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.
Acquier, A., Daudigeos, T., & Pinkse, J. (2017). Promises and paradoxes of the sharing economy: an organizing framework, Technological Forecasting and Social Change 125(July): 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2017.07.006
Adler, P., Kwon, S.-W., & Heckscher, C. (2008). Professional work: the emergence of collaborative community, Organization Science 19(2): 359-376. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1070.0293
Barley, S. R., & Kunda, G. (2001). Bringing work back in, Organization Science 12(1): 76-95. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.126.96.36.19922
Bodrožić, Z., & Adler, P. S. (2018). The evolution of management models: a Neo-Schumpeterian theory, Administrative Science Quarterly 63(1): 85-129. https://doi.org/10.1177/0001839217704811
Boudreau, K. J., & Lakhani, K. R. (2013). Using the crowd as an innovation partner, Harvard Business Review April 2013: 61-69. https://hbr.org/2013/04/using-the-crowd-as-an-innovation-partner
Claussen, J., Khashabi, P., Kretschmer, T., & Siefried, M. (2018). Knowledge Work in the Sharing Economy: What Drives Project Success in Online Labor Markets? Available at: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3102865 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3102865.
Connelly, F. M., & Clandinin, D. J. (1990). Stories of experience and narrative inquiry, Educational Researcher 19: 2-14. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189x019005002
Czarniawska, B. (2004). Narratives in Social Science Research, London: Sage Publications. https://dx-doi-org.libproxy.helsinki.fi/10.4135/9781849209502
de Stefano, V. (2016). The rise of the "just-in-time worforce": On-demand work, crowdwork and labour protection in the "gig-economy". Inclusive Labour Markets, Labour Relations and Working Conditions Branch, Geneva: ILO, 2016 Conditions of Work and Employment Series No. 71.
Deng, X., Joshi, K. D., & Galliers, R. D. (2016). The duality of empowerment and marginalization in microtask crowdsourcing: giving voice to the less powerful through value sensitive design, MIS Quarterly 40(2): 279-302. https://doi.org/10.25300/misq/2016/40.2.01
Edwards, A. (2012). The role of common knowledge in achieving collaboration across practices, Learning, Culture and Social Interaction 1(2012): 22-32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lcsi.2012.03.003
Engeström, Y. (1999). Expansive visibilization of work: an activity-theoretical perspective, Computer Supported Cooperative Work 8: 63-93. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008648532192
Engeström, Y. (2005). Knotworking to create collaborative intentionality capital in fluid organizational fields. In M. M. Beyerlein, S. T. Beyerlein, & F. A. Kennedy (Eds.), Collaborative Capital: Creating Intangible Value (pp. 307-336), Amsterdam: Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1572-0977(05)11011-5
Eurofound (Ed.) (2018). Employment and working conditions of selected types of platform work, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/report/2018/employment-and-working-conditions-of-selected-types-of-platform-work
Faraj, S., von Krogh, G., Monteiro, E., & Lakhani, K. R. (2016). Online community as space for knowledge flows, Information Systems Research, Articles in advance, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.2016.0682
Frey, C. B., & Osborne, M. A. (2017). The future of employment: how susceptible are jobs to computerization? Technological Forecasting and Social Change 114(C): 254-280. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2016.08.019
Gandini, A. (2018). Labour process theory and the gig economy, Human Relations 2018, online first, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726718790002
Gegenhuber, T., & Schlussler, E. (2020). Microphones, not megaphones: Functional crowdworkers' voice regimes on digital work platforms, Human Relations 1-31 first online. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726720915761
Gerber, C., & Krzywdzinski, M. (2019). Brave new digital work? New forms of performance control in crowdwork. In S. Vallas & A. Kovalainen (Eds.), Work and Labor in the Digital Age (pp. 121-144), Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1108/s0277-283320190000033008
Grabher, G. (2004). Learning in projects, remembering in networks? Communality, sociality, and connectivity in project ecologies, European Urban and Regional Studies 11(2): 103–123. https://doi.org/10.1177/0969776404041417
Howcroft, D., & Bergvall-Kåreborn, B. (2019). A typology of crowdwork platforms, Work, Employment and Society 33(1): 21-38. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017018760136
Jesnes, K. (2019). Employment models of platform companies in Norway: a distinctive approach? Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 9(S6). https://doi.org/10.18291/njwls.v18299iS18296.114691.
Jesnes, K. (2020). Chapter 1. Introduction. In K. Jesnes & S. Oppegaard (Eds.), Platform Work in the Nordic Models: Issues, Cases and Responses (pp. 11-16): TemaNord 2020:513. http://dx.doi.org/10.6027/temanord2020-513
Jesnes, K., & Oppegaard, S. (Eds.). (2020). Platform work in the Nordic models: issues, cases and responses, TemaNord 2020:513. http://dx.doi.org/10.6027/temanord2020-513
Kornberger, M., Pflueger, D., & Mouritsen, J. (2017). Evaluative infrastructures: Accounting for platform organization, Accounting, Organizations and Society 60(2017): 79-95. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aos.2017.05.002
Leonardi, P. M. (2011). When flexible routines meet flexible technologies: affordance, constraint, and the imbrication of human and material agencies, MIS Quarterly 35(1): 147-167. https://doi.org/10.2307/23043493
Lundvall, B.-Å. (1992). National Systems of Innovation: Towards a Theory of Innovations and Interactive Learning, London: Pinter Publishers. https://doi.org/10.7135/upo9781843318903
Miettinen, R. (2013). Innovation, Human Capabilities and Democracy. Towards an Enabling Welfare State, Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692613.001.0001
Millerd, P. 2019. The failed promise of freelance consulting talent platforms. Available at: https://think-boundless.com/the-failed-promise-of-freelance-consulting-talent-platforms/ Accessed August 2, 2019
Pajarinen, M., Rouvinen, P., Claussen, J., Hakanen, J., Kovalainen, A., Kretschmer, T., Poutanen, S., Siefried, M. & Seppänen, L. (2018). Upworkers in Finland. Survey results. ETLA Report 85. https://www.etla.fi/wp-content/uploads/ETLA-Raportit-Reports-85.pdf
Panteli, N., Rapti, A., & Scholarios, D. (2020). 'If he just knew who we were': Microworkers' emerging bonds of attachment in a fragmented employment relationship, Work, Employment and Society 34(3): 476-494. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017019897872
Pichault, F., & McKeown, T. (2019). Autonomy at work in the gig economy: analysing work status, work content and working conditions of independent professionals, New Technology, Work and Employment 34(1): 59-72. https://doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12132
Popiel, P. (2017). "Boundaryless" in the creative economy: assessing freelancing on Upwork, Critical Studies in Media Communication 34(3): 220-233. https://doi.org/10.1080/15295036.2017.1282618
Ramaswamy, V., & Gouillart, F. (2010). Building the co-creative enterprise. Harvard Business Review, October 2010. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.2.15151/v2
Rasmussen, B., & Håpnes, T. (2012). Permanent temporariness? Changes in social contracts in knowledge work, Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies 2(1): 5-22. https://doi.org/10.19154/njwls.v2i1.2349
Rolandsson, B., Saloniemi, A., & Saari, T. (2020). High-skilled platform work in Finland and Sweden - the case of technical translators. In K. Jesnes & S. Oppegaard (Eds.), Platform Work in the Nordic Models: Issues, Cases and Responses (pp. 47-51), TemaNord 2020:513.
Ruusuvuori, J., Nikander, P., & Hyvärinen, M. (Eds.). (2010). Haastattelun analyysi (Analysis of interviews, in Finnish), Tampere: Vastapaino.
Seppänen, L. & Poutanen, S. (2020). Cultural transition in the sharing economy? Introducing platform work with activity concepts. In S. Poutanen, A. Kovalainen, & P. Rouvinen (Eds.), Digital Work and the Platform Economy. Understanding Tasks, Skills and Capabilities in the New Era (pp. 183-202), New York and Londong: Routledge.
Solved, 2016. Interview with a Solved manager, October 19, 2016.
Solved, 2019. Available at: https://www.solved.fi/about-us/
Spinuzzi, C. (2015). All Edge. Inside the New Workplace Networks, The University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226237015.001.0001
Steen, J. I., Steen, J. R., Jesnes, K., & Rotnes, R. (2019). The knowledge intensive platform economy in the Nordic countries Economics Norway and the Research Foundation FAFO. Nordic Innovation 2019. Available at: https://www.nordicinnovation.org/2019/knowledge-intensive-platform-economy-nordic-countries
Sutherland, W., Jarrahi, M. H., Dunn, M., & Nelson, S. B. (2020). Work precarity and gig literacies in online freelancing, Work, Employment and Society 34(3): 457-475. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017019886511
Vallas, S., & Kovalainen, A. (2019). Introduction. Taking stock of the digital revolution. In S. Vallas & A. Kovalainen (Eds.), Work and Labor in the Digital Age, Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1108/s0277-283320190000033001
Vallas, S., & Schor, J. B. (2020). What do platforms do? Understanding the gig economy. Annual Review of Sociology 46: 273-294. doi:https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-soc-121919-054857
van Doorn, N. (2017). Platform labor: on the gendered and racialized exploitation of low-income service work in the 'on-demand' economy, Information, Communication and Society 20(6): 898-914. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118x.2017.1294194
Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wood, A. J., Graham, M., Lehdonvirta, V., & Hjorth, I. (2019). Good gig, bad gig: Autonomy and algorithmic control in the global gig economy, Work, Employment and Society 33(1): 56-75. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017018785616
Zhu, F., & Iansiti, M. (2019). Why some platforms thrive and others don't. Harvard Business Review, January-February 2019. Available at: https://hbr.org/2019/01/why-some-platforms-thrive-and-others-dont Accessed August 2, 2019
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 Author and Journal
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The Copyright Holder of this Journal is the authors and the Journal. This Journal gives Open Access with CreativeCommons license CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0.
You can download all the content of the Journal and share it with others as long as you credit the authors and the journal, but you can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.
More specifically this license means that you – authors and users – may:
Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form as long as you follow the license terms. The freedom to share includes parallel publishing on authors’ own website and in institutional repositories or in ResearchGate after publication in NJWLS, or if you want to reprint your article as part of publication of a PhD-thesis or a dissertation
You may share under these terms:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit and provide a link to the license. Appropriate credit implies that you provide the name of the creator and attribution parties, a copyright notice, a license notice, a disclaimer notice, and a link to the material. The link used should be its DOI.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes. A commercial use is one primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation.
NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material. Merely changing the format never creates a derivative.
Exceptions to the license terms may be granted
If you want to use content in the Journal in another way then described by this license, you must contact the licensor and ask for permission. Contact Bo Carstens at firstname.lastname@example.org. Exceptions are always given for specific purposes and specific content only.
The Journal is listed as a blue journal in Sherpa/Romeo, meaning that the author can archive post-print ((ie final draft post-refereeing) and author can archive publisher's version/PDF.
Copyright of others
Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere.
All published material is archived at Roskilde University Library, Denmark, and transmitted to the Danish Royal Library in conformity with the Danish rules of legal deposit.
We do not screen articles for plagiarism. It is the responsibility of the authors to make sure they do not plagiate.