-809-5

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