Faculty Profile

Christian Fieseler

Professor - Department of Communication and Culture

Department of Communication and Culture


Christian Fieseler is professor for communication management at BI Norwegian Business School and the founding director of the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society. He received his PhD in Management and Economics from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, in 2008. At the former he worked as a postdoctoral researcher, as well as at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and at Stanford University, before joining BI, in 2014.

Cristian’s research interests center on organizational identity, corporate social responsibility and computer-mediated-communication. His research is focused on the question how individuals and organizations adapt to the shift brought by new, social media, and how to design participative and inclusive spaces in this new media regime. In this field, he has over the last few years, worked extensively in projects with the European Union and the Norwegian Research Council on technology and new working modes.


Etter, Michael; Fieseler, Christian & Whelan, Glen (2019)

Sharing Economy, Sharing Responsibility? Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Age

Journal of Business Ethics, 159(4), s. 935- 942. Doi: 10.1007/s10551-019-04212-w

The sharing economy has transformed economic transactions, created new organizational forms, and contributed to changes in consumer culture. Started as a movement with promises of a more sustainable, democratic, and inclusive economy, the sharing economy, and its impact on issues such as privacy, discrimination, worker rights, and regulation, is now the subject of heated debate. Many of these issues root in the changes that digital technologies have brought and the unresolved moral and ethical questions emerging therefrom. This special issue contributes to this ongoing debate with five articles that develop theoretical frameworks and conduct empirical investigations, providing fine-grained analyses of urgent issues in the sharing economy. In this article, we highlight these and other issues that we believe deserve further attention from business ethics scholarship.

Buhmann, Alexander; Paßmann, Johannes & Fieseler, Christian (2019)

Managing Algorithmic Accountability: Balancing Reputational Concerns, Engagement Strategies, and the Potential of Rational Discourse

Journal of Business Ethics Doi: 10.1007/s10551-019-04226-4

While organizations today make extensive use of complex algorithms, the notion of algorithmic accountability remains an elusive ideal due to the opacity and fluidity of algorithms. In this article, we develop a framework for managing algorithmic accountability that highlights three interrelated dimensions: reputational concerns, engagement strategies, and discourse principles. The framework clarifies (a) that accountability processes for algorithms are driven by reputational concerns about the epistemic setup, opacity, and outcomes of algorithms; (b) that the way in which organizations practically engage with emergent expectations about algorithms may be manipulative, adaptive, or moral; and (c) that when accountability relationships are heavily burdened by the opacity and fluidity of complex algorithmic systems, the emphasis of engagement should shift to a rational communication process through which a continuous and tentative assessment of the development, workings, and consequences of algorithms can be achieved over time. The degree to which such engagement is, in fact, rational can be assessed based on four discourse-ethical principles of participation, comprehension, multivocality, and responsiveness. We conclude that the framework may help organizations and their environments to jointly work toward greater accountability for complex algorithms. It may further help organizations in reputational positioning surrounding accountability issues. The discourse-ethical principles introduced in this article are meant to elevate these positioning contests to extend beyond mere adaption or compliance and help guide organizations to find moral and forward-looking solutions to accountability issues.

Bucher, Eliane; Fieseler, Christian & Lutz, Christoph (2019)

Mattering in Digital Labor

Journal of Managerial Psychology, 34(4), s. 307- 324. Doi: 10.1108/JMP-06-2018-0265

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, we explore the relationship between worker’s ability to create a narrative of their work mattering regardless, and their continued work engagement in these work setups. Design: We approach the relationship between individual mattering and digital work engagement through a longitudinal study among workers on the crowdworking platform Amazon Mechanical Turk. We further provide qualitative insight into individual perceptions of mattering based on essay data. Findings: We 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 work engagement positively, while the other three mattering dimension do not have a significant effect. Originality: 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 work engagement, the paper makes a contribution to research on crowdwork and the future of work. Beyond the theoretical contributions, the finding that perceived importance fosters work engagement has important implications for task and platform design.

Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie; Lutz, Christoph & Fieseler, Christian (2019)

Trading on the Unknown: Scenarios for the Future Value of Data

Law & Ethics of Human Rights, 13(1), s. 97- 114. Doi: 10.1515/lehr-2019-0004

In this article, we explore the practices of extensive data collection among sharing economy platforms, highlighting how the unknown future value of big data creates an ethical problem for a fair exchange relationship between companies and users. Specifically, we present a typology with four scenarios related to the future value of data. In the remainder of the article, we first describe the status quo of data collection practices in the sharing economy, followed by a discussion of the value-generating affordances of big data. We then introduce the typology of four scenarios for the future value of data. Finally, the paper concludes with a short discussion on the implications of information asymmetries for a fair exchange process.

Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie; Lutz, Christoph & Fieseler, Christian (2019)

The Conditioning Function of Rating Mechanisms for Consumers in the Sharing Economy

Internet Research, 29(5), s. 1090- 1108. Doi: 10.1108/INTR-03-2018-0134

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how rating mechanisms encourage emotional labor norms among sharing economy consumers. Design/methodology/approach – This study follows a mixed-methods research design. Survey data from 207 consumers were used to quantify the impact of three distinct rating dimensions on a consumer behavioral outcome (emotional labor). In the second step, 18 focus groups with 94 participants were used to investigate the conditioning functions of ratings in more depth. Findings – Rating mechanisms condition consumers toward performing socially desirable behaviors during sharing transactions. While consumers accept the necessity of bilateral rating mechanisms, they also recognize their coercive nature. Furthermore, the presence of bilateral rating mechanisms leads to negative outcomes such as annoyance and frustration. Originality/value – This study contributes to sharing economy literature by examining bilateral rating mechanisms as a means of behavioral conditioning for consumers. This study points to improvements in platform design and informs theory on tripartite markets as well as trust.

Maltseva, Kateryna; Fieseler, Christian & Trittin, Hannah (2018)

The challenges of gamifying CSR communication.

Corporate Communications. An International Journal, 24(1), s. 44- 62. Doi: 10.1108/CCIJ-09-2018-0092

Purpose A growing number of research report positive effects of gamification, that is the introduction of game elements to non-game contexts, on stakeholder intentions and behaviors. Hence, gamification is proposed as an effective tool for organizations to educate their stakeholders about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability-related topics. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach In this paper, the authors ask whether gamification can communicate matters of social and environmental concern. Based on three consecutive experimental studies, the authors show that there are boundary conditions to the effectiveness of gamified communication on stakeholder attitude, intention and behavior. Findings The authors find positive, negative and insignificant effects of gamification on pro-environmental attitude, intention and behavior. Based on these ambiguous results, the authors conclude with a call for more rigorous forms of designing gamified experiences to foster stakeholder learning and highlight and develop several such future research and engagement opportunities. Originality/value The study is the first to apply gamification to the context of corporate and in particular CSR communication. It is furthermore one of the first studies that actually research the effects of gamification empirically, and in controlled experimental conditions.

Wong, Sut I & Fieseler, Christian (2018)

Making the digital transformation work

Sasson, Amir (red.). At the Forefront, Looking Ahead: Research-Based Answers to Contemporary Uncertainties of Management

Hannah, Trittin; Fieseler, Christian & Maltseva, Kateryna (2018)

The Serious and the Mundane: Reflections on Gamified CSR Communication

Journal of management inquiry Doi: 10.1177/1056492618790920

We debate the strategic application of game elements to corporate messaging regarding societal and ecological concerns. We propose that gamified corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication is potentially well suited to create attention and involvement for corporate CSR initiatives. However, we argue that many gamification applications undermine their purpose and increase stakeholder suspicions about CSR. By debating the potential benefits and risks of gamified CSR communication, we aim to open the scholarly debate on the appropriateness of gamification in CSR.

Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie; Lutz, Christoph & Fieseler, Christian (2018)

Collective Action and Provider Classification in the Sharing Economy

New technology, work and employment, 33(3), s. 250- 267. Doi: 10.1111/ntwe.12119

Conditions in the sharing economy are often favourably designed for consumers and platforms but entail new challenges for the labour side, such as substandard social-security and rigid forms of algorithmic management. Since comparatively little is known about how providers in the sharing economy make their voices heard collectively, we investigate their opinions and behaviours regarding collective action and perceived solidarities. Using cluster analysis on representative data from across twelve European countries, we determine five distinct types of labour-activists, ranging from those opposed to any forms of collective action to those enthusiastic to organise and correct perceived wrongs. We conclude by conjecturing that the still-ongoing influx of new providers, the difficulty of organising in purely virtual settings, combined with the narrative of voluntariness of participation and hedonic gratifications might be responsible for the inaction of large parts of the provider base in collectivist activities.

Lutz, Christoph; Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie & Fieseler, Christian (2018)

Emotional Labor in the Sharing Economy

Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), s. 636- 645. Doi: 10.24251/HICSS.2018.081

The peer-to-peer nature of the sharing economy encourages participants to alter their behavior in ways that resemble traditional notions of emotional labor. A key element in this shift lies in the coercive nature of feedback mechanisms which condition both providers and consumers to perform emotional labor during service encounters. Using survey data from 207 sharing economy consumers in the US, we show how different facets of the feedback mechanisms employed by sharing economy services influence consumers’ emotional labor. In addition, we show how platforms and their policies matter in encouraging emotional labor, indicating the need to analyze the topic on a fine-grained level. We conclude by deriving propositions for future research and practical recommendations.

Kost, Dominique; Fieseler, Christian & Wong, Sut I (2018)

Finding Meaning in a Hopeless Place? The Construction of Meaningfulness in Digital Microwork

Computers in Human Behavior, 82(May), s. 101- 110. Doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2018.01.002

New forms of employment centered on the completion of simple and atomized tasks, such as online microwork, raise the question of the possible gratifications that could be derived from such work when compared to more traditional labor arrangements. Our research presented here focuses on how microworkers construct meaningfulness, based on the accounts of workers on the crowdsourcing platform Amazon Mechanical Turk. We draw upon a relational job design perspective to explore why microworkers experience meaningfulness in their work. We found four sources of meaningfulness: rewards, self-improvement, moral, and social. These four sources vary in the degree to which they were internal or external in focus, and in their level of rationalization (concrete or abstract). This may explain why such types of employment are appealing despite a lack of organizational-support structures and points to the need to better understand cue provision in virtual, platform-enabled work settings.

Bucher, Eliane; Fieseler, Christian, Fleck, Matthes & Lutz, Christoph (2018)

Authenticity and the Sharing Economy

Academy of Management Discoveries, 4(3), s. 294- 313. Doi: 10.5465/amd.2016.0161 - Full text in research archive

Based on a qualitative interview-study as well as on a quantitative survey among users of the room sharing platform Airbnb, we show that situational closeness between sharing economy consumers and providers may prompt instances of interpersonal contamination which in turn negatively impact reviewer behaviour and intention to engage in room sharing in the future. However, we also show that authenticity plays a significant alleviating role in shaping such closeness perceptions. Users whose sense of authenticity is evoked in their sharing experiences are significantly less bothered by negative instances of interpersonal closeness and are thus more liable to use sharing services. Our results point to the integral nature of both authenticity and the invocation of notions of authenticity for sharing business models who are reliant, by their very nature, on alleviating the imperfections of amateur production.

Müller, Severina; Fieseler, Christian, Meckel, Miriam & Suphan, Anne (2018)

Time Well Wasted? Online Procrastination During Times of Unemployment

Social science computer review, 36(3), s. 263- 276. Doi: 10.1177/0894439317715716 - Full text in research archive

This article examines the argument regarding whether perceived social exclusion during unemployment leads to procrastination through online media, which in turn lessens the job search efforts of the unemployed. Based on data from 386 unemployed Internet users, we argue that online procrastination plays an important role in the lives of the unemployed but has no immediate effects on their perceived job search efforts. Contextual factors play an important role; that is, the amount of motivational control that the unemployed can muster exerts a strong effect on job search efforts. Generally, unemployed Internet users with low motivational control struggle more with their job search efforts. Thus, the recreational use of online media as such is not necessarily detrimental to the efforts invested in finding a job; instead, online skill-building and motivational support are key antecedents to better empower the unemployed to use the Internet productively for finding reemployment.

Lutz, Christoph; Hoffmann, Christian Pieter, Bucher, Eliane & Fieseler, Christian (2018)

The Role of Privacy Concerns in the Sharing Economy

Information, Communication & Society, 21(10), s. 1472- 1492. Doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2017.1339726 - Full text in research archive

Internet-mediated sharing is growing quickly. Millions of users around the world share personal services and possessions with others—often complete strangers. Shared goods can amount to substantial financial and immaterial value. Despite this, little research has investigated privacy in the sharing economy. To fill this gap, we examine the sharing-privacy nexus by exploring the privacy threats associated with Internet-mediated sharing. Given the popularity of sharing services, users seem quite willing to share goods and services despite the compounded informational and physical privacy threats associated with such sharing. We develop and test a framework for analyzing the effect of privacy concerns on sharing that considers institutional and social privacy threats, trust and social-hedonic as well as monetary motives.

Fieseler, Christian; Maltseva, Kateryna & Hoffman, Christian (2017)

Hedonic Stakeholder Engagement. Bridging the Online Participation Gap Through Gamification.

Lindgreen, Adam; Vanhamme, Joëlle & Watkins, Rebecca (red.). Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Era

Hoffmann, Christian Pieter & Fieseler, Christian (2017)

Shareholder Activism and the New Role of Investor Relations

Laskin, Alexander (red.). The Handbook of Financial Communication and Investor Relations

Fieseler, Christian; Bucher, Eliane & Hoffmann, Christian Pieter (2017)

Unfairness by Design? The Perceived Fairness of Digital Labor on Crowdworking Platforms

Journal of Business Ethics, s. 1- 19. Doi: 10.1007/s10551-017-3607-2 - Full text in research archive

Based on a qualitative survey among 203 US workers active on the microwork platform Amazon Mechanical Turk, we analyze potential biases embedded in the institutional setting provided by on-demand crowdworking platforms and their effect on perceived workplace fairness. We explore the triadic relationship between employers, workers, and platform providers, focusing on the power of platform providers to design settings and processes that affect workers’ fairness perceptions. Our focus is on workers’ awareness of the new institutional setting, frames applied to the mediating platform, and a differentiated analysis of distinct fairness dimensions.

Bucher, Eliane & Fieseler, Christian (2017)

The Flow of Digital Labor

New Media & Society, 19(11), s. 1868- 1886. Doi: 10.1177/1461444816644566 - Full text in research archive

Digital microwork is a type of labor that many—typically poorly paid—workers engage in. In our research, we focus on an experience-based model of digital labor and the nonmonetary benefits derived from such activities. Based on a survey of 701 workers at Amazon Mechanical Turk, we demonstrate that experiences during digital labor sequences generate flow-like states of immersion. We show that reaching flow-like states while performing microwork depends on certain work characteristics, such as the particular worker’s degree of autonomy, the extent to which a worker’s skills are utilized, and the apparent significance of and feedback derived from the task. The results both highlight the importance of flow-like immersion in explaining why individuals engage in digital labor projects and point to avenues that can lead to the design of better digital work experiences.

Bucher, Eliane; Fieseler, Christian & Lutz, Christoph (2016)

What's mine is yours (for a nominal fee) – Exploring the spectrum of utilitarian to altruistic motives for Internet-mediated sharing

Computers in Human Behavior, 62, s. 316- 326. Doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2016.04.002

In this contribution, we scrutinize the diverse motives for internet-mediated sharing as well as their role in shaping attitudes towards sharing one's possessions in commercialized as well as non-commercialized settings. On the basis of qualitative and quantitative research, we first develop a scale of sharing motives, showing that the reasons for participating in online sharing platforms are more nuanced than previously thought. Second, employing a motivational model of sharing, rooted in the theory of planned behavior, we show that sharing attitudes are driven by moral, social-hedonic and monetary motivations. Furthermore, we identify materialism, sociability and volunteering as predictors of sharing motives in different sharing contexts. Against this background, we explore the possible role of monetary incentives as a necessary but not sufficient condition for sharing one's possessions with others

Fieseler, Christian; Hoffmann, Christian Pieter & Meckel, Miriam (2016)

Eine Kultur der Innovation: Die Bedeutung von Innovationsnetzwerken

Hoffmann, Christian Pieter (red.). Business Innovation: Das St. Galler Modell

Hoffman, Christian; Brønn, Peggy Simcic & Fieseler, Christian (2016)

A good reputation: Protection against shareholder activism

Corporate Reputation Review, 19(1), s. 35- 46. Doi: 10.1057/crr.2015.27

Fieseler, Christian & Ranzini, Giulia (2015)

The networked communications manager : A typology of managerial social media impression management tactics

Corporate Communications. An International Journal, 20(4), s. 500- 517. Doi: 10.1108/CCIJ-02-2015-0009

Fieseler, Christian; Lutz, Christoph & Meckel, Miriam (2015)

An inquiry into the transformation of the PR roles’ concept

Corporate Communications. An International Journal, 20(1), s. 76- 89. Doi: 10.1108/CCIJ-02-2014-0013

Fieseler, Christian; Meckel, Miriam & Müller, Severina (2014)

With a little help of my peers. The supportive role of online contacts for the unemployed

Computers in Human Behavior, 41, s. 164- 176. Doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.09.017 - Full text in research archive

Fieseler, Christian; Meckel, Miriam & Ranzini, Giulia (2014)

Professional Personae - How Organizational Identification Shapes Online Identity in the Workplace

Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 20(2), s. 153- 170. Doi: 10.1111/jcc4.12103

Feuls, Miriam; Fieseler, Christian, Meckel, Miriam & Suphan, Anne (2014)

Being Unemployed in the Age of Social Media

New Media & Society, 18(6), s. 944- 965. Doi: 10.1177/1461444814552637 - Full text in research archive

This article reports the results of a stratified sample survey of 2414 unemployed individuals in Germany regarding Internet usage, accompanied by a small sample of qualitative interviews and time-use diaries. The Internet serves as a structuring device for individuals during unemployment and helps such individuals maintain social contacts; it fills time with activities for the unemployed that are meaningful from a normative perspective and are perceived subjectively as a good use of time. The Internet enables degrees of interaction that would otherwise not be possible because of financial difficulties. The research suggests that expanded interaction on the Internet for the unemployed would likely be beneficial.

Fieseler, Christian; Grubenmann, Stephanie, Müller, Severina & Meckel, Miriam (2014)

The Leadership Dimension of Coping with Technostress

Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), s. 530- 539. Doi: 10.1109/HICSS.2014.73

One pathway to alleviate the consequences of technology-induced stress may lie in the role that supervisors may or may not play in mitigating the negative consequences of ICT usage. Based on survey research with 491 salespersons using ICT in their work environment, and tested with structural equation modeling, we discuss the impact of two forms of leadership on individual and organizational outcomes. We differentiate between supervisor influence on ICT use and general leadership, and their influence on ICT-strain (i.e. techno stress) as well as on general strain (i.e. work exhaustion). The data show that, in the context of ICT-induced stress, leadership has a significant compensatory influence on work exhaustion and on job satisfaction. The results lead us to the interpretation that leadership constitutes a potential further instrument to ease the negative outcomes of ICT usage in work contexts, and to propose further study into the role of ICT specific supervisor influence.

Feuls, Miriam; Fieseler, Christian & Suphan, Anne (2014)

A social net? Internet and social media use during unemployment

Work, Employment and Society, 28(4), s. 551- 570. Doi: 10.1177/0950017013519846 - Full text in research archive

Many people who are unemployed tend to experience forms of psychological and social losses, including a weakened time structure, diminished social contacts, an absence of collective purpose, falling status, and inactivity. This article focuses on the experience of diminished social contacts and addresses whether social media help the unemployed maintain their relationships. Based on qualitative interviews with unemployed individuals, the article identifies various types of social support networks and their impact on individual experiences of inclusion and exclusion. Although the unemployed use social media to cultivate their social support networks, the opportunity to establish new contacts, both private and professional, is underutilized. Thus, social network differentiation between the unemployed and employed persists online in social media.

Buhmann, Alexander & Fieseler, Christian (2019)

Tackling sustainability challenges through digitally enabled forms of organizing: The constitutive role of communication

[Academic lecture]. CSR Communication Conference.

Boons, Mark; Bavato, Davide & Fieseler, Christian (2019)

Nurturing Novelty: Understanding, Developing, and Evaluating Novel Ideas

[Academic lecture]. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.

Wong, Sut I; Kost, Dominique & Fieseler, Christian (2019)

From Crafting What You Do to Building Resilience for a Crowdwork Career

[Academic lecture]. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.

Buhmann, Alexander; Fieseler, Christian, Maltseva, Kateryna & Fleck, Matthes (2018)

Controlling conversations: the effects of moderation strategies in online stakeholder dialogues

[Academic lecture]. EUPRERA international congress.

Buhmann, Alexander; Passmann, Johannes & Fieseler, Christian (2018)

Algorithmic management: addressing the emerging challenge in organizational accountability

[Academic lecture]. EUPRERA international congress.

Wong, Sut I; Kost, Dominique & Fieseler, Christian (2018)

Meaningful Work and Subjective Well-Being: The Role of Job-Career (In) congruence in the Gig Economy

[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management Annual Conference.

Flexible employment arrangements on multiple online intermediary platforms with few constraints as to how much, when and where work is performed is becoming the new work reality for many individuals. Arguments have been advanced that this type of work is inherently demeaning. In this article, we seek to explore the worker perspective regarding whether these types of gig labor arrangements are regarded as limited jobs or more as long-term careers. We draw on career construction theory and hypothesize a job-career congruence model that suggests that when workers’ cognitive presentation of their gig work as jobs or careers are incongruent, they are less likely to experience their work as meaningful and subsequently experience lower subjective well-being. The results from a two-stage field study of 803 workers from two different crowdsourcing platforms support these incongruent relationships and provides clarity regarding how gig work factors in to an individual’s life. In addition, we demonstrate that workers who are proactive in nature seem to excel more in these fluid work settings, which points to the necessity of self-leadership in such work arrangements to ensure prosperity.

Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie; Lutz, Christoph & Fieseler, Christian (2018)

Between Pressure and Flexibility: Provider Scheduling in the Sharing Economy

[Academic lecture]. 5th International Conference on Management and Organization.

The sharing economy offers individuals various opportunities to generate additional income through sharing their personal possessions with strangers. The flexibility promised by sharing platforms , to share when and how often individuals prefer, has been highlighted as the key advantage of the sharing economy model. However, for sharing platforms which rely on ongoing and reliable sharing among private individuals, a tension can be observed between platforms encouraging and discouraging this flexibility. Simultaneously, the ostensible flexibility and informality of the sharing economy must increasingly reconcile itself with the reality of overwork and full-time engagement, whereby individuals may face pressure to provide a mixture of platform and individual factors. In this contribution, we conduct an initial exploration into this tension between flexibility and pressure in the sharing economy. Using data across twelve European countries, we differentiate perceptions of flexibility and control among those who share their assets. The findings indicate that perceived pressure to provide varies by country, sharing frequency, motivation, most frequently used platform, and is based on whether individuals depend on the income from sharing. Perceived schedule control varies by age, education, country , and motivation. Taken together, the results show a picture where those most involved and dependent on sharing their assets feel the most pressured, while young, lesser educated providers also have least perceived schedule control. Thus, our study presents providing in the sharing economy as a more hierarchical activity than one might assume based on media and platform narratives.

Bucher, Eliane; Fieseler, Christian, Lutz, Christoph & Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie (2018)

Managing Emotional Labor in the Sharing Economy

[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management Annual Meeting.

In the sharing economy, independent actors routinely get together to co-create service experi-ences. Here, emotional labor plays a central role in creating successful encounters. Little is known about how organizations in the sharing economy instill emotional labor practices among actors outside their direct sphere of influence. Based on a mixed methods approach which combines survey research and correspondence analysis with content analysis, we show first how both providers (hosts, drivers) and consumers (guests, passengers) of the sharing economy engage in emotional labor for the benefit of the overall quality of the sharing experi-ence. Second, we argue that platforms as facilitators of the exchange relationship actively encourage such emotional labor practices – even in the absence of direct formal power – through (hard) design features such as mutual ratings, reward systems and gamification, and through more subtle (soft) normative framing of desirable practices via platform and app guidelines, tips, community sites or blogs.

Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie; Lutz, Christoph & Fieseler, Christian (2018)

Regulation and Fairness in the Sharing Economy

[Academic lecture]. AOM Specialized Conference: Big Data and Managing in a Digital Economy.

Sharing economy platforms frame a dichotomy between innovation and regulation. Current discussions surrounding the merits and desirability of regulatory oversight, among policy makers, academics, and platform advocates, are nevertheless conducted in a top-down fashion on both sides. What is often left out is the user perspective. We suggest that one of the most fun-damental shapers of a users perspective on regulation is their own experiences of the sharing economy. A key factor in user experience is perceived fairness. In this contribution, we inves-tigate how the perceived fairness of a platform can impact regulatory desirability among users, based on a survey in 12 European countries. We find that procedural fairness has a positive effect on the desire for regulation, while interactional fairness has a negative one.

Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie; Lutz, Christoph & Fieseler, Christian (2018)

Algorithmic Management in the Sharing Economy

[Academic lecture]. AOM Specialized Conference: Big Data and Managing in a Digital Economy.

Sharing economy platforms have contributed to the global economy by opening up previously un-tapped sources of income. However, the on-demand nature of many dominant sharing economy platforms problematizes accompanying narratives of provider agency, autonomy, and self-determination. Through a tripartite system of algorithmic management, namely surveillance, prohibitive architectures, and behavioural nudging, platforms have been accused of leveraging managerial control over their providers. To broaden the picture, we present the results of a survey study across 12 European countries. Results indicate that a substantial minority of providers feel they have to provide more often than they would like and lack control over the parameters of their sharing participation. Uber drivers, providers in Italy, and those motivated by social benefits are particularly vulnerable to algorithmic pressure.

Lutz, Christoph; Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie & Fieseler, Christian (2018)

Class-Consciousness in the Sharing Economy

[Academic lecture]. AOM Specialized Conference: Big Data and Managing in a Digital Economy.

The professed ethos of collaboration among the sharing economy does not extend to the provider base, who largely offer their services in a distributed and disconnected fashion. Sharing platforms, which mediate between users, neither enable nor encourage interaction between providers, restricting a sense of provider class-consciousness and the fundamental first steps towards collective action. Providers, separated both through platform narratives and architectures, nevertheless do variably take part in collective action, such as online communication and even attempted unions. In this study, we addressed the topic of collective action and class-consciousness among the heterogeneous provider base of the sharing economy, using a cluster analysis to determine four distinct clusters: Self-Oriented Pragmatists, Collective Action Enthusiasts, Modern Collectivists, and Collective Action Opponents.

Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie; Lutz, Christoph & Fieseler, Christian (2018)

Recommendations for the Sharing Economy: (Re-)Balancing Power

[Report]. Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

This report, ‘Recommendations for the Sharing Economy: (Re-)Balancing Power’, forms one element of a European Union Horizon 2020 Research Project on the sharing economy: Ps2Share ‘Participation, Privacy, and Power in the Sharing Economy’. It presents a set of 25 recommendations for five key stakeholders in the sharing economy: providers, consumers, platforms, educators, and policy makers. This report focuses on aspects of power in the sharing economy, addressing topics such as ratings and reviews, regulation, social responsibility, information asymmetries, transparency, algorithms, narratives, and communication. It aims at providing a roadmap for a more balanced and equitable sharing economy, particularly in Europe.

Maltseva, Kateryna; Fieseler, Christian & Trittin, Hannah (2017)

Testing the Effectiveness of Gamified CSR Communication on Pro-Environmental Behavior

[Academic lecture]. 4th CSRCOM Conference.

Maltseva, Kateryna; Matthes, Fleck & Fieseler, Christian (2017)

Inclusiveness and Moderation in Social Media Dialogues

[Academic lecture]. 19th Annual EUPRERA Congress.

Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie; Lutz, Christoph & Fieseler, Christian (2017)

Power in the Sharing Economy: European Perspectives

[Report]. Social Science Research Network.

This report, ‘Power in the Sharing Economy: European Perspectives’, forms one element of a European Union Horizon 2020 Research Project on the sharing economy: Ps2Share ‘Participation, Privacy, and Power in the Sharing Economy’. Within the survey and in the following report, we addressed various items towards four distinct sub-categories of Europeans (N=6111): Consumers, Providers, Aware Non-Users, and Non-Aware Non-Users. To present a more fine-grained overview of the perceived power-dynamics, we also provide deeper insights into the results on a cross-country level, as well as analyzing demographic and platform differences. The first section of the report focuses on the Peer-to-Peer Relationships which form the foundation of the sharing economy. Aspects covered in this section include emotional labor, perceived interpersonal treatment, and feedback systems. The second section of the report focuses on the Peer-to-Platform Relationships. This section addresses the role of the sharing platforms in establishing and maintaining power asymmetries, covering aspects such as dispute resolution mechanisms, terms and conditions, pricing, algorithmic control, and collective action. The final section provides a more macro-approach to power dynamics, focusing on the Platform-to-Society Relationships. This includes elements such as regulation and platform narratives.

Wong, Sut I; Černe, Matej, Fieseler, Christian & Bunjak, Aldijana (2017)

When creative efficacy is being challenged: The relationship between feedback valence and creative performance for crowdworkers

[Academic lecture]. EAWOP.

Giessner, Steffen Robert; Wong, Sut I, Fieseler, Christian, van Baalen, Christoph & Roufanis, Vasilis (2017)

How to implement new ways of work to increase organizational attractiveness

[Academic lecture]. EAWOP.

Wong, Sut I; Černe, Matej, Fieseler, Christian & Connelly, Catherine (2017)

Working in the Digitized Economy. HRM Theory & Practice

[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management Annual Meeting.

Kost, Dominique; Fieseler, Christian & Wong, Sut I (2017)

Micro-Entrepreneurs and the Art of Life-Crafting

[Academic lecture]. 7th Community, Work & Family Conference.

Kost, Dominique; Fieseler, Christian & Wong, Sut I (2017)

Now that we are all here – The effect of task- and relationship-focused leadership behaviors on co-presence and performance in virtual teams

[Academic lecture]. EAWOP.

Wong, Sut I; Kost, Dominique & Fieseler, Christian (2017)

Collaborative Crafting in Pursuit of a Career. The Case of Crowdworkers in the Gig Economy

[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management Annual Meeting.

Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie; Lutz, Christoph & Fieseler, Christian (2017)

Power in the Sharing Economy

[Report]. Social Science Research Network.

This paper gives an in-depth overview of the topic of power in the sharing economy. It forms one part of a European Union Horizon 2020 Research Project on the sharing economy: "Ps2Share: Participation, Privacy, and Power in the Sharing Economy". We aim to foster better awareness of the consequences which the sharing economy has on the way people behave, think, interact, and socialize across Europe. Our overarching objective is to identify key challenges of the sharing economy and improve Europe's digital services through providing recommendations to Europe's institutions. The initial stage of this research project involves a set of three literature reviews of the state of research on three core topics in relation to the sharing economy: participation (1), privacy (2), and power (3). This piece is a literature review on the topic of power. It addresses three core topics related to power: voice and feedback mechanisms, algorithms, and regulation.

Fieseler, Christian; Kateryna, Maltseva & Hannah, Trittin (2017)

Testing the Effectiveness of Gamified CSR Communication on Pro-Environmental Behavior

[Academic lecture]. 33rd EGOS Colloquium, Copenhagen 2017.

Existing research suggests that CSR communication is a delicate matter and a key challenge is to minimize stakeholder skepticism and to convey intrinsic motives in an organization’s CSR activities, in order to motivate stakeholders to get involved in CSR activities. Initial theoretical studies suggest that gamification is a suitable way to overcome these obstacles and to attract stakeholder attention to corporate messages on CSR. In contrast to other, more traditional forms of CSR communication, gamification provides a subtle and less direct form of communication which raises stakeholder awareness in an unobtrusive manner for CSR-related issues. In other words, gamified CSR communication is viewed as a suitable way to change stakeholder perceptions, which is a necessary precondition for changes in the stakeholders’ behavior towards further pro-social or pro-environmental behavior. However, the underlying psychological mechanisms responsible for such an effect of gamification largely remain empirically untested. This is the focus of this study.

Fieseler, Christian; Bucher, Eliane & Lutz, Christoph (2017)

Alone in the Crowd – Alienation in Digital Labor

[Academic lecture]. 33rd EGOS Colloquium, Copenhagen 2017.

On the basis of a survey among 804 workers on the crowdsourcing platform Amazon Mechanical Turk, we show that (1) alienation, a form of detachment from working life, in the form of powerlessness, meaninglessness, normlessness, isolation, and self-estrangement, is often present among workers. On the basis of qualitative vignettes, we furthermore argue that (2) the perception of digital labor as alienating is not universal, depending on the perceived importance of workers’ labor and the relational nature with their contractors.

Bucher, Eliane; Fieseler, Christian & Lutz, Christoph (2017)

Alienation in Digital Labor

[Academic lecture]. 67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA).

On the basis of a survey among 804 workers on the crowdsourcing platform Amazon Mechanical Turk, we show that (1) alienation, a form of detachment from working life, may be present in digital workplaces in the form of powerlessness, meaninglessness, normlessness, isolation, and self-estrangement. Furthermore, on the basis of qualitative vignettes, we argue that (2) the perception of digital labor as alienating is not universal, perhaps because it is often wrapped in a learned narrative of entrepreneurial belonging and empowerment. Finally, on the basis of a multiple-group analysis, we propose that (3) individual mattering (high vs. low), in the form of perceived awareness, importance and reliance may be the key to explaining differences in the effect of alienating factors such as powerlessness, meaninglessness, normlessness, isolation and self-estrangement on emotional exhaustion, work engagement and organizational commitment in the digital workplace.

Maltseva, Kateryna & Fieseler, Christian (2016)

A Gamification Approach to Corporate Social Responsibility Communications

[Academic lecture]. 66th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association.

Recent years saw increasing efforts in engaging stakeholders in ecological and social responsibility communications. However, traditionally neither the engagement nor the interest of stakeholders was easy to achieve for organizations, with attention divided, and a lack of understanding and interest often hampering the effectiveness of corporate social responsibility efforts. With our research, we propose that hedonic aspects of stakeholder engagement, in particular embodied through the process of gamifying ecological, social and governance issues, might be an ample addition to more traditional utilitarian CSR communication efforts. Specifically, we propose, based on experimental research, that the addition of gamified elements such goal-achievement, challenge, feedback and reward may better attract attention through increasing the desire for information. Our research thus complements traditional research into CSR-communications with insights about the effectiveness of hedonic message factors, and is an effort to help engage stakeholders in an increasingly attention-starved communication environment.

Bucher, Eliane; Fieseler, Christian & Hoffmann, Christian Pieter (2016)

An Exploration of the Worker-Platform Relationships in the Context of Crowdsourced Digital Labor

[Academic lecture]. 32nd European Group for Organizational Studies Conference.

Lutz, Christoph; Bucher, Eliane, Fieseler, Christian & Hoffmann, Christian Pieter (2016)

The Sharing Paradox: The Role of Privacy in the Sharing Economy

[Academic lecture]. 32nd European Group for Organizational Studies Conference.

Internet-mediated sharing is booming to an unprecedented degree. Millions of people around the world share their possessions with others – often with complete strangers. The shared goods can amount to substantial financial and immaterial value, as is the case for shared rooms and flats via Airbnb and similar services. While the question of trust in the sharing economy is being increasingly explored, surprisingly little research is devoted to privacy in the sharing economy. In this contribution, we tackle that research gap and explore the sharing-privacy nexus. In analogy to the privacy paradox in online contexts such as social media, we propose a sharing paradox for the sharing economy: Users attach considerable value to their goods, yet they share them quite willingly. We describe ways that privacy can be endangered with sharing, present a variety of explanations how the sharing paradox can be entangled and finally suggest how empirical studies could go about researching it.

Bucher, Eliane; Fieseler, Christian & Hoffmann, Christian Pieter (2016)

Unfairness by Design? Examining Institutionalized Inequality on Digital On-Demand Service Platforms

[Academic lecture]. 66th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association.

As new information and communication technologies change organizations, they affect how organizations contribute to or mitigate inequalities in the workplace. Currently, online platforms facilitate the dissolution of organizational structures, the unravelling of jobs, and the allocation of clearly defined tasks to a crowd of willing laborers. Digital on-demand service platforms constitute a new institutional setting for the labor of an ever-increasing dispersed, anonymous and fluid workforce. Based on a qualitative survey among 203 US workers active on the microwork platform amazon mechanical turk, we analyze inequalities embedded in the institutional setting provided by on-demand service platforms and their effect on perceived workplace fairness. We explore the triadic relationship between employers/requesters, workers and platform providers, focusing on the power of platform providers to design settings and processes that one-sidedly disadvantage workers. We differentiate workers’ perceptions of the role of platform providers in ensuring workplace fairness. Based on workers’ suggestions for increasing fairness, we identify systematic conflicts of interest between workers and platform providers. We derive policy suggestions for mitigating inequalities ingrained in on-demand service platforms and for bolstering workplace fairness in the age of platform capitalism.

Kost, Dominique; Wong, Sut I & Fieseler, Christian (2016)

Finding meaning in a hopeless place: The construction of meaning in digital Microwork.

[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2007 St. Gallen School of Management Ph.D.
2004 University of St. Gallen Master of Science
2003 CEIBS China Europe International Business School M.B.A.
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2016 - Present Harvard University, Berkman Center for Internet and Society Faculty Associate
2016 - Present Norwegian Business School Bi Professor
2016 - 2017 Stanford University Visiting Scholar
2014 - 2016 BI Norwegian Business School Associate professor
2013 - 2014 Harvard University, Berkman Center for Internet and Society Visiting Scholar