Employee Profile

Peter Kalum Schou

Associate Professor - Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship


Meurer, Madeleine; Waldkirch, Matthias, Schou, Peter Kalum, Bucher, Eliane & Burmeister-Lamp, Katrin (2021)

Digital affordances: how entrepreneurs access support in online communities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Small Business Economics

Waldkirch, Matthias; Bucher, Eliane, Schou, Peter Kalum & Grünwald, Eduard (2021)

Controlled by the algorithm, coached by the crowd–how HRM activities take shape on digital work platforms in the gig economy

International Journal of Human Resource Management, 32(12), s. 1- 36. Doi: 10.1080/09585192.2021.1914129

An increasing number of workers turn to digital platforms – such as Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork – as an alternative to traditional work arrangements. Digital platforms govern how gig workers join, move through, and leave platforms – often with the help of self-learning algorithms. While digital platforms and algorithms take on HRM practices, we know little about how HRM activities unfold on digital work platforms in the gig economy. The study therefore aims to understand how HRM activities apply to and take shape on digital platforms by studying worker perceptions. We combine supervised text analysis with an in-depth qualitative content analysis, relying on 12’924 scraped comments from an online forum of workers on Upwork. We outline five conversations on HRM practices that pertain to access and mobility, training and development, scoring and feedback, appraisal and control and platform literacy and support. Based on these findings, we build five propositions about how digital work platforms employ HRM activities. Our paper contributes to recent work on HRM on digital platforms by (1) developing a new mixed-methods approach that illustrates how the content of HRM practices may differ from traditional organizations, (2) highlighting the changing role of actors in creating HRM practices by introducing the concept of ‘crowd-created’ HRM practices, and (3) conceptualizing how digital platforms employ a ‘hybrid HRM approach’.

Schou, Peter Kalum; Bucher, Eliane & Waldkirch, Matthias (2021)

Entrepreneurial learning in online communities

Small Business Economics, 1, s. 1- 22. Doi: 10.1007/s11187-021-00502-8

New digital technologies possess the potential to transform entrepreneurial processes, such as how entrepreneurs pursue opportunities and access funding and how they learn. How entrepreneurs learn may be transformed as digital technologies provide new spaces for learning, such as online communities. Online communities can gather thousands of participants and provide entrepreneurs with new opportunities for learning that are not limited by time, space, or social class. Yet, we know little about how entrepreneurs take advantage of the new digital opportunities of learning. To remedy this, we studied a large online community of entrepreneurs on Reddit (r/startups), where we qualitatively analyzed the top-voted 100 threads from 2018 to 2019 (10,277 comments in total). By drawing on coactive vicarious learning, a theory that describes how learning is socially constructed through discursive interactions, we outline how entrepreneurial learning is socially constructed through conversations, which are taking place in different micro-learning contexts. Through identifying distinct entrepreneurial learning conversations, we build new theory on entrepreneurial learning in online communities. Our theorizing contributes to (1) the growing research on how entrepreneurial learning is socially constructed in communities, (2) the current debate on knowledge creation in online communities, and (3) the knowledge on how coactive vicarious learning unfolds in communities.

Schou, Peter Kalum (2020)

Towards a contingency theory of how network structures influence the entrepreneurial process

Academy of Management Proceedings, 1 Doi: 10.5465/ambpp.2020.13165abstract

Bucher, Eliane; Schou, Peter Kalum & Waldkirch, Matthias (2020)

Pacifying the Algorithm – Anticipatory compliance in the face of algorithmic management in the gig economy

Organization Doi: 10.1177/1350508420961531 - Full text in research archive

Algorithmic management is used to govern digital work platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr. However, algorithmic decision-making is often non-transparent and rapidly evolving, forcing workers to constantly adapt their behavior. Extant research focuses on how workers experience algorithmic management, while often disregarding the agency that workers exert in dealing with algorithmic management. Following a sociomateriality perspective, we investigate the practices that workers develop to comply with (assumed) mechanisms of algorithmic management on digital work platforms. Based on a systematic content analysis of 12,294 scraped comments from an online community of digital freelancers, we show how workers adopt direct and indirect “anticipatory compliance practices”, such as undervaluing their own work, staying under the radar, curtailing their outreach to clients and keeping emotions in check, in order to ensure their continued participation on the platform, which takes on the role of a shadow employer. Our study contributes to research on algorithmic management by (1) showing how workers adopt practices aimed at “pacifying” the platform algorithm; (2) outlining how workers engage in extra work; (3) showing how workers co-construct the power of algorithms through their anticipatory compliance practices.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2018 Copenhagen Business School PhD