Future Ways of Working in the Digital 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
Pacifying the algorithm – Anticipatory compliance in the face of algorithmic management in the gig economy.- New Article published in Organization
In this article published in the journal Organization the authors discuss how the rise of the gig economy has given fuel to digital labour platforms such as “Upwork” and “Fiverr”. Many important aspects of these platforms’ services are controlled by non-transparent algorithmic management, leading gig workers to use specific strategies to pacify the algorithm. Learn more about how gig workers deal with algorithmic management and its opacity in the research article written by Eliane Bucher, Peter Schou and Matthias Waldkirch published in the journal Organization. Read the article here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1350508420961531
‘Thriving instead of surviving’: A capability approach to geographical career transitions in the creative industries - New Article published in Human Resource Management Review- Author: Santiago Uribe
In this Article, BI Professors Christian Fieseler and Sut I Wong, together with Professor Ana Alachovska explore how Metropolitan cities are often thought of as ‘icons of the creative economy’. However, many argue that low pay, expensive housing and fierce competition have made such cities nearly unlivable. The article published in Human Relations inquire into how do creative workers make sense of their geographical career transitions after moving from urban cities to more remote locations? How important is the role of the urban context for the success of creative careers, as well as for quality of life? Read the article here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0018726720956689
Working in the digitized economy: HRM theory & practice- New Article published in Human Resource Management Review- Author: Santiago Uribe
The growing prevalence of gig work creates both opportunities and challenges for Human Resource Management. In this special issue of the Human Resource Management Review focusing specifically on the gig economy, Catherine Connely, Christian Fieseler, Matej Černe, Steffen Ribert Giessner and Sut I Wong provide an informative discussion on how and why one should study HR in the context of the gig economy. The article also lays out useful suggestions for future research on the topic. Learn more: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053482220300358
The Nordic Centre's Christoph Lutz, in collaboration with Volker Stocker from the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society, organized an online Symposium on the Digital Economy. The Symposium featured 12 presentations from a broad set of international speakers and was well attended.
Christoph Lutz is a co-editor of a special of the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) on artificial intelligence (AI) and work. The special issue will focus on the mutual shaping of AI and work and is accompanied by an online workshop on 11 December.
This March, Christian and Eliane participated in a workshop at Oxford University on Digital Justice in Platform Governance, organized by Isabel Ebert and Felix Pflücke. The workshop brought together perspectives both from law and management scholars, discussing recent work on online content creation and participation. We presented an in-process methodological paper, that is a collaboration with Ana Alacvoska at Copenhagen Business School, on using visual metaphors to better reconstruct and understand how online freelancers are challenged, but are also empowered, in their work on online platforms such as upwork, fiver or twine. The workshop concluded in a fruitful discussion around protection mechanisms for workers’ rights on such online platforms, and we took many good inspirations back home to Oslo.
This January, we attended the Sharing Smart Cities symposium, with a presentation on Smart Urbanity and the Life lived well. The event, convened on January 14th by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts brought together sharing economy managers, smart city managers, city government representatives, politicians, further interested professionals, researchers, and students, with the aim to ascertain the impact of smart cities on the wellbeing of citizens and communities and the sustainability of cities. In his presentation, Christian presented an ongoing project on professional downshifters and new forms of geographically unbound careers, enabled through new technology, based on research together with Ana Alacovska from CBS and Sut I Wong.
The workshop, convened by the Digital Asia Hub Thailand (DAH.th) in collaboration with Thailand’s Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) and the Global Network of Internet & Society Centers (NoC) represented by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society, brought together international and local experts to discuss trends in the governance of emerging technologies, with a specific focus on AI, algorithms, and Big Data, at the intersection of user behavior, business models, and laws and regulations. As part of the workshop, Christian presented our ongoing work on engaging stakeholders into the design of artificial intelligence, followed by Q&A and open discussion among the workshop participants.
This year, we organized a session at the 2019 Internet Governance Forum in Berlin. The session explored the need to ensure the internet can be an inclusive space that fosters diversity and access to knowledge for everyone. Over the course of the event, participants from Eu-rope, the US and the Global South discussed the designing internet governance rules that are both flexible enough to allow newcomers and a diversity of people with different needs and expectations to engage online and strong enough to promote respect for human rights. The event concluded with a proposition of how future newcomers can participate in shaping the governance systems that we put in place today and what the different sectors and stakeholder groups should contribute to those systems.
This November, we attended the international multidisciplinary symposium on “Platform Economy Puzzles: Unraveling the Gig Work Paradox” organized by Victoria Daskalova, Jeroen Meijerink and Giedo Jansen of the University of Twente in the Netherlands. The symposium took place on November 19, 2019 at the University of Twente in Enschede, the Netherlands, where we met academic researchers, platform workers, representatives of online platforms and policy makers. Christian Fieseler presented a keynote on the perceptions of power within the platform economy.
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. Eliane presented ongoing research, conducted with the Nordic Centre's Christian Fieseler and Ana Alacovska from CBS, on visual representation of working on online labor platforms. Presenting artworks from numerous platform freelancers, Eliane argued in her presentation that online freelancers create elaborate representations of the software systems that govern platforms, and not only attribute agency. but also motives and even personality to these algorithms.
This last week, we had the privilege to host distinguished executive Martin Schwirn, Vice President of Strategic Planning and Foresight from Strategic Business Insights Menlo Park. The Nordic Centre's Peder Inge Furseth organized and facilitated the visit. In his work, Martin Schwirn is helping organizations to become better equipped at understanding consumers, markets, trends, and technologies. During his time in Oslo, he shared his insights and methodologies with a number of practitioner and students in lectures and meetings during the Oslo Innovation Week. We also had the opportunity to meet Martin for a conversation about the ongoing research at the Centre. The meeting showed several points of common interest, for example in terms of the future of work, and artificial intelligence.
Leading law and robotics researcher Dr. Eduard Fosch Villaronga from the University of Leiden visited the Nordic Centre in September 2019 and gave a presentation on the topic of robot responsibility.
In September 2019, Philip Meier from the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society visited the Nordic Centre for two weeks, providing interesting insights into the digital transformation of SMEs in Germany.
This September, we participated in the 5th CSR Communication Conference, that was hosted by the Stockholm School of Economics. The CSR Communication Conference is traditionally concerned with matters of global sustainability and with the communication thereof. This time, the conference explored these aspects also under a digital lens – how does the communication of sustainability change in digital media, and might digital technologies pose new sustainability challenges? During the conference, we presented our work on organizational responsibilities in the age of algorithmization, written by Alexander Buhmann, Eliane Bucher, and Christian Fieseler. We also served as moderators in a panel debate on the Shaping and Forming of Communication in the Digital Age. The conference provided for a lively debate and numerous inputs into our ongoing work on algorithms and accountability, and we are looking forward to the next CSR Communication Conference in two years in Lüneburg.
At the beginning of September 2019, Gemma Newlands presented the paper 'Pseudo-AI: The Workplace Implications of Ontological Obfuscation' at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S). The conference took place in New Orleans, USA, from the 4th to the 7th of September 2019. It convened leading STS scholars from across the globe and is the largest and most prestigious STS conference. This year's conference had the theme 'Innovations, Interruptions, Regenerations'. Gemma's paper was part of the panel 'Disturbances, Recreation of Labor: AI, Robots, Platforms, and Algorithms'.
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.
Christoph Lutz presented two papers at the 2019 Social Media & Society Conference in Toronto. Both papers dealt with aspects of privacy and data protection, in line with this year's conference theme.
In the beginning of July, Christoph Lutz presented his paper "Digital Inequalities in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data" at the 2019 IAMCR Conference in Madrid.
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 June 2019, Gemma Newlands delivered a guest talk at the HRM Department of the University of Twente. The talk, entitled ‘Workplace Dignity and the Gig Economy: Recognition, Heteromation, and Pseudo-AI’, explored a variety of issues connected to the use of AI in the gig-economy. The talk went into particular detail about the rise of ‘pseudo-AI’ and implications for workers behind ‘false artificial intelligence’. Gemma was invited to give this talk by Dr. Jeroen Meijerink, Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management at the University of Twente, as a result of their overlapping research interests. Gemma is excited to continue this collaboration in the future.
Our newest piece on Mattering in Digital Labor was published this week in the Journal of Managerial Psychology. In this publication, Eliane, Christian and Christoph develop a measure of mattering in crowdworking with four dimensions: reliance, social recognition, importance and interaction. They show that reliance is the most pronounced dimension, followed by interaction, importance and social recognition. The findings indicate that individuals who feel that they themselves and their work “count” and “make a difference” will be more engaged in their digital labor. By clarifying the dimensionality of mattering in crowdwork and studying its differentiated effect on WE, the paper makes a contribution to research on crowdwork and the future of work. Beyond the theoretical contributions, the finding that perceived importance fosters WE has important implications for task and platform design.
As a newly invited member of the ENDL, Gemma Newlands presented her ongoing research at the two-day summit in Paris. Her presentation ‘Recognition, Reification, and Human Dignity in the Gig Economy’ was well received and led to multiple interesting discussions and prospects for future collaboration.
The ENDL (European Network on Digital Labour) is a multidisciplinary network of researchers from fields as diverse as media studies, geography, sociology, law, and economics. ENDL’s primary goal is to help discuss and explore the multiple definitions and nuances of “digital labour” and of germane notions: crowd-work, collaborative economy, gig-work, automation, online labour, algorithmic work, non-standard employment, virtual work and platform labour.
In this article, we develop a framework for managing algorithmic accountability that highlights three interrelated dimensions: reputational concerns, engagement strategies, and discourse principles
The Nordic Centre had a total of nine presentations and three awards at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), which took place in Washington DC from 24-28 May 2019.
Gemma Newlands and Christoph Lutz presented their research at this year's Weizenbaum Conference, taking place in Berlin from 16 to 17 May 2019.
A new article by Christoph Lutz is now available in the journal Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies.
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 IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine.
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
Eliane Bucher and Christoph Lutz presented ongoing research at the conference on "Artificial Intelligence: Ethical and Legal Implications" in Haifa, Israel.
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 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.