Co-creation in Macrotask Knowledge Work on Online Labor Platforms


Nordic working life studies have mostly focused on the precarious aspects of work mediated via online labor platforms. We follow a different approach and examine the potential of such work to benefit professionals by enhancing their job quality and learning. This qualitative, practice-based study applies the concept ‘co-creation’ to examine how a social form of creating value takes place in Upwork macrotask projects. It then investigates how platform features shape opportunities for co-creation. The data comprise interviews of 15 freelancers residing in Finland. The findings suggest that co-creation is possible in macrotask projects, but the platform does not seem to actively support co-creation. This paper provides insights into the discussion of job quality at platform work and how co-creation on platforms might be developed to support the Nordic labor market model.

Author Biographies

Laura Seppänen, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Chief Scientist. E-mail:

Clay Spinuzzi, University of Texas at Austin


Seppo Poutanen, University of Turku

Senior Research Fellow

Tuomo Alasoini, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Research Professor


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How to Cite
Seppänen, L., Spinuzzi, C., Poutanen, S., & Alasoini, T. (2020). Co-creation in Macrotask Knowledge Work on Online Labor Platforms. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies.