Creative Crowdwork Arrangements

Elham Shafiei Gol

Research output: Book/ReportPhD thesis

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Crowdwork is a sociotechnical phenomenon that has the capacity to transform the way in which work is organized and contributes to an organization’s value. Crowdwork contributes to innovation, augments strategic competitive advantage, and reduces costs of labor by providing organizations with flexible access to a substantial pool of skillful workers who can be hired on a temporary basis. Nowadays, crowdwork is being used increasingly and provides quite a few opportunities and challenges for organizations. My thesis focuses on creative crowdwork, which is complex work requiring professional expertise and, thus, requires considerably more complex governance and work structure than routine crowdwork. The extant research has focused mainly on crowdwork arrangements in which digital platforms play a major role as intermediaries that manage the relationships between crowdworkers and job providers. However, crowdwork is possible with other forms of governance and work organization that have different degrees of centralization and control in terms of platforms, workers, and job providers. Little is known as to how these other arrangements deliver value to job providers. Accordingly, my thesis contributes to a better understanding of creative crowdwork arrangements by exploring how creative crowdwork is governed and organized to add value for job providers. To address this overarching research question, I adopted the qualitative research paradigm and conducted four research studies. In Study 1, I explored the governance of current crowdwork arrangements through a state-of-the-art review of theories and developments in the field. In Study 2, I used a comparative case study to investigate how creative crowdwork arrangements are governed under centralized and decentralized modes. In Study 3, I used a longitudinal embedded case study to explore the organizational value of crowdwork for large organizations, specifically focusing on absorptive capacity and its achievement via crowdworking routinization. Finally, in Study 4, I used a longitudinal case study to explore how the structures of work are organized in creative crowdwork arrangements. My thesis contributes to a better understanding of the crowdwork phenomenon by identifying and describing three different crowdwork arrangements that add value to job providers: the platform-centric arrangement, actor-centric arrangement, and organization-centric arrangement. Eliciting these arrangements advances the theoretical and practical knowledge on governance frameworks of work organization of creative crowdwork and how they add value for job providers and, in particular, large organizations. Overall, my thesis helps to forge the future of creative crowdwork by shedding light on the design and routinization of successful arrangements that nurture the absorptive capacity and innovation potential of organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [Phd]
Number of pages228
ISBN (Print)9788793956902
ISBN (Electronic)9788793956919
Publication statusPublished - 2021
SeriesPhD Series

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