Why Take the Risk?: Motivations of Highly Skilled Workers to Participate in Crowdworking Platforms

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Crowdwork is a new class of work arrangement that involves compensated work organized through online labor platforms. Crowdwork platforms that focus on complex projects and require skillful, creative workers rely on winner-takes-all competition among multiple crowdworkers, where the likelihood of winning and getting paid is relatively small. Given that skillful, creative workers are in high demand, it begs the question why they would take the risk involved in crowdwork in lieu of the certainty that comes with traditional work arrangements. Subsequently, in this short paper, we explore what motivates such professionals to seek work in crowdwork platforms. We conducted an exploratory qualitative study based on interviews with crowdworkers on the Topcoder platform. Our preliminary findings suggest that while highly-skilled, creative crowdworkers may exhibit risk-seeking behavior in the context of employment, they are motivated to endure the assumed risk by a sense of psychological safety, a sense of autonomy as well as self-growth opportunities, which are critical to attracting and retaining professional workers. This intriguing finding suggests that gig economy platforms may offer not only ephemeral jobs, but also an appealing work environment that can nurture professional workers and cultivate sustainable communities of practice.
Crowdwork is a new class of work arrangement that involves compensated work organized through online labor platforms. Crowdwork platforms that focus on complex projects and require skillful, creative workers rely on winner-takes-all competition among multiple crowdworkers, where the likelihood of winning and getting paid is relatively small. Given that skillful, creative workers are in high demand, it begs the question why they would take the risk involved in crowdwork in lieu of the certainty that comes with traditional work arrangements. Subsequently, in this short paper, we explore what motivates such professionals to seek work in crowdwork platforms. We conducted an exploratory qualitative study based on interviews with crowdworkers on the Topcoder platform. Our preliminary findings suggest that while highly-skilled, creative crowdworkers may exhibit risk-seeking behavior in the context of employment, they are motivated to endure the assumed risk by a sense of psychological safety, a sense of autonomy as well as self-growth opportunities, which are critical to attracting and retaining professional workers. This intriguing finding suggests that gig economy platforms may offer not only ephemeral jobs, but also an appealing work environment that can nurture professional workers and cultivate sustainable communities of practice.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 39th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS)
Number of pages9
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Date2018
StatePublished - 2018
EventThe 39th International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2018: Bridging the Internet of People, Data, and Things - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 13 Dec 201816 Dec 2018
Conference number: 39
https://icis2018.aisconferences.org/

Conference

ConferenceThe 39th International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2018
Number39
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period13/12/201816/12/2018
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems
ISSN0000-0033

Keywords

  • Crowdwork
  • Creative work
  • Risk
  • Motivation
  • Psychological safety
  • Topcoder

Cite this

Gol, E. S., Stein, M-K., & Avital, M. (2018). Why Take the Risk? Motivations of Highly Skilled Workers to Participate in Crowdworking Platforms. In Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) Atlanta, GA: Association for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL). Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems
Gol, Elham Shafiei ; Stein, Mari-Klara ; Avital, Michel. / Why Take the Risk? Motivations of Highly Skilled Workers to Participate in Crowdworking Platforms. Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). Atlanta, GA : Association for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL), 2018. (Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems).
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Gol, ES, Stein, M-K & Avital, M 2018, Why Take the Risk? Motivations of Highly Skilled Workers to Participate in Crowdworking Platforms. in Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). Association for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL), Atlanta, GA, Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems, San Francisco, United States, 13/12/2018.

Why Take the Risk? Motivations of Highly Skilled Workers to Participate in Crowdworking Platforms. / Gol, Elham Shafiei; Stein, Mari-Klara; Avital, Michel.

Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). Atlanta, GA : Association for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL), 2018.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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Gol ES, Stein M-K, Avital M. Why Take the Risk? Motivations of Highly Skilled Workers to Participate in Crowdworking Platforms. In Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). Atlanta, GA: Association for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL). 2018. (Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems).