Fair Labor in the Digitized Economy
A four-year research project funded by the Research Council of Norway
A four-year research project funded by the Research Council of Norway
In May and June 2019 Valentin Clemens from the University of Münster joined NCIS as a visiting research fellow. Valentin is currently finishing up his PhD, which tackles key questions surrounding platform design and platform-actor relationships in the sharing economy. Valentin used the time at NCIS to further his PhD projects and to engage with the center’s researchers active in the gig economy – he also participated in the Department's summer research summit. On Thursday, June 20th, Valentin presented and discussed his experimental design for a study on principal-agent relationships in the sharing economy titled: ‘More Agents More Opportunism – A Principal-Agent Perspective in a Triadic Framework’. The presentation was followed with great interest by scholars from NCIS and other research centres at the Department of Communication and Culture at BI. We were very happy to host Valentin at the Centre are looking forward to see his exciting research being published and discussed within the digital work and platform economy community.
The article "The Privacy Implications of Social robots: Scoping Review and Expert Interviews" by Christoph Lutz, Maren Schöttler and Christian Pieter Hoffmann is now available in Mobile Media & Communication, as part of a special issue.
This year’s Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management was held in Boston from Aug 9th-13th under the conference theme ‘Understanding the Inclusive Organization’. The Nordic Centre for Internet and Society was able to mark a strong presence, presenting four papers, chairing one paper session, co-organizing a symposium, hosting and participating in several PDWs as well as winning one award.
New Special Issue “Sharing Economy, Sharing Responsibility? Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Age” now out in the Journal of Business Ethics.
A new article by Christoph Lutz, Heike Felzmann (NUI Galway), Eduard Fosch Villaronga (University of Leiden), and Aurelia Tamo-Larrieux (University of Zurich) is now available in the open access journal Big Data & Society.
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.
The article "The Conditioning Function of Rating Mechanisms for Consumers in the Sharing Economy" by Gemma Newlands, Christoph Lutz and Christian Fieseler is now available in Internet Research.
Leading social media researcher Dr. Crystal Abidin from Curtin University (Perth, Australia) visited the Nordic Centre in March 2019, sharing fascinating insights about her research on Instagram influencers and social media culture.
An Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Responsibilities and Regulation of Influencer Marketing at the University of Maastricht
In our new article in the Journal of Management Inquiry, we together with our colleague Hannah Trittin from the Leuphana University, debate the strategic application of game elements to corporate messaging regarding societal and ecological concerns.
Eliane Bucher and Christoph Lutz presented ongoing research at the conference on "Artificial Intelligence: Ethical and Legal Implications" in Haifa, Israel.
Kateryna Maltseva, Christian Fieseler, and Hannah Trittin-Ulbrich has recently published an article named “The challenges of gamifying CSR communication” in the Corporate Communications: An International Journal. Gamification – the use of game elements in non-game context – is a tool that practitioners commonly use to craft persuasive messages to win the attention of their stakeholders. Gamification is seen as engaging and involving tool that has a potential to draw attention and sustain attention. In three online experiments, the authors demonstrate that the optimism around gamification effectiveness might be premature as there are boundary conditions to the effects of gamification on environmental attitude, intention and behavior. Article link: https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/CCIJ-09-2018-0092
Dr. Ben Marder from the University of Edinburgh visited the Nordic Centre in mid-November 2018, giving a talk about his research and exchanging experiences with Centre and Department members.
Last week, we had our colleague Andres Lombana from the Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University come over to meet a group of Norwegian social innovators and entrepreneurs, and to organize a workshop on digital social innovation.
Through the workshop, we aimed to map the local innovation ecosystem and learn about the different resources social entrepreneurs access and leverage to pursue their passions. With a participatory and exploratory methodology, the workshop helped us to better understand some of the practices that social innovators develop and the range of resources that exist in their local environment.
Creating maps of the local innovation ecosystems in Norway helped us gain a holistic understanding of the complex system that supports the innovation process, and its strengths and weaknesses. We learned that one of the major challenges for social entrepreneurs is to be able to navigate and connect the worlds of non-profit NGOs, government agencies, and start-ups in a way that makes a project scalable without losing widespread acceptance. We learned a lot during this workshop, and are looking forward to developing the notion of digital social innovation further in the years to come.
As part of this year’s United Nation’s Internet Governance Forum in Paris, we organized a workshop together with our colleagues from Harvard University, Facebook, Google and UNICEF on Emerging Youth Practices and the Digital Economy.
Our workshop was concerned with exploring how youth may enter, are part of, and thrive in the digital economy. As part of the discussion during the workshop, we established that the participation of youth in the digital economy is impacted not only by inequalities in terms of Internet access, but also by gaps around factors such as a) level of connectivity, b) socioeconomic status, c) quality of education and d) degree of Internet freedom in a particular region. These gaps, in turn, affect the visibility of youth engaging in online economic activities. We further discussed that as youth participate in the digital economy, they have opportunities to not only cultivate economic capital but cultural and social capital. It’s worthwhile to consider how we might measure these forms of intangible capital. Finally, our workshop closed on the notion that it is important to consider how stakeholders operationalize the digital skills needed to successfully participate in the digital economy – not only safety-oriented skills but also skills around creativity and problem-solving. The way we define these skills must also be fluid and adaptable as developments in technologies continue to evolve.
Gemma Newlands and Christoph Lutz attended this year's Reshaping Work Conference, held in Amsterdam. Reshaping Work is an international and multidisciplinary conference that offers a vibrant space to collectively rethink work in the platform economy. Gemma Newlands presented a well-received paper on the impact of mobile device affordances on crowdwork.
Gemma Newlands, Christoph Lutz, and Shruthi Velidi attended the 2018 Amsterdam Privacy Conference (APC) this October, hosted by the University of Amsterdam. Christoph Lutz presented a paper on the privacy implications of social robots and a paper on the privacy paradox. APC 2018 is organised by the Amsterdam Platform for Privacy Research (APPR), a network of researchers at the University of Amsterdam, with active participants from diverse fields, including philosophy, law, economics, computer science, medicine, media and communication studies and social sciences. It acts as a leading conference in the field of Internet privacy.
On the 3rd November 2018, the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society's own Gemma Newlands and Christoph Lutz co-ran a full-day workshop with international colleagues on 'Power Struggles in the Digital Economy: Platforms, Workers, and Markets'. The workshop formed part of the 21st ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2018), which was held in Jersey City, New Jersey. Over 25 globally-diverse participants attended the workshop, bringing together their expertise on the platform economy. The central theme of the workshop was how research on digitally mediated labor can address the ongoing power asymmetries and power struggles between workers, those requesting labor, and the platforms that enable, co-ordinate, or manage work processes and labor arrangements. The workshop included a Fishbowl discussion, a keynote by Microsoft Research's Nicole Immorlica, and a series of 'break out' sessions.
Christoph Lutz was involved at this year's Association of Internet Reseachers (AoIR) conference in Montreal with two presentations and the co-organization of a workshop on human-machine communication.
The article "Authenticity and the Sharing Economy" by Eliane Bucher, Christian Fieseler, Matthes Fleck (University of Applied Sciences Lucerne) and Christoph Lutz has been published in the September issue of Academy of Management Discoveries.
The Nordic Centre was heavily involved in this year's Academy of Management Annual Meeting. The activities included a personal development workshop, several paper presentations and a variety of networking activities throughout the prestigious five-day conference.
The Nordic Centre's Christoph Lutz and Gemma Newlands presented the paper "Acceptance Tweeting: An Analysis across Six Major Conferences in the Social Sciences" at the 2018 Social Media and Society conference in Copenhagen.
Christoph and Gemma presented a work-in-progress poster at the 2018 Social Media & Society conference (#SMSociety) in Copenhagen, Denmark. The poster, entitled "Acceptance Tweeting: An Analysis across Six Major Conferences in the Social Sciences" looked into the tweeting behavior of social scientists. The conference took place from 18-20 July at Copenhagen Business School, convening a large number of international social media researchers.
Gemma Newlands of BI’s Nordic Centre for Internet & Society gave a well-received paper presentation at this year’s Annual Colloquium of the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) in Tallinn, Estonia. EGOS is a large and influential association for organizational research. Its Annual Colloquium is among the most prestigious conferences in management studies and has grown to be a meeting point for cutting edge empirical, conceptual, and critical research on all forms of organizations. This year’s Colloquium had the topic “Surprise in and around Organizations: Journeys to the Unexpected” and convened more than 2000 international attendants. Gemma Newlands presented a paper co-authored with Christoph Lutz and Christian Fieseler about collective action and class consciousness among the dispersed provider base in the sharing economy. The paper, which inspired a long discussion, has been accepted for publication in New Technology, Work and Employment and is forthcoming.
Christoph Lutz presented a paper on "Motivations for Engaging in Social and Political Online Campaigns" at the 2018 General Online Research Conference in Cologne.
Christoph Lutz presented a work-in-progress paper at the 2018 General Online Research Conference (GOR 2018) in Cologne, Germany. The talk, entitled "Motivations for Engaging in Social and Political Online Campaigns", was part of a collaborative project with the University of Western Ontario (Canada) that is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Christoph's presentation was well attended and well received. GOR 2018 was organized by the German Society for Online Research, featuring a broad range of presentations in the field of Internet research. Two keynotes - one by Google's senior research scientist Mario Callegaro and one by Frauke Kreuter from the Joint Program on Survey Methodology - showcased methodological challenges and innovations at the intersection of data science and survey methodology. The conference was particularly well attended by methodologists and market research practitioners, allowing fruitful exchange between research and practice.
Gemma Newlands, Christoph Lutz, and Alex Buhmann presented at this year's Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in Prague. The conference took place from May 24 to May 28 and gathered thousands of leading communication scholars from around the world. It is the largest and most prestigious conference in this discipline. Gemma Newlands and Christoph Lutz presented a paper on users-by-proxy in the sharing economy, while Gemma Newlands also presented a poster on regulatory desirability in the sharing economy. Alex Buhmann presented a paper on understanding the dynamics of (non)standardization in communication measurement and evaluation. All presentations were well received and the Nordic Centre looks forward to developing these ideas further.
A large contingent of the Nordic Centre attended the 5th International Conference on Management and Organizations, which was held in Brdo, Slovenia. The conference is a meeting place for international scholars and practitioners arranged every two years. This year’s topic was on Management and Organization in the Digital Society.
Christian Fieseler opened the two-day conference with an engaging keynote on the future of work, automation, and the opportunities of AI in organisation.
Marthe Berntzen presented a paper entitled “Leading virtually – when transformation got lost in virtual translation”. The paper investigates the relationship between transformational leadership and high-quality leader-member exchange relationships in distributed, virtual settings. The paper was co-authored with Sut I Wong, who was also present at the conference.
Gemma Newlands presented a paper entitled "Between pressure and flexibility: Provider scheduling in the sharing economy'. The paper was co-authored with Christoph Lutz and Christian Fieseler as one outcome of the Horizon 2020 Project Ps2Share.
Gemma Newlands and Christoph Lutz attended the Academy of Management (AOM) Specialized Conference on Big Data and Managing in a Digital Economy, where they presented a total of three papers.
Gemma presented two papers: one about flexibility and pressure of sharing economy providers, such as Airbnb hosts and Uber drivers, and one about regulatory desirability and fairness in the sharing economy. Christoph’s presentation looked at collective action and class consciousness among sharing economy providers. All presentations were well received and fruitful knowledge exchange took place between the Nordic Centre and researchers working on similar topics at other institutions in Europe. The AOM Specialized Conference took place at the University of Surrey (Guildford, United Kingdom) from April 18-20 and was organized by the University’s Centre for the Digital Economy. It was the first specialized AOM conference and the first AOM conference outside North America – up to now the AOM’s major event has been the Annual Meeting, which has always taken place in the United States or Canada. Around 400 researchers and practitioners attended the AOM Specialized Conference, engaging in in-depth conversations on big data and the digital economy and enjoying the sunny weather in Guildford.
Christoph Lutz and Gemma Newlands presented a paper on "Emotional Labor in the Sharing Economy" at the prestigious Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). Christoph Lutz and Gemma Newlands presented the paper „Emotional Labor in the Sharing Economy“ at the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS). The paper is co-authored with senior author and NCIS director Christian Fieseler. HICSS took place from January 3-6 2018 in the Hilton Waikoloa, Big Island, Hawaii. The prestigious conference, one of the best in its field and highly ranked in terms of citation metrics, convened leading scholars in information systems, management, business, and computer science. Christoph and Gemma presented in the mini-track on the sharing economy, which included papers, among others, from scholars at the universities of Shenzen, Daejeon (KAIST), Augsburg, Arizona, and Innsbruck. The paper was well received and is available open access as part of the HICSS proceedings.
We spent two days in January at the Conectados al Sur Symposium in Costa Rica. Conectados is an initiative that is focused on the opportunities and challenges that arise to children and young people, in their relationship with the Internet and emerging technologies in Latin America and the world. During the symposium, which was attended by almost 100 participants, we explored various methodologies such as co-design with youth, participatory research, construction of narratives and content in digital media, information visualization and learning in action, and their applicability to three main topics: Digital Citizenship, Digital Economy and Artificial Intelligence.
In January, we participated in the 12th International Human Rights Researchers’ Workshop at the College of Law and Business in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv.
The papers presented at the conference covered a wide range of legal and managerial fields, from issues of competition, to taxation, discrimination, to social and fairness concerens. The contributions will ultimately be published together in the Law & Ethics of Human Rights Journal. Our contribution was on 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, and ultimately proposing a typology with four scenarios related to the future value of data.
In November, we participated in the Artificial Intelligence and Inclusion Symposium in Rio de Janeiro.
The symposium was set to identify, explore, and address the opportunities and challenges of AI as we seek to build a better, more inclusive, and diverse world together, and is co-hosted on behalf of the Network of Centers by the Institute for Technology and Society of Rio de Janeiro (ITS Rio) and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
During three days of discussion with participants from all over the world, Christian Fieseler presented on behalf of the center a position paper on the driving forces inherent in business models that might make the development more or less inclusive. The core of the argument, presented during the symposium, was that AI development at the moment is largely dependent on the investment of private enterprises who are led by the requirements of business logic. As such, we need to recognize AI, across contexts, as being driven by market forces and stakeholder demands, as opposed to philanthropic ideals. With such an understanding of the reality of AI development, our position paper proposed, we can better attend to finding resolutions for issues of inclusivity and inequality.
The Nordic Centre for Internet and Society had two papers presented at the first Reshaping Work Conference, held in Amsterdam.
The Reshaping Work Conference is an international and multidisciplinary conference which offered a platform for academics, policy makers, business leaders, as well as workers in the platform economy to discuss the future of work.
Although the Nordic Centre was unable to be present in person, due to scheduling conflicts with AOIR 2017, two papers co-authored by members of the Nordic Centre (Gemma Newlands and Christoph Lutz) were presented by the co-authors. Both papers looked at aspects of the sharing economy, drawing on research undertaken as part of the EU Horizon2020 Research Project Ps2Share.
The first paper explored the role of data capitalism and surveillance as a factor in the working experience of sharing economy providers. The second paper explored the concept of ‘users-by-proxy’ and how their absence as a data-set creates issues for data-driven work processes.
The Nordic Centre for Internet and Society was well represented at this year’s Association for Internet Researchers Conference, with two papers presented on the business of Instagram’s sponsored posts and online political participation.
This year’s AOIR conference, held in Tartu, Estonia, welcomed over 350 leading Internet researchers from 29 countries. Researchers discussed their work on a range of topics, from critical data studies, to political communication online, to the future of AI and automation.
The first of the Nordic Centre’s two papers, presented by Gemma Newlands, looked at the emergence of ‘Influencer Marketing’ on Instagram, a leading platform for image-based sharing. Gemma presented the results of an empirical mixed-methods study reliant on user-generated data. The paper was well received, particularly with regard to her in depth discussion into ethical research practices.
The second of the Nordic Centre’s two papers, presented by Christoph Lutz, looked at the role of social media escapism in online political participation. This paper was also well received and its data-driven approach provided a welcome interlude to the numerous more conceptual papers on offer at AOIR this year.
Both papers will appear in Selected Papers of Internet Research (SPIR), an open access collection of papers in the coming months.
Three reports have been published by researchers within the Fair Labor Project on the topic of the Sharing Economy. These reports form one element of a sister European Union Horizon 2020 Research Project: Ps2Share ‘Participation, Privacy, and Power in the Sharing Economy’.
All reports are available on the documentation page of the ps2share.eu website.
Christoph Lutz wins the best paper award at the 8th International Conference on Social Media & Society, in Toronto, for the paper "Spiral of Silence 2.0: Political Self-Censorship among Young Facebook Users".
We just returned from this year’s Academy of Management Conference in Atlanta, where we had the pleasure to meet with colleagues, exchange ideas on upcoming research on the gig economy, and present a number of work-in-progress manuscripts.
As part of the Academy, we were provided with the opportunity to host a caucus on our upcoming special issue in Human Resource Management Review, to meet with prospective authors, and explore potential submissions to the issue. With the great support of the Journal’s editorial board members, we spent an afternoon working on critical reflections on existing concepts, theories, or frameworks that may need a refining in the context of the digitized economy.
We furthermore presented our own ongoing research on three occasions, in the Information Systems, Social Issues in Management, and Human Relations divisions respectively.
Our manuscript ‘The Oversharing Economy – Investigating Authenticity on Airbnb’ is about the role and manufacture of authenticity notions as part of the sharing economy. Based on qualitative and quantitative research, we show, by the example of Airbnb, that guests are remarkably resilient against notions of interpersonal closeness inherent in sharing services and they may, up to a certain point, even be seen as markers of authenticity that enrich the sharing experience.
In our manuscript ‘The Riddle of Social Media Dialogues – When Less Dialogue is More’ we experimentally explore the cconnection between cognitive CSR-communication outcomes and the conversational logic employed. We show that when talking about societal issues, organizations need to provide clear guidance (moderation) when delivering necessary information. Otherwise, we conjecture that stakeholders might be overwhelmed by the complexity of the issue.
We also presented our ongoing research on ‘Collaborative Career Crafting in the Gig Economy’. In our research, we are interested how gig workers manage their career, reach out to coworkers, and to gather social support to further their career goals. As part of our research, we raised in discussed a number of related policy questions, such as whether there is a responsibility on the facilitating platform’s side to provide crafting opportunities, or whether the responsibility solely lies with the workers.
During the paper sessions, workshops and many informal conversations we received very valuable feedback for our work going forward, and explored opportunities to further enlarge our network of international collaborators. We are thankful for the opportunity to present our work on the social issues of the digital economy, and are looking forward to the next academy conference.
We held a Paper Development Workshop for our upcoming special issue on the Responsibilities of the Sharing Economy in the Journal of Business Ethics during this year's EGOS conference
Our new research looks into the working relations within the platform economy, and what makes good and fair digital labor.
New research published in Social Science Computer Review unveils how the Internet factors into coping with unemployment.
Gemma Newlands and Christoph Lutz gave a talk about Instagram influencers at the 2017 Connected Life Conference in Oxford.
Christoph Lutz, Christian Fieseler and Eliane Bucher, together with Christian Hoffmann (University of Leipzig), published a new study about the topic of privacy in the sharing economy.
Dominique Kost attended this year’s CWF conference in Milan, hosted by the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, and presented the center’s current research findings on Life crafting. The title of the presentation was: “Micro-entrepreneurs: the art of Life crafting” and addresses careers of digital microworkers. Dominique discussed how digital microworkers craft their careers and choose their jobs to cope with their current life demands, and that digital microwork can have a meaningful impact on people’s lives.
For more information about the conference: http://dipartimenti.unicatt.it/sociologia-cwf-conference-presentation#content
Our centre members together have a total of four papers accepted for presentation at the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology 2017.
Overall, these papers look at how different organizational factors that may influence how individuals working in virtual teams view their work and their subsequent behavioral and psychological responses.
One paper investigates how crowdworkers respond to feedback when doing creative work. The study shows that individuals with high creative self-efficacy appear to withdraw their creativity when their avoidance performance orientation is high. The study points to performance anxiety could be the cause for such withdrawal.
Another paper looks at the congruence effect between leaders’ and followers’ pessimism personalities on subsequent job satisfaction and performance. The study indicates that, for individuals who work remotely such as virtual teams, the more they are different from their leaders in term of pessimism personality, the less satisfied they are with poorer performance. The authors argue that the lack of shared mental model between the leaders and the followers may explain these relationships.
The third study look at how individuals may interpret job descriptions when it comes to flexibility in work practices. The study demonstrates that individuals tend to identify organizations which offer flexible work practices as future looking and associate positively to those organizations. This study provides important implications for human resource management policy for organizations.
The last study proposes that the role of leadership may differ between traditional teams and virtual teams, such that in virtual teams the need for relationship focused leadership is stronger than in traditional teams where team members may rely on other social stimuli to function.
Christoph Lutz gave a talk in the context of the 2017 ACM/IEEE Human-Robot-Interaction (HRI) conference in Vienna.
The talk took place in the Privacy-Sensitive Robotics workshop, which gathered leading robotics experts from academia, industry and NGOs.
Christoph’s presentation addressed the privacy implications of social robots, presenting first findings from a survey on privacy concerns about social robots.
Christoph also discussed the privacy-related conclusions from two workshops held in November 2016 at robotics and AI conferences in Spain and Japan (in collaboration with Eduard Fosch Villaronga from the University of Twente and Aurelia Tamò from the University of Zurich).
The workshop participants in Vienna brainstormed on pressing issues and possible collaborations, showing both the business case and social necessity for considering privacy as an important issue in developing ever-smarter robots.
More information about the workshop can be found here
More information about HRI 2017 can be found here
In February 2017, the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society held a workshop at Harvard University alongside the Youth and Media Team from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
As part of our ongoing Norwegian Research Council funded Research Project 'Fair Labor in the Digitized Economy', we are investigating the thresholds between youth participation on the internet and what could otherwise be considered youth labor. With a focus on ensuring fairness in the future digital labor market, we are looking at how young people interact with, and transition into, the digital economy.
We have been collaborating with Harvard's Youth and Media Team, as led by Sandra Cortesi, and this workshop was an opportunity to reaffirm our agenda going forward and make headway on current ongoing work.
In particular, we are currently collaborating on several state-of-the-art literature reviews, including pieces on 'Aspirational Labor' and 'Skills and Participation'. We are also conducting a series of Focus Groups with young people in American cities to explore these topics further.
The Youth and Media team have been invited to Oslo and will visit the Nordic Centre later this year.
Please visit the Youth and Media Website
Christoph Lutz presented a study about young Facebook users in Germany and their online political engagement in Jena (Germany).
The paper, co-authored with Christian Pieter Hoffmann of the University of Leipzig, applies the spiral of silence theory and tests it with data from an online survey with almost 1000 Facebook users in Germany, aged 18-30.
The spiral of silence theory was developed in the context of mass media in the 1970ies. It says that individuals censor themselves (i.e., they do not speak their minds) if they feel their opinion on a controversial topic, such as immigration, is the minority opinion.
Christoph and Christian confirmed the theory for social media. They included users’ network heterogeneity, i.e., whether the respondents’ Facebook friends are politically homogeneous (most of their Facebook friends have the same political stance) or heterogeneous (the political attitudes of their Facebook friends vary widely).
The analysis showed that Facebook users with a heterogeneous network think that their opinion is the minority opinion more often, which leads to a lowered willingness to speak out on controversial political topics.
The findings point to important dynamics of self-censorship on social media, a topic heatedly debated around the recent US elections, with filter bubbles, and echo chambers.
In January 2017, our collaborator Dr. Matej Cerne, together with Aldjana Bunjak, visited our centre for a three-day research workshop on our collaborative research projects. During the workshop, we set up a new research project proposal and consolidated the data analyses for one of our studies. The workshop was fruitful.
Dr. Christoph Lutz presented his research on social robots at the New Friends 2016 Conference in Barcelona.
The conference took place on November 2-4 at La Salle (University Ramon Llull) and was organized by a team of researchers across the globe. In addition to his presentation on “Privacy Concerns and Social Robots” (with co-author Aurelia Tamò from the University of Zurich),
Christoph – together with two collaborators – also moderated a workshop on the ethical, legal, and social (ELS) issues of social robots in Healthcare and Education. The 4-hour workshop was a success and engaged robotics scholars from various backgrounds in lively discussions about the ELS challenges.
The Nordic Centre for Internet & Society was well represented at Oslo Innovation Week 2016 when Dr. Sut I Wong gave a keynote talk on Digital Communication in China.
Sut I, whose research focuses on leadership, empowerment, and the effects of culture on organizations, discussed China’s emerging digital communication trend. Her talk explored the respective business opportunities and challenges which develop for companies when entering the Chinese market and how work organization is related to internal organizational communication.
As part of BI’s Alumni Day 2016, the Nordic Centre’s own Dr. Sut I Wong discussed the role of leadership in the digital age.
With emerging technologies and ongoing business innovation, it is clear that the way we work is changing. Plentiful evidence derived from leadership research has directed us toward the conclusion that great leaders develop deep and trusting relationships. However, due to the geographic dispersion among employees, the machine-human interaction phenomenon driven by digitization in business, creates great challenges for the role of leadership. Sut I, with a keen eye for these future developments, presented a thought-provoking talk on the future of leadership. She asked ‘What does it take to be a great leader in the digital age?’
BI’s own Christoph Lutz presented his paper on Online Participation and chaired a session on Digital Divides.
This year’s annual AOIR conference, held at the Humboldt University of Berlin, welcomed over 550 participants from over 30 countries. Leading Internet researchers displayed their work on critical issues, with a focus on social media participation, algorithms, precarious digital labour, crowdwork, and Artificial Intelligence.
AOIR was also a notably inclusive conference where a great number of feminist scholars and those discussing racial topics had a platform. Christoph is very excited about attending next year’s conference, held in Estonia and looks forward to presenting his research there again.
The article "Benefits and harms from Internet use: A differentiated analysis of Great Britan" by Christoph Lutz and Grant Blank (Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford) was published in New Media & Society.
The piece looks at the positive and negative outcomes from using the Internet among different population segments in Great Britain. Drawing on rich survey data from more than 1000 individuals, the authors show that highly educated and elderly Internet users profit more from their Internet use than less educated and younger users. However, educated users are also most at risk to be harmed, for example by having their credit card information stolen or being misrepresented online.
The article "Love at first swipe? Explaining Tinder self-presentation and motives" by Christoph Lutz and Giulia Ranzini (VU Amsterdam) was published in Mobile Media & Communication.
In their article, the authors investigate the mobile dating app Tinder. Using an online survey of 500 users, they find that most users present themselves authentically but a substantial number reveals deceptive selves. Moreover, the motivations for using Tinder differ between men and women and are influenced by psychological characteristics such as self-esteem and narcissism.
We had all together five research papers presented at Academy of Management in Anaheim this year. The topics of the papers were from various disciplines, including leadership, team research, organizational communication and information system, managerial and organizational cognition.
The five papers elaborate the issues of 1) the role of network centrality using ResearchGate for academics; 2) how crowdworkers experience meaning of their work; 3) the role of transactive memory system on virtual team performance; 4) the role of (in)congruent leader member exchange on employee voice; and 5) the role of gamification on corporate social responsibility.
We especially congratulate Dominique and her co-authors, whose paper was included in the best paper proceedings. We also had many productive research meetings for the ongoing as well as future research projects
BI’s Nordic Centre for Internet & Society was present at the 7th International Social Media & Society Conference. The conference was organized by a team of researchers from Canada and Great Britain and took place at Goldsmiths University in London (UK).
Over 3 days in July 2016, leading social media researchers displayed their full papers, work in progress papers, and posters. Christoph Lutz presented a paper alongside co-author Grant Blank from the University of Oxford (Oxford Internet Institute). The paper dealt with the inequalities in social media use of six platforms in Great Britain: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.
The presentation received positive feedback from the audience and the full article is available in the conference proceedings. In addition to receiving positive feedback and a lot of inspiration on the current state of social media research, Christoph Lutz (@lutzid) also won the “Most Engaged Attendee on Twitter” award.
Christian Fieseler and Christoph Lutz of BI’s Nordic Centre for Internet & Society gave two presentations at this year’s Annual Colloquium of the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) in Naples, Italy.
EGOS is a large and influential association for organizational research. Its Annual Colloquium is among the most prestigious conferences in management studies and has grown to be a meeting point for cutting edge empirical, conceptual, and critical research on all forms of organizations.
This year’s Colloquium had the topic “Organizing in the Shadow of Power” and convened more than 2000 international attendants. Christian Fieseler presented a paper co-authored with Eliane Bucher and Christian P. Hoffmann (University of Leipzig) about inequality on the crowdworking platform “Mechanical Turk”. Christoph Lutz’s paper (co-authored with Christian Fieseler, Eliane Bucher and Christian P. Hoffmann) revolved around privacy concerns in the sharing economy. Using survey data from 374 Airbnb hosts, the presentation showed the important role of trust in this context.
It also pointed towards a new sharing paradox where, while users are concerned about their privacy when they share on Airbnb, these concerns don’t result in more or less sharing. Both presentations received helpful and encouraging feedback and were positively received.
This June, the Centre had its first advisory board meeting. This newly established advisory board helps the Centre shape its overall research, fundraising and outreach strategy, and currently consists of members from HR-Norge, Basefarm, Wikimedia, Accenture, Startup Norway, Innovasjon Norge, NHO, Cisco, Telenor, and IKT Norge.
Sut I visited McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, in June. The purpose of this visit was to discuss and brainstorm the ongoing research projects with Dr. Catherine E. Connelly, who holds a Canada Research Chair in organizational behaviour and is an Associate Professor of human resources and management at McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business.
Dr. Connelly investigates knowledge sharing and knowledge hiding in organizations, employees’ use of different communication methods, and leader well-being. Much of her work look into the work related issues for digital workers.
Four members of BI’s Nordic Centre for Internet & Society presented their research at this year’s Annual Conference of the International Communication Association in Fukuoka, Japan.
The International Communication Association (ICA) is the largest academic association for communication and media research. Now in its 66th edition, its annual conference features cutting edge research by leading researchers in the field and is the most prestigious gathering of communication scholars worldwide.
More than 3000 conference attendants came to Fukuoka, a new record for the Annual Meeting. Christian Fieseler, Eliane Bucher, Kateryna Maltseva and Christoph Lutz gave a total of eight talks, showcasing the broad and current research conducted at the Centre. The topics of their talks ranged from motivations to participate in the sharing economy (Eliane’s, Christian’s and Christoph’s piece, which was recently published in Computers in Human Behavior), to crowdworkers’ fairness perception of platforms as intermediaries (Eliane and Christian) and users’ self-presentation on the dating app Tinder (Christoph). Kateryna’s paper was part of a poster session and discussed gamificiation in corporate social responsibility communication.
Joint papers with external researchers also demonstrated the BICIS’ strong connection to a range of international institutions: Christian co-authored a paper with Michael Etter from Copenhagen Business School. This collaboration forms part of the Norwegian Research Council funded project on “Fair Labor in the Digitized Economy”. Christoph’s papers included the co-authorship with the universities of Leipzig (Christian Hoffmann), VU Amsterdam (Giulia Ranzini), Oxford (Grant Blank), and Zurich/Harvard (Aurelia Tamo).
The papers were well received and stirred engaging and interesting discussions. They are currently being revised for publication in journals or already published. The conference also created a good amount of social media attention, with the conference hashtag becoming a trending Twitter topic and generating several thousand tweets.
Our collaborators, Dr. Matej Cerne, and his PhD student, Ms. Aldijana Bunjak, from the University of Ljubljana have just been visiting our centre in April.
Dr. Cerne’s research focuses on team processes and leadership roles in employee innovation and creativity. In particular, he has done extensive work on knowledge sharing and knowledge hiding among team members, which has been published in top-tier international journals such as the Academy of Management Journal.
During their three days research workshop together with Christian and Sut I, they planned out a series of research projects looking into online leader emergence and incivility, and the role of reflection on online feedback among digital workers. These projects will be carried out in different stages with different research method designs, including experiments, as well as field and intervention studies.
The article "What's mine is yours (for a nominal fee) – Exploring the spectrum of utilitarian to altruistic motives for Internet-mediated sharing" by Eliane , Christian and Christoph has been accepted in Computers in Human Behavior and is now available online. In their article, the authors discuss that social-hedonic motives are the strongest predictor of Internet-mediated sharing, such as on platforms as AirBnB, and that monetary incentives may be necessary but not sufficient for online sharing.
In May, Dominique will present some of her research findings at this years HR Norway conference. The topic of the talk is: “Collaborating blind - How virtual teams work”. Teams often have to solve complex tasks under time pressure.
This situation becomes even more complicated when team members are distributed across several locations. We often refer to these teams as virtual teams. Some of the questions Dominique is going to address in her talk are: How can members of virtual teams effectively use each other’s knowledge and expertise? How can teams effectively distribute tasks among each other? How do we know when and with whom to share what type of information?
Dominique's paper “Transactive Memory systems in virtual teams: The effect of integration and differentiation on performance.” was selected by the reviewers to be one of the best papers accepted at this year's Academy of Management conference in Anaheim, and will be published in this year's conference proceedings. The paper highlights the importance of task dependencies in the knowledge sharing performance relationship in virtual teams.
The privacy implications of social robots are far-reaching and concern both informational and physical privacy. In their conference presentation, Christoph and co-author Aurelia Tamò from the ETH Zürich addressed the privacy implications of healthcare robots. Their main contribution of their talk was on mapping the privacy ecosystem in robotic healthcare technology, and analyzing the complex interplay of robots and humans.
Dominique participated at a workshop and presented the paper “Finding meaning in a hopeless place – The construction of meaning in crowdwork” written together with Sut I and Christian.
In traditional organizations, employers take responsibility for training and development of their employees. However, the relationships between platform and crowdworkers on the one hand, and between requesters and crowdworkers on the other hand, are temporary and not fixed.
Hence, the question arises what kind of responsibility platforms and requester have towards their crowdworkers and who is the responsible party, the platform or the requester. This was one of the questions discussed at this year’s CSCW conference in San Francisco.
How may technologies affect us at work? As part of BI's public lecture series, Sut I and Christian discussed with around 200 participants the changing role if leadership in the digital landscape. Among the topics discussed were new forms of division of labor among humans and robots, new ways of leading platform workers, and how to manage the increasingly blurry lines between work, private and play.
Solving complex time critical tasks in teams is common in most organizations. What makes this situation even more challenging is when the team is distributed over several locations and communication is restricted to email and maybe short video exchanges. People commonly describe these type of teams as “virtual” or distributed teams. This team context raises several critical questions for team collaboration which Dominique discusses in her article, among others: How do team members learn about each other’s knowledge? How do team members know with whom to share information at what point in time? In addition, how do they divide tasks efficiently among themselves?
Sut I attended the Mindfulness WorkLab organized by the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP) in Nuremberg in November 2015.
Speakers and the participants from both academia and practice discussed the current research and the application of mindfulness, tools, techniques to challenges of emotional regulation at work. In particular, Sut I was interested in how digital mindfulness tools may help us in the emotional regulation process.