Faculty Profile

Christoph Lutz

Associate Professor - Department of Communication and Culture

Biography

Christoph Lutz (Dr. oec. University of St. Gallen) is Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication and Culture and at the Nordic Centre for Internet & Society, BI Norwegian Business School (Oslo). His research interests cover various aspects of social media, in particular participation, privacy and digital inequalities. In addition, Christoph is interested in digital labor, the sharing economy and social robots.

Publications

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

Sharing by Proxy: Invisible Users in the Sharing Economy

First Monday, forthcoming

With the future of work increasingly data-driven, platforms automate decisions based on the collection of vast quantities of user data. However, non-users constitute a challenge as they provide little to no data for either platforms or other users. We focus on a category of (non-)users that has not received any attention in research: users-by-proxy. Users-by-proxy make use of sharing services but they are not themselves part of the sharing transaction. Platforms cannot analyze their behavior to tailor services or allocate labor most effectively. Users-by-proxy also have significant implications for trust and reputation mechanisms. In this conceptual contribution, we provide a definition of users-by-proxy as a third category between users and non-users, developing a typology of users-by-proxy based on motives of non-/use. We focus on the ramifications of users-by-proxy for the future of work and their significance for the limits of data-driven decision making.

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

Collective Action and Provider Classification in the Sharing Economy

New technology, work and employment 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.

Rueben, Matthew; Aroyo, Alexander, Lutz, Christoph, Schmölz, Johannes, Van Cleynenbreugel, Pieter, Corti, Andrea, Agrawal, Siddharth & Smart, William D. (2018)

Themes and Research Directions in Privacy-Sensitive Robotics

Advanced Robotics and its Social Impacts (ARSO)

Micheli, Marina; Lutz, Christoph & Büchi, Moritz (2018)

Digital footprints: an emerging dimension of digital inequality

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society Doi: 10.1108/JICES-02-2018-0014

Purpose: This conceptual contribution is based on the observation that digital inequalities literature has not sufficiently considered digital footprints as an important social differentiator. Design/methodology/approach: Literature on digital inequalities is combined with research on privacy, big data, and algorithms. The focus on current findings from an interdisciplinary point-of-view allows for a synthesis of different perspectives and conceptual development of digital footprints as a new dimension of digital inequality. Findings: Digital footprints originate from active content creation, passive participation, and platform-generated data. The literature review shows how different social groups may experience systematic advantages or disadvantages based on their digital footprints. A special emphasis should be on those at the margins, for example users of low socioeconomic background. Originality/value: By combining largely independent research fields, the contribution opens new avenues for studying digital inequalities, including innovative methodologies to do so.

Lutz, Christoph & Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie (2018)

Consumer segmentation within the sharing economy: The case of Airbnb

Journal of Business Research, 88, s. 187- 196. Doi: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.03.019

The sharing economy is a global phenomenon with rapid growth potential. While research has begun to explore segmentation between users and non-users, only limited research has looked at consumer segmentation within sharing economy services. In this paper, we build on this research gap by investigating consumer segmentation within a single sharing economy platform: Airbnb. Utilizing a mixed methods approach, with both a quantitative survey and a qualitative content analysis of Airbnb listings, we compare two different types of accommodation offered on Airbnb: shared room and entire home. Our findings indicate that within a single platform, the variety between offerings can create distinct consumer segments based on both demographics and behavioral criteria. We also find that Airbnb hosts use marketing logic to target their listings towards specific consumer segments. However, there is not, in all cases, strong alignment between consumer segmentation and host targeting, leading to potentially reduced matching efficiency.

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, s. 636- 645.

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

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.

Maltseva, Kateryna & Lutz, Christoph (2018)

A Quantum of Self: A Study of Self-Quantification and Self-Disclosure

Computers in Human Behavior, 81, s. 102- 114. Doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2017.12.006

An increasing number of people are tracking their fitness activities, work performance and leisure experiences using body sensors (e.g., wrist-bands or smart watches) and mobile applications. This trend, referred to as self-quantification, is driven by various motivations, from curiosity to a desire to improve performance. As self-quantification by means of digital devices is a new behavioural trend, the phenomenon has only recently received academic attention. Neither antecedents nor the implications of this phenomenon have been thoroughly investigated. This paper aims to address these gaps. Based on the literature on selfquantification, privacy and self-disclosure, we empirically test the relationship among personality traits, privacy, self-quantification and self-disclosure. The findings suggest that conscientiousness and emotional stability are associated with self-quantification. In addition, we find a significant effect of self-quantification on self-disclosure in the survey context, indicating that individuals who habitually use self-tracking applications and wearable devices are also more likely to disclose personal data in other contexts.

Lutz, Christoph & Hoffmann, Christian Pieter (2018)

Making Academic Social Capital Visible: Relating SNS-Based, Alternative and Traditional Metrics of Scientific Impact

Social science computer review, 36(5), s. 632- 643. Doi: 10.1177/0894439317721181

The reliable assessment of individual faculty members’ contributions is a key challenge in the governance of research institutions. Traditionally, scientific impact is estimated based on bibliographic analyses. With online platforms, particularly social media, gaining popularity among academics, new opportunities for the analysis of scientific impact arise. Proponents of the “altmetrics” approach hold that both general purpose social media and services tailored to the scientific community allow for a range of usage metrics that may inform scientific impact assessment. We propose that relational analyses of social media platforms may shed new light on these understudied dimensions of scientific impact and may enrich assessment efforts. Based on a sample of Swiss management scholars’ active on ResearchGate, we conduct a social network analysis, derive relational metrics, and correlate these metrics with bibliometrics, webometrics, and altmetrics to gauge their potential to inform scientific impact assessment, specifically in business and management research.

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

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.

Blank, Grant & Lutz, Christoph (2018)

Benefits and harms from Internet Use: A differentiated analysis of Great Britain

New Media & Society, 20(2), s. 618- 640. Doi: 10.1177/1461444816667135 - Fulltekst i vitenarkiv

Recent studies have enhanced our understanding of digital divides by investigating outcomes of Internet use. We extend this research to analyse positive and negative outcomes of Internet use in the United Kingdom. We apply structural equation modelling to data from a large Internet survey to compare the social structuration of Internet benefits with harms. We find that highly educated users benefit most from using the web. Elderly individuals benefit more than younger ones. Next to demographic characteristics, technology attitudes are the strongest predictors of online benefits. The harms from using the Internet are structured differently, with educated users and those with high levels of privacy concerns being most susceptible to harm. This runs counter to intuitions based on prior digital divide research, where those at the margins should be most at risk. While previous research on digital inequality has only looked at benefits, the inclusion of harms draws a more differentiated picture.

Blank, Grant & Lutz, Christoph (2017)

Representativeness of Social Media in Great Britain: Investigating Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram

American Behavioral Scientist, 61(7), s. 741- 756. Doi: 10.1177/0002764217717559 - Fulltekst i vitenarkiv

Sociological studies show that Internet access, skills, uses, and outcomes vary between different population segments. However, we lack differentiated statistical evidence of the social characteristics of users of distinct social media platforms. We address this issue using a representative survey of Great Britain and investigate the social characteristics of six major social media platforms. We find that age and socioeconomic status are driving forces of several—but not all—of these platforms. The findings suggest that no social media platform is representative of the general population. The unrepresentativeness has major implications for research that uses social media as a data source. Social media data cannot be used to generalize to any population other than themselves.

Lutz, Christoph & Ranzini, Giulia (2017)

Where Dating Meets Data: Investigating Social and Institutional Privacy Concerns on Tinder

Social Media + Society, 3(1), s. 1- 12. Doi: 10.1177/2056305117697735

The widespread diffusion of location-based real-time dating or mobile dating apps, such as Tinder and Grindr, is changing dating practices. The affordances of these dating apps differ from those of “old school” dating sites, for example, by privileging picture-based selection, minimizing room for textual self-description, and drawing upon existing Facebook profile data. They might also affect users’ privacy perceptions as these services are location based and often include personal conversations and data. Based on a survey collected via Mechanical Turk, we assess how Tinder users perceive privacy concerns. We find that the users are more concerned about institutional privacy than social privacy. Moreover, different motivations for using Tinder—hooking up, relationship, friendship, travel, self-validation, and entertainment—affect social privacy concerns more strongly than institutional concerns. Finally, loneliness significantly increases users’ social and institutional privacy concerns, while narcissism decreases them.

Lutz, Christoph & Hoffmann, Christian Pieter (2017)

The dark side of online participation: exploring non-, passive and negative participation

Information, Communication & Society, 20(6), s. 876- 897. Doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2017.1293129 - Fulltekst i vitenarkiv

Studies on the “second-level digital divide” explore the socio-economic antecedents and effects of (a lack of) user participation on the Internet. At the same time, some have criticized a normatively affirmative bias in online participation research as well as a one-sided focus on observable user activity. This contribution addresses the ensuing call for a more nuanced understanding of online participation in general, and online political participation in particular. We differentiate the online participation concept based on a focus group study among 96 Internet users from a broad range of social backgrounds in Germany. We derive a framework of eight types of online (non-)participation along three conceptual axes: activity, agency and social valence. Taking user experiences and terminology into account, we differentiate participation from non-participation, active from passive and positive from negative (non-)participation. The proposed typology allows for a more balanced evaluation and more focused exploration of phenomena such as destructive or involuntary online participation as well as online abstention, boycotts, self-censorship, lurking or digital exclusion.

Ranzini, Giulia & Lutz, Christoph (2017)

Love at First Swipe? Explaining Tinder Self-Presentation and Motives

Mobile Media & Communication, 5(1), s. 80- 101. Doi: 10.1177/2050157916664559

The emergence of Location-Based-Real-Time-Dating (LBRTD) apps such as Tinder has introduced a new way for users to get to know potential partners nearby. The design of the apps represents a departure from “old-school” dating sites as it relies on the affordances of mobile media. This might change the way individuals portray themselves as their authentic or deceptive self. Based on survey data collected via Mechanical Turk and using structural equation modeling, we assess how Tinder users present themselves, exploring at the same time the impact of their personality characteristics, their demographics and their motives of use. We find that self-esteem is the most important psychological predictor, fostering real self-presentation but decreasing deceptive self-presentation. The motives of use – hooking up/sex, friendship, relationship, traveling, self-validation, and entertainment – also affect the two forms of self-presentation. Demographic characteristics and psychological antecedents influence the motives for using Tinder, with gender differences being especially pronounced. Women use Tinder more for friendship and self-validation, while men use it more for hooking up/sex, traveling and relationship seeking. We put the findings into context, discuss the limitations of our approach and provide avenues for future research into the topic.

Lutz, Christoph; Hoffmann, Christian Pieter & Meckel, Miriam (2017)

Online Serendipity: A Contextual Differentiation of Antecedents and Outcomes

Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 68(7), s. 1698- 1710. Doi: 10.1002/asi.23771

Lutz, Christoph; Strathoff, Pepe, Tamò, Aurelia & Kehr, Flavius (2016)

Privacy through Multiple Lenses: Applying the St. Galler Privacy Interaction Framework

ex ante, 1(2), s. 49- 56.

Hoffmann, Christian Pieter; Lutz, Christoph & Ranzini, Giulia (2016)

Privacy cynicism: A new approach to the privacy paradox

Cyberpsychology : Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberpspace, 10(4) Doi: 10.5817/CP2016-4-7

Privacy concerns among Internet users are consistently found to be high. At the same time, these concerns do not appear to generate a corresponding wave of privacy protection behavior. A number of studies have addressed the apparent divergence between users’ privacy concerns and behavior, with results varying according to context. Previous research has examined user trust, lack of risk awareness and the privacy calculus as potential solutions to the “privacy paradox”. Complementing these perspectives, we propose that some users faced with seemingly overwhelming privacy threats develop an attitude of “privacy cynicism”, leading to a resigned neglect of protection behavior. Privacy cynicism serves as a cognitive coping mechanism, allowing users to rationalize taking advantage of online services despite serious privacy concerns. We conduct an interdisciplinary literature review to define the core concept, then empirically substantiate it based on qualitative data collected among German Internet users.

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

Hoffmann, Christian Pieter; Lutz, Christoph & Meckel, Miriam (2016)

A relational altmetric? Network centrality on ResearchGate as an indicator of scientific impact

Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 67(4), s. 765- 775. Doi: 10.1002/asi.23423

Social media are becoming increasingly popular in scientific communication. A range of platforms, such as academic social networking sites (SNS), are geared specifically towards the academic community. Proponents of the altmetrics approach have pointed out that new media allow for new avenues of scientific impact assessment. Traditional impact measures based on bibliographic analysis have long been criticized for overlooking the relational dynamics of scientific impact. We therefore propose an application of social network analysis to researchers' interactions on an academic social networking site to generate potential new metrics of scientific impact. Based on a case study conducted among a sample of Swiss management scholars, we analyze how centrality measures derived from the participants' interactions on the academic SNS ResearchGate relate to traditional, offline impact indicators. We find that platform engagement, seniority, and publication impact contribute to members' indegree and eigenvector centrality on the platform, but less so to closeness or betweenness centrality. We conclude that a relational approach based on social network analyses of academic SNS, while subject to platform-specific dynamics, may add richness and differentiation to scientific impact assessment.

Lutz, Christoph (2016)

A Social Milieu Approach to the Online Participation Divides in Germany

Social Media + Society, 2(1), s. 1- 14. Doi: 10.1177/2056305115626749

Hoffmann, Christian Pieter; Lutz, Christoph & Meckel, Miriam (2015)

Digital Natives or Digital Immigrants? The Impact of User Characteristics on Online Trust

Journal of Management Information Systems, 31(3), s. 138- 171. Doi: 10.1080/07421222.2014.995538

Hoffmann, Christian Pieter & Lutz, Christoph (2015)

The impact of online media on stakeholder engagement and the governance of corporations

Journal of Public Affairs, 15(2), s. 163- 174. Doi: 10.1002/pa.1535

Hoffmann, Christian Pieter; Lutz, Christoph, Meckel, Miriam & Ranzini, Giulia (2015)

Diversity by Choice: Applying a Social Cognitive Perspective to the Role of Public Service Media in the Digital Age

International Journal of Communication, 9, s. 1360- 1381.

Hoffmann, Christian Pieter; Lutz, Christoph & Meckel, Miriam (2015)

Content creation on the Internet: A social cognitive perspective on the participation divide

Information, Communication and Society, 18(6), s. 696- 716. Doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2014.991343

Lutz, Christoph; Hoffmann, Christian Pieter & Meckel, Miriam (2014)

Beyond just politics: A systematic literature review of online participation

First Monday, 19(7) Doi: 10.5210/fm.v19i7.5260

Lutz, Christoph; Ranzini, Giulia & Meckel, Miriam (2014)

Stress 2.0: Social Media Overload Among Swiss Teenagers

Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Purpose Technostress and information overload are serious challenges of the information age. An alarming number of people exhibit dangerously intensive media consumption, while Internet and mobile phone addictions are a widespread phenomenon. At the same time, new media overexposure among young people is understudied, even more so when social network sites are concerned. Methodology/approach This study explores how feelings of overexposure and stress relate to the self-expressive needs of teenagers. It presents and discusses the results of a large-scale survey conducted during an exhibition on media overload in Switzerland. A total of 6,989 adolescents provided answers on their media overload and stress. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to quantify the influence of demographic characteristics on social network site related stress. Findings While only a minority of 13 percent of respondents feels stressed by social network sites, more than one third has the feeling of spending too much time on such platforms. Age, gender, and language background (French vs. German speaking) shape the overload propensity, with older, male and French-speaking teenagers most at risk for social network site stress. Social implications The study proposes that social divides exist in teenagers’ ability to cope with a specific affordance of social network sites, namely their constant status updates and potential of overexposure. Furthermore, it reflects upon the relation between identity performance and stress. Originality of chapter The chapter is one of the first to investigate social network site overload with a broad sample approach, quantifying antecedents of the phenomenon.

Felzmann, Heike; Fosch Villaronga, Eduard, Lutz, Christoph & Tamò-Larrieux, Aurelia (2018)

How Transparent Is your AI? Ethical, Legal, and Societal Understanding of Transparency in the Context of AI

[Academic lecture]. Amsterdam Privacy Conference.

Lutz, Christoph; Ranzini, Giulia & Hoffmann, Christian Pieter (2018)

Powerless and Distrustful, but not Resigned: An Exploration of Privacy Cynicism in Germany

[Academic lecture]. Amsterdam Privacy Conference.

In this contribution, we look at the phenomenon of privacy cynicism in Germany. Privacy cynicism describes an attitude of uncertainty, powerlessness and mistrust towards the handling of personal data by online services, rendering privacy protection behavior subjectively futile. Using data from a large survey in Germany in 2017 (N=1008), we develop an instrument to measure privacy cynicism. Based on a principal component analysis, we identify four dimensions of privacy cynicism towards institutions handling personal data (such as Internet companies): mistrust, uncertainty, powerlessness and resignation. Powerlessness and mistrust are most pronounced and prevalent among the survey respondents, while resignation is the least prevalent dimension.

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.

Lutz, Christoph & Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie (2018)

User Perceptions of Fairness and Regulation in the Sharing Economy

[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management Annual Meeting.

The evolution of the sharing economy over the last decade has ushered in a variety of techno-logical advances, particularly with regard to intelligent matching software and connectivity services. However, these advancements are often framed within a dichotomy of ‘beneficial innovation’ and ‘obstructive regulation’. Although greater insight into the necessity of regula-tion is crucial, current discussions surrounding the merits and desirability of regulation, among policy makers, academics, and platform advocates, are conducted in a top-down fashion. What is often left out is the user perspective - a critical oversight if the purpose regulation is presented as resolving social concerns. In an attempt to resolve this omission, for the context of the sharing economy at least, we therefore examine user perceptions on regulatory desira-bility. In particular, we suggest that one of the most fundamental shapers of a user’s perspec-tive on regulation may be a user’s own experiences of the sharing economy, where a key fac-tor is the perceived fairness of the service. As such, we examine the impact of procedural, interpersonal, and informational fairness perceptions on regulatory desirability, in addition to other demographic and use-based antecedents. Based on a large-scale survey in 12 European countries, we find that procedural fairness has a positive effect on the desire for regulation, while interpersonal fairness has a negative effect. The findings are interpreted in light of the sharing economy, fairness, and regulation literature.

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

Sharing by Proxy: Invisible Users in the Sharing Economy

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

With the future of work increasingly data-driven, platforms automate decisions based on the collection of vast quantities of user data. However, non-users constitute a challenge as they provide little to no data for either platforms or other users. We focus on a category of (non-)users that has not received any attention in research: users-by-proxy. Users-by-proxy make use of sharing services but they are not themselves part of the sharing transaction. Platforms cannot analyze their behavior to tailor services or allocate labor most effectively. Users-by-proxy also have significant implications for trust and reputation mechanisms. In this conceptual contribution, we provide a definition of users-by-proxy as a third category between users and non-users, developing a typology of users-by-proxy based on motives of non-/use. We focus on the ramifications of users-by-proxy for the future of work and their significance for the limits of data-driven decision making.

Lutz, Christoph; Fosch Villaronga, Eduard & Tamò-Larrieux, Aurelia (2018)

Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues of Healthcare Robots: Consulting Expert Voices

[Academic lecture]. 2018 ICA Preconference "Communicating with Machines: Theory and Practice".

This contribution investigates the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) of social robots in healthcare. Typical examples of such robots are mobile assistants, cognitive therapeutic robots, and drones. Our research contributes to the existing literature by providing preliminary findings from four international workshops held between 2015 and 2017 that gathered experts in the field. Specifically, we highlight challenges to the use of social robots in healthcare that are connected to human-machine-communication, such as privacy, autonomy, and dehumanization of interactions. Potential solutions to these ELSI, as discussed in the workshops, are summarized.

Lutz, Christoph & Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie (2018)

Choice and Discrimination in the Sharing Economy

[Academic lecture]. Weizenbaum Symposium: The Future of Work and Innovation in a Networked Society.

Sharing economy services enable flexible access to underused assets. However, the selection process of such services can swiftly transition into a mechanism of discrimination. Previous research has found evidence for discrimination and noted a tension between the principles of freedom of choice and anti-discrimination. We complement these investigations through a mixed-methods study that combines focus groups and a quantitative survey. Our results indicate that large part of sharing economy users desire a high degree of choice and flexibility. Sharing platforms are thus in the difficult situation of allowing choice while curbing discrimination.

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.

Quan-Haase, Anabel; Gosse, Chandell, Lutz, Christoph, Bronson, Zak & McDougall, Alyssa (2018)

Motivations for Engaging in Social and Political Online Campaigns

[Academic lecture]. General Online Research 2018.

Much debate has surrounded the value of online campaigns for social and political activism. On the one hand, networked publics provide alternative means of engaging, reaching out, and keeping activists involved. On the other hand, they are dismissed as 'slacktivism' and simple 'feel good' measures, geared toward short-term, low-risk forms of engagements with no long-lasting impact. We examine three research questions about social and political online campaigns (SPOCs) and build on the theory of networked publics: 1) What are the key motivations and factors influencing participation in SPOCs? 2) What influences non-participation in SPOCs? 3) Do SPOCs mobilize actions beyond the immediate campaign and create spill-over effects? An online survey was used (active December 2015 until June 2016) for data collection because of its potential to reach diverse social groups and its convenience to both participants and researchers. The total number of respondents was N=324. Facebook was the most frequently used SNS; for 94% Facebook was one of the top-3 SNS, for 53% it was Instagram (53%), and for 46% it was Twitter. Using Poisson regression, we found that awareness and a desire for effecting change were overarching motivations across all SPOCs. Awareness was the top motive for all campaigns (312 reports), followed by a desire to see change and being nominated. Knowing a friend or family member who has a relationship to the cause, hearing about the SPOC in the news, and the SPOC having a motivational marketing strategy were only considered top motives for one campaign each. Social pressure, having a personal relationship to the cause, believing that participation in the SPOC counts as activism, and participating so that people in one’s social network know they support that cause were not considered top motivations for any campaign. In addition, we found that a third of participants are very engaged online in SPOCS, while 38 per cent did not participate in any form of digital activism. The data demonstrate that social pressure is less important, but respondents did want their friends to know they participated.

Hoffmann, Christian Pieter; Lutz, Christoph, Müller, Severina & Meckel, Miriam (2017)

Accidental Online Political Engagement: The Role of Social Media Escapism in Online Political Participation

[Academic lecture]. Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Annual Conference.

Recently, much scholarship has investigated how social media affect citizens’ political participation, online and offline. In general, social media use has a positive but weak effect on participation. However, different use types exert a differentiated influence. While information-rich and active uses result in more participation, entertainment-oriented and passive uses lead to less participation. In this contribution, we introduce the concept of escapist Facebook use. We argue that Facebook might activate users to participate politically through what we call accidental political engagement, even if used in escapist ways. Based on a survey of 762 Facebook users in Germany and using linear regression, we test the influence of three Facebook use types on online political participation: consumptive, participatory and productive. Consumptive use has a negative and productive use a positive effect on online political participation. Escapism has a small positive effect. It moderates consumptive use negatively and productive use positively, strengthening existing tendencies.

Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie & Lutz, Christoph (2017)

So Close, Yet So Far Away: The Paradox of Status and Distinction among Instagram Influencers

[Academic lecture]. Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Annual Conference.

Founded in 2010 as a platform for image-based sharing among friends, Instagram has evolved into a locus of economic activity due to the emergence of ‘Influencer marketing’. Some users monetise their followers by integrating sponsored ‘advertorials’ into posts. By cultivating a façade of honesty when making product recommendations to their audiences, Influencers leverage their perceived intimacy and relatability into profit. Influencers largely frame their success as merely the result of self-motivated perseverance. However, this framing obscures the offline-capital necessary for emulation. In line with previous research, we propose that Instagram is a highly unequal platform, reproducing or even reinforcing status hierarchies. Our contribution explores the paradoxical nature of the ‘Instagram Influencer’: they require different forms of capital to succeed but must suggest counterfactually that there is only limited distinction between them and their personal audience. To investigate this paradox, we conducted a mixed-methods empirical investigation in February 2017, relying on user-generated data. Firstly, Instagram posts were compiled (n=14,555) from two hashtags, #sponsored and #sponsoredpost. An initial social network analysis was carried out on this data. Secondly, 50 Influencer accounts were selected based on network centrality. Textual and visual data was collected from each account for in-depth qualitative coding. The data analysis revealed a proliferation of markers of socio-economic elevation, suggestive of the offline-capital necessary to succeed. However, corresponding to the need for Influencers to maintain relatability, there was limited ostensible distinction in the data. Instead, Influencers used language suggestive of intimacy and friendship, sharing their success with their followers. PaperSession-34: Politics 2

Etter, Michael; Lutz, Christoph, Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie & Ranzini, Giulia (2017)

Coping with Surveillance Capitalism in the Sharing Economy

[Academic lecture]. Reshaping Work in the Platform Economy.

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

Proxy Users in the Sharing Economy

[Academic lecture]. Reshaping Work in the Platform Economy.

Bucher, Eliane; Lutz, Christoph & Fleck, Matthes (2017)

The Oversharing Economy – Investigating Authenticity on Airbnb

[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management Annual Meeting.

The peer-to-peer sharing economy facilitates instances of situational closeness between con-sumer and provider that would usually occur only within a closed circle of family and friends. In the context of room sharing experiences, temporary spatial closeness with the provider (host) may create for the consumer (guest) instances of perceived interpersonal contamination in the form of ambient contamination, artifact contamination, interpersonal contact, or privacy intrusion. Based on a qualitative interview-study as well as on a quantitative survey among users of the room sharing platform Airbnb, we show that authenticity plays a significant role in shaping closeness perceptions. Further, we show that users who seek authenticity in their sharing experiences are significantly less disturbed by instances of interpersonal contamina-tion and that negative closeness perceptions, such as interpersonal contact or contaminating objects, have a strong impact on intentions to engage in room sharing in the future. Our results may help to explain one of the core drivers behind both the success of the sharing business model and the success of secondary services in the sharing economy such as key handling or house cleaning services. However, while this secondary service layer reduces instances of interpersonal contamination, it also reduces the potential for authenticity in the sharing economy.

Lutz, Christoph & Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie (2017)

Participation Divides Amongst Airbnb Users

[Academic lecture]. 8th International Conference on Social Media & Society.

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.

Newlands, Gemma Elisabeth Marjorie & Lutz, Christoph (2017)

Some #Influencers Are More Equal Than Others: Normalising Distinction On Instagram

[Academic lecture]. Connected Life Conference.

Founded as a platform for image-based sharing among friends, Instagram has recently evolved into a locus of economic activity due to the emergence of Influencer marketing. Some users have become Instagram Influencers who monetise their follower base by integrating sponsored advertorials into their posts. By cultivating a façade of honesty when making product recommendations, Influencers leverage their perceived relatability into profit through calculated authenticity. As part of their self-branding, Influencers frame their success as the result of passion-driven perseverance. However, framing success as being universally achievable obscures the offline capital necessary for emulation, particularly given the widespread use of professional management services for account curation and photography. Success and opportunities for sponsorship are thus largely limited to those who can afford the outlay of money and time required. In line with previous research, we propose that Instagram is a highly unequal platform, reproducing or even reinforcing status hierarchies through subtle mechanisms. Our contribution explores the paradoxical nature of the Instagram Influencer. Becoming an Influencer requires different forms of capital to succeed. However, Influencers must suggest counterfactually that there is only limited distinction between them and their personal audience, maintaining the relatability and authenticity required for Influencer marketing. Our research questions are thus concerned with how Influencers negotiate this paradox: Do Instagram Influencers display status markers of socio-economic elevation? How do Instagram Influencers normalise their status markers, maintaining relatability with their audiences? To address these questions, we conducted a mixed-methods empirical investigation in February 2017, combining social network analysis and qualitative textual analysis. The analysis revealed wide proliferation of markers of socio-economic elevation. Economic capital was evoked through hashtags such as #luxury and references to high-end fashion brands. A recurring theme was the use of expensive professional ‘secondary services’. Cultural capital markers appeared frequently. Influencers revealed extensive background knowledge and distinct tastes. Moreover, Influencers used certain cues, such as famous connections, to indicate their social capital. However, corresponding to the need for Influencers to maintain relatability, we noted limited overt distinction in the data. Affective language was employed and private details were presented to suggest a personal, almost intimate, relationship. Sponsored posts were framed as merely sharing a secret among friends and the Influencer’s success was even described as being a ‘shared journey’ among equal partners, regardless of the unequal division of financial rewards.

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.

Lutz, Christoph & Hoffmann, Christian Pieter (2016)

The Dark Side of Online Participation: Exploring Non- and Negative Participation

[Academic lecture]. Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Annual 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.

Lutz, Christoph; Hoffmann, Christian Pieter & Meckel, Miriam (2016)

Academic Social Capital? Relating Centrality on ResearchGate to Established Impact Measures

[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management Annual Meeting.

The reliable assessment of individual faculty members’ contributions is a key challenge in the governance of research institutions. Traditionally, scientific impact is estimated based on bibliographic analyses. With online platforms, particularly social media, gaining popularity among academics, new opportunities for the analysis of scientific communication, cooperation, attention, and esteem arise. Proponents of the “altmetrics” approach hold that both general purpose social media as well as services tailored to the scientific community allow for a range of usage metrics that may inform scientific impact assessment. One important criticism aimed at traditional bibliographic approaches to impact assessment is their lack of regard for the social dynamics of the scientific process and the importance of social capital for researchers’ impact and advancement. We propose that relational analyses of social media platforms may shed new light on these understudied dimensions of scientific impact and may enrich assessment efforts. Based on a sample of Swiss management scholars active on ResearchGate, we conduct a social network analysis, derive relational metrics and correlate these metrics with bibliometrics, webometrics and altmetrics to gauge their potential to inform scientific impact assessment, specifically in business and management research.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2015 University of St.Gallen Ph.D.
2010 Universität Zurich Lic.Phil
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2016 - Present University of Leipzig Researcher
2016 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Assistant Professor
2015 - 2015 University of Oxford Visiting researcher
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