Nordic Centre for Internet and Society
The Nordic Centre for Internet and Society is a globally-oriented research centre, dedicated to understanding the influence of new internet technologies on working life and society.
The Nordic Centre for Internet and Society is a globally-oriented research centre, dedicated to understanding the influence of new internet technologies on working life and society.
A new special issue, edited by the Nordic Centre´s Christoph Lutz, Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi (University of North Carolina), Karen Boyd (San Diego Workforce Partnership), Carsten Østerlund (Syracuse University), and Matthew Willis (University of Michigan), examines the role of AI in shaping the work contexts.
In a new publication, the Nordic Centre member Sandra Cortesi outlines the benefits of engaging youth within a company, as well as fifteen ways of how to do so.
Recently, the online symposium ´New Perspectives on the Digital Economy: Sharing, Platforms & Regulation´ took place, and the Nordic Centre´s Christoph Lutz was one of the organizers.
On 11 December 2022, Centre member Dr. Dicle Berfin Köse presented two of her research papers at the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2022) in Denmark, Copenhagen.
On December 2, the town hall session ´Inclusive AI regulation: perspectives from four continents´ was held at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2022). Several members from the Nordic Centre contributed.
Every year, the Association of Internet Researchers brings individuals to their conference, focusing on exciting and emerging areas of Internet research. This year it was held in Dublin, Ireland, from 2-5 November.
On October 17, Associate Professor and NCIS member Samson Esayas held a talk at the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development (Kommunal- og distriktsdepartementet). The talk was based on his Ph.D research, which was awarded the King’s Gold Medal last year.
From October 26-27, the Minvera-Gentner Symposium was held in Jerusalem, focusing on the important issue of digital privacy.
From September 19-23, The Global Summit on Responsible AI was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Summit brought together different stakeholders across countries over five day to discuss prominent topics in AI.
An essential part of our Centre is our collaborations with partners from other universities and departments, which also creates exciting possibilities for visitors and research stays at the NCIS department.
On June 28 in Zagreb, Croatia, the GoodBrother COST Action held a conference on 'Privacy-friendly and trustworthy technology for society'. The Nordic Centre for Internet and Society´s Christoph Lutz was one of the co-organizers.
NCIS recently held a workshop on responsible AI governance, inviting scholars, industry representatives, and researchers from many different parts of the world.
The Nordic Centre for Internet and Society co-organized a session about data inequalities between the Global North and the Global South.
Once again, the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society had a strong presence at the annual International Communication Association Conference (ICA).
On the 9th of March, BI Norwegian Business School held a discussion on the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The discussion was led by Professor Peder Inge Furseth from the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society and Department of Communication and Culture at BI.
We are thrilled to welcome our newest member Sandra Cortesi to our team.
In-Person Meeting of Horizon 2020 Research Project “Artsformation: Mobilizing the Arts for an Inclusive Digital Transformation”.
A new report by by Norwegian Business School shows the strong impact the members of the the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society and their research have.
Christoph Lutz engages in the COST Action "Good Brother: Network on Privacy-Aware Audio- and Video-Based Applications for Active and Assisted Living" as a substitute member for Norway. The first in-person meeting took place in Alicante in on September 9 and 10.
Monday 23 August marked the beginning of the fall semester at BI Norwegian Business School. The members of the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society have a strong footprint in teaching and are delivering 12 courses in total across all levels and different programs.
The 2021 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management took place from 29 July to 4 August under the conference theme ‘Bringing the Manager Back in Management’. For the second time in a row, the large and prestigious academic conference in business and management research was held virtually. The Nordic Centre for Internet and Society had a strong presence, presenting seven papers and co-organizing a personal development workshop (PDW).
Register for the upcoming Workshop on AI Regulation in the EU, Brazil, and the US on 30.06.2021.
Online event: AI Governance at the Crossroads: Workshop on AI Regulation in the EU, Brazil, and the US.
Join us next June 30th for this workshop on the future of AI regulation.
At this pivotal moment for the future of AI, the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society through the ‘Triple Partnership for Responsible AI’ (3AI) invites you to a virtual workshop where leading experts will discuss and comment on these recent initiatives for AI governance. Our guest speakers from The 3AI Partnership and network will address these initiatives, focusing on salient concerns and governance approaches behind each initiative and the lessons to be learned from each other.
The event will take place online. Prior registration required. Register here.
Session on the Digital Economy and Digital Self-Determination with Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
The Nordic Centre for Internet and Society (NCIS) hosted a session on digital self-determination and the digital economy as part of a research sprint organized by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society from Harvard University, both part of the Global Network of Internet and Society Centers. This research sprint on the topic of digital self- determination brings together a cohort of 25 graduate students from all over the world and across disciplines to explore the topic of digital self-determination in fostering autonomy and agency in the face of shrinking choices in a world that is increasingly constructed, mediated and at times even dominated by digital technologies and digital media.
Santiago Uribe, Christian Fieseler and Christoph Lutz organized and moderated the session, which related strongly to recent research at the NCIS on digital labour, gig workers and creative work The session included guest speakers Tiago Peixoto from the World Bank, Alessio Bertolini from University of Oxford and FairWork and social media influencer, blogger and activist Miss Balanta. A constructive and fruitful dialogue followed with the participants on how digital platforms allow individuals to develop their capabilities and flourish, or if they represent detriments in labour conditions.
The Sprint contributes to the Network of Internet and Society Centers’ Ethics of Digitalisation initiative under the patronage of the German Federal President and with support by Stiftung Mercator.
Find out more about the Sprint here: https://cyber.harvard.edu/story/2021-03/research-sprint-examines-digital-self-determination-increasingly-interconnected-world
The NCIS organised a panel at the 14th international conference on Computers, Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) entitled ‘Global AI Governance: Perspectives from Four Continents’. There is lot of discussion on the social, political, and economic impact of AI and one sobering fact in such discussions is that the benefits and harms are not distributed equally across populations and geographies. A recording of the panel is available on our website.
Available Position of Assistant Professor in Communication with focus on Digitalization.
The department of Communication and Culture at BI Norwegian Business School invites applications for the position of Assistant Professor in Communication with focus on Digitalization for a 4-year tenure track position. The successful candidate is expected to be a driving force that enhances our research and teaching at the intersection of communication and digital technology. Deadline to apply is April 30. More information and How to apply here:
BI’s Nordic Centre for Internet and Society in collaboration with the consortium partners of the H2020 project Artsformation published the first reports on the role of the arts in the digital transformation, enterprises and society. These reports are part of a series of works that reviews the scholarly and practical state of the arts and establish the beginning of the project’s research work laying the foundations for the upcoming activities of Artsformation.
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.
Together with Eduard Fosch Villaronga (Leiden University) and Aurelia Tamò-Larrieux (University of Zurich), the Nordic Centre's Christoph Lutz organized a workshop at the 29th IEEE International Conference on Robot & Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2020), one of the key conferences in the field of robotics. The half-day online workshop was on the topic of overtrust and was well received.
Prof. Peder Inge-Furseth has a new op-ed in Dagens Næringsliv, where he comments on how well the Nordic retail landscape is prepared for the market entry of global retail platforms, in particular Amazon. His rather pessimistic prognosis of how well prepared the Nordic's retailers really are for this new competitive landscape can be read here: https://www.dn.no/innlegg/handel/varehandel/netthandel/er-elkjop-det-neste-kodak/2-1-854258
BI's Nordic Centre for Internet and Society and Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society's Youth and Media Group recently published a report on how young people acquire skills and capital.
We are very happy and proud that our colleague Kateryna Maltseva successfully defended her PhD Thesis on Digital Self-Tracking this Thursday.
The new H2020 project Artsformation: Mobilising the Arts for an Inclusive Digital Transformation is an answer to the inequalities in the artists and citizens’ capabilities to thrive in the digital transformation era. A new project lead by Professor Christian Fieseler from BI’s Centre for Internet and Society has succeeded in the competition to receive funding from the EU as part of the H2020 research programme. Through research, innovation and applied artistic methods this project aims to develop artists and citizens’ capacity to adapt in a digitalized world and be able to act as effective participants in their communities.
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 Center 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.
A new research project will look at how businesses, regulators and users should deal with algorithms that cannot be understood. The research project ‘Algorithmic Accountability: Designing Governance for Responsible Digital Transformation’ sets out to create a framework that organizations, regulators and communities can use to take concrete steps towards accountable decision-making processes. In order to do this, Professor Fieseler and colleagues will investigate how both organizations and stakeholders can shape and implement AI and algorithmic technologies in a way that is transparent, comprehensible and ultimately accountable. The project has been awarded NOK 10 million from the Research Council of Norway and will run until the end of 2023. It is based at the BI Research Centre for Internet and Society. In addition to Professor Fieseler participants include Associate Professors Christoph Lutz and Alexander Buhmann, and Assistant Professor Eliane Bucher. The project is being carried out in collaboration with the KIN Center for Digital Innovation at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) where Professor Marleen Huysman and Assistant Professors Mark Boons and Ella Hafermalz research organisational implementations of algorithmic accountability. External partners are Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, the University of St. Gallen, the University of Surrey, the University of Groningen and the University of Leipzig.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This year’s main colloquium of the European Group for Organizational Studies was hosted from July 4th-6th at the University of Edinburgh Business School under the theme ‘Enlightening the Future: The Challenge for Organizations’. Our research was presented within the sub-theme of ‘Organizing in the Age of Digitalization and Datafication: Surveillance, Transparency and Power’ hosted by Cristina Alaimo, Mikkel Flyverbom and Nanna Bonde Thylstrup. Here, Eliane Bucher together with Peter Schou from the Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen discussed their paper on behavioral control and self-discipline vis à vis surveillance algorithms on digital work platforms. In particular, they argued that algorithms act as unseen observers that evaluate, judge and potentially punish workers on digital work platforms which leads to workers self-disciplining as they internalizing the rationality of power. We are most grateful to Richard Weiskopf who acted as principal discussant for the paper and who provided nuanced and actionable feedback for the further development of this research stream.
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.
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 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
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 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.
Isabel Ebert from the Institute for Business Ethics of the University of St. Gallen presented research on datafication at the workplace
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.
Dr. Jim Spohrer, Director of Cognitive OpenTech at IBM, visited the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society on Wednesday, 8 March 2019. His visit included two very insightful presentations on the value and future of artificial intelligence.
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.
In April, we presented our research on holding algorithms accountable via discourse principles at the Swiss Association of Communication and Media Research
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.
This January, we were part of an interdisciplinary workshop on alternative carreer paths, ethical practices of influencer marketing and good ways to regulate how Influencers should interact with their oftentimes vulnerable audiences.
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 have 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.
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.
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.
Kateryna Maltseva has led a breakout session at the annual conference of Quantified-self community on September 23rd, 2018. The topic of the session was: “Human Machines: Is Quantifying Experiences Dehumanizing?”. Kateryna has presented her research on self-tracking and dehumanization and moderated a discussion among the participants of the breakout session. Among the topics discussed during the breakout session were: “(De)humanizing effect of technologies”, “Technological solutionism”, and “Technological positivism”.
The Nordic Centre's own Professor Peder Inge Furseth made an appearance in Aftenposten to discuss innovation.
Research Talk with Dr. Violetta Splitter (University of Zurich) Open Strategy: When lower-level employees participate in strategy making Mo 29.10.18, 16:30 - 18:00, room C40.152 (Leuphana University of Lüneburg) Open strategy refers to a process where a larger range of actors (and sometimes even the wider public) becomes involved in the strategy making process of an organizaion. This recent trend is especially fostered by digital technologies that faciliate such inclusion. Some open strategy approaches in particular aim for the inclusion of lower-level employees. Yet, such participation is challenging as lower-level employees typically lack the competences for participation, such as convincingly communicating strategic issues. Drawing on a narrative approach to strategy and data from a longitudinal, ethnographic case study of a participative strategy process in a large insurance company, we examine the dynamics of participation based on employees’ discursive competences. In particular, we identify a recursive relation between participation and the development of discursive competences. With this finding we contribute to the understanding of participation over time, extending existing research on the discursive elements needed for participation in open strategy processes. Violetta Splitter is an assistant professor (Oberassistentin) at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Her research interest include participation and power relations in strategy making as well as digital strategy making. She mainly draws on practice theories to examine these topics. Recently, she completed a large-scale ethnography in a global insurance company examining participation in strategy making. She furthermore serves as the Membership Chair of the Strategy as Practice (SAP) Interest Group of the Academy of Management and as a member of the SAP leadership team at EGOS. Until September 2018, she has been a visiting scholar at Saïd Business School in Oxford. If you like to take part in this event, please send Annette Schimming (email@example.com) a short notice by Oct. 22 at the latest. This event is sponsored through a research collaboration with BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo on the „Future ways of working in the digital economy“, funded by the Research Council of Norway.
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.
Christoph Lutz and Gemma Newlands 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. Christoph Lutz also moderated a paper session. 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.
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.
Sut I Wong and Marthe Berntzen together with Therese Bjugstad from Visma presented insights and results from their recently published paper on leadership communication training and employee engagement. The paper, “Leader Communication: A key to employee engagement” was co-authored with Therese Bjugstad from Visma. The event was fully booked, with leaders and practitioners with a common interest in leadership communication. We thank the engaged audience for good questions, and Econa for inviting us to present our research at this event.
Marthe Berntzen and Sut I Wong, together with Therese Bjugstad (Visma Enterprise AS) published a new article in Magma, a Norwegian journal for economists and leaders. The article investigates the relationship between communication training for leaders and leader communication performance, and how these relates to follower work engagement. Based on data from a large Norwegian financial institution, the findings show that leaders who increase their communication performance are likely to have more engaged followers than leaders who do not improve their communication.
Marthe Berntzen presented a paper; “When the favor is not seen as genuine” at the 3rd International Symposium on Leadership Perspectives, in Chania, Crete. The paper investigates the moderating roles of social and economic leader-member exchange on the relationship between empowering leadership and organizational citizenship behaviors. The paper is co-authored with NCIS co-director Sut I Wong, as well an external author, Fredrik Steen. This conference is a meeting place for leading scholars within leadership and management research, and this year’s topic was on “What leaders actually do” – a highly relevant topic in the changing world of work.
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.
Sut I Wong and Marthe Berntzen presented initial research finding at a leader workshop for Visma, where around 100 international leaders, managers and team leaders were present. The one-hour session included a lecture by Sut I Wong on “Leading in the Digitized Workplace” before Marthe Berntzen and Sut I Wong in collaboration presented initial findings of their data collection earlier this spring. The session was well received, and the audience was highly engaged, leading to interesting discussions and reflections in the leader group.
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.
In February, we participated in the “Philosophical Questions about Artificial Intelligence, Law and Governance” workshop, which was held in Zurich (Switzerland) on the February 15th and 16th, 2018. The event was organized by the Faculty of Law of the University of Zurich in collaboration with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. The aim of the workshop, which brought together scholars from both Science and Technology Studies and legal studies was to discuss the legal and political issues raised by AI and explore novel ways of interdisciplinary research to better understand normative implications of smart technologies.
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.
In October 2017, Dr. Michal Tomczak and Dr. Pawel Ziemianski from Gdansk Technical University visited the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society.
The purpose of the visit was to establish a connection and to discuss collaboration opportunities within the area of future workplace demands. A two-day workshop was held where topics of common interest were discussed and a new potential research project was proposed. The workshop outlined several opportunities for collaboration and we look forward to continuing this dialogue.
Three reports have been published by researchers within the Nordic Centre on the topic of the Sharing Economy. These reports form one element of a European Union Horizon 2020 Research Project: Ps2Share ‘Participation, Privacy, and Power in the Sharing Economy’.
The Consortium held their third meeting of the EU H2020 Project in Oslo, Norway.
Over a period of three days, the consortium members held fruitful discussions regarding the ongoing research activities and planned ahead for the upcoming deliverables.
Hosted throughout by BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, Norway, the main meeting was preceded by a pre-meeting with Jovoto for the purposes of data sharing, idea generation, and platform-situated discussions.
On the following day, the main meeting began with representatives of every consortium member, including a couple of welcome new additions to the team. Christian Fieseler (BI) opened the meeting with a warm welcome, where he outlined the ongoing project vision and its progression to date. In particular, Christian Fieseler was glad to discuss the data collection efforts which had been underway over the summer, resulting in a pan-European survey of more than 6000 participants.
The meeting transitioned to an engaging overview, by Giulia Ranzini (VU Amsterdam) of the Focus Groups which had been carried out across Europe. Each Work Package was pleased to share their ongoing analysis. Afterwards, Katarina Stanoevska-Slabeva (University of St. Gallen) provided insight into the large scale platform analysis which is being carried out in St. Gallen.
The first day of the project was concluded with an in-depth discussion of the upcoming reports. Guidelines and expectations were shared.
On the last day of the meeting, due consideration was given to the survey, its analysis, and its presentation, with presentations being given by Christian Hoffmann (University of Leipzig), Ivar Vermeulen (VU Amsterdam), and Christoph Lutz (BI). As a final element, Christian Fieseler rounded up the meeting with a planning session on how to disseminate the findings.
Overall, the consortium had an enjoyable and productive set of meetings and is excited to progress forward with the project. Everyone is looking forward to meeting up again in Amsterdam in November for the final project meeting.
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 in the platform economy, and what makes good and fair digital labor.
New research published in Social Science Computer Review shows how the unemployed cope with unemployment with the help of the Internet.
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.
Kateryna Maltseva and Christoph Lutz presented their research at the "Metric Culture: The Quantified Self and Beyond" conference. The event took place at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) from June 7-9 and convened leading experts in the field of self-tracking.
Christian Fieseler and Christoph Lutz attended this year’s ICA conference in San Diego and presented current research at the NCIS on digital labor, privacy, and digital inequality.
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
Continuing the Nordic Centre's lecture series on future of work, we had the pleasure to host Thomas Anglero, the Director of Innovation at IBM Norway at BI on the 20th April.
To a wide audience of practitioners, academics, and interested alumni, Thomas gave an engaging presentation full of examples of where and how Watson can be used in different industries throughout the world. Thomas discussed how Watson technology can be harnessed to produce unique results for businesses, with or without prior technical competence.
Christoph Lutz takes part in first Sharing Economy COST Action meeting in Brussels, 24th March 2017.
NCIS' Christoph Lutz was part of the first meeting of the newly founded COST Action CA16121 "From Sharing to Caring: Examining Socio-Technical Aspects of the Collaborative Economy" as one of two management committee members for Norway. The meeting took place on the 24th of March in Brussels.
The management committee consists of researchers and practitioners dedicated to understanding the sharing economy in Europe better. Over the next four years, the COST Action members will meet regularly, exchange their experiences and conduct practice-centered research on the topic. A central goal is the construction of a central repository with case studies from each country in order to understand local initiatives in a comparative manner. Moreover, the members of the COST Action will engage in joint publications and outreach activities within smaller working groups.
More information about this COST Action can be found here.
(Photo courtesy of Rogerio Camboim via Flickr)
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.
The Nordic Centre for Internet & Society became part of the COST Action “From Sharing to Caring: Examining Socio-Technical Aspects of the Collaborative Economy” in January 2017.
Christoph Lutz is the management committee member for Norway.
COST stands for “European Cooperation in Science and Technology” and COST Actions are science and technology networks across a broad range of countries to foster collaboration and innovation in Europe.
They are bottom-up and multi-disciplinary in nature, involving conferences, meetings and informal collaboration.
The Project Consortium held their first meeting to kick off the EU H2020 project in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Held over two days, the partners were able to get to know each other better in person and share their vision of the project.
Christian Fieseler (BI Norwegian Business School) provided a warm welcome to the consortium participants, outlining the project vision, work package division, and conceptual underpinning of the project. Christian also provided an overview of the varying theoretical conceptualisations of the sharing economy.
Christian Hoffmann (University of Leipzig) followed with a presentation on participation, emphasising the importance of considering participants as well as non-participants in the sharing economy.
Michael Etter (Copenhagen Business School), based on the discussions held earlier, provided a working definition of the sharing economy and Giulia Ranzini (VU University, Amsterdam) gave a presentation on privacy, discussing theoretical conceptions of privacy and providing a framework for understanding the risks and opportunities that accompany privacy.
Gemma Newlands (BI Norwegian Business School) followed with a presentation on power, outlining the multiple intersections of power with the sharing economy while Katarina Stanoevska-Slabeva (University of St. Gallen) gave an overview of sharing economy business models, covering the concept of platform life-cycles.
The consortium is excited to progress forward with the project.
Sut I attended the Mindfulness WorkLab organized by the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP) in Nuremberg in November 2016.
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.
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.
The European Commission has issued a decision awarding Horizon 2020 funding to BI's Nordic Centre for Internet and Society for a new project on 'Power, Participation, and Privacy in the Sharing Economy'.
The one year research project will commence in 2017 and will include collaboration between a consortium of world-class researchers based in Norway, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, and Switzerland.
This will be the first EU research project with BI Norwegian Business School as the consortium leader, with Dr. Christian Fieseler and Dr. Christoph Lutz as the project's directors.
Dr. Christoph Lutz said "We are delighted to continue our cutting edge research on the sharing economy in Europe with this EU Horizon 2020 grant. This affords us the liberty to explore the Sharing Economy in greater depth and to challenge current polarizing public discussions with a more critical and empirical stance.
In alignment with the European Commission's emerging interest in the economic impact of sharing services such as Uber and Airbnb, this Horizon 2020 project will focus on questions of inclusion/exclusion within the sharing economy while addressing participation gaps and placing a special emphasis on the role of privacy concerns.
Conclusions from this research will be used to develop evidence based policy recommendations for EU companies and institutions on how to improve their digital services. It aims to foster better awareness of the consequences which technologies, networks, and new digital media can have on the way people behave, think, interact, and socialise.
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?’
The Nordic Centre for Internet & Society had the great fortune to host two guest researchers this October.
Dr. Giulia Ranzini visited to Oslo to present her research on mobile dating and co-ordinate the upcoming EU H2020 project on the sharing economy. Her presentation explored users’ diverse motivations for using the dating app Tinder, comparing users’ authentic and deceptive self-presentations.
Giulia discussed the results of her survey, which was completed by 500 US Tinder users and highlighted some important psychological predictors of use behaviour, e.g. self-esteem and narcissism.
Giulia is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication at VU Amsterdam. Her research deals with aspects of self-presentation and identity on social media and in online dating environments.
Dr. Hannah Trittin, from the University of Zurich, also visited the Nordic Centre in late October. Hannah presented her ongoing research about corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication and aspirational talk.
Her research uses in-depth qualitative and observational data from a leading multi-national German corporation to outline changes in CSR communication over time. Her presentation demonstrated that the importance of CSR talk – especially aspirational talk – has increased over the last 20 years.
Since September 2016, Hannah has been a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Chair for Foundations of Business Administration and Theories of the Firm.
Dr. Christian Fieseler and Dr. Christoph Lutz introduced the Nordic Centre for Internet & Society to an audience of media and communication scholars of the University of Oslo on Tuesday, 25th October 2016.
Christian and Christoph’s talk focused on the general vision of the Centre. They also summarized specific research projects and results. In particular, Dr. Christian Fieseler discussed the social and economic ramifications of the sharing economy, outlining the trade-off between functionalities and downsides of platform-work. Key challenges involve decreased employment stability, lack of employer identification, and uncertain and evolving social norms.
Dr. Christoph Lutz presented an overview of the research carried out at the Nordic Centre in the last few months. He discussed a study about self-presentation and motives for using Tinder and a study about privacy in the sharing economy.
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.
Furthering our goals of international collaboration, BI’s recently established Nordic Centre for Internet and Society has joined The Global Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Research Centres.
The Global Network is the umbrella organisation for research on the social implications of the Internet and currently includes, among others, The Alexander von Humboldt Institute, The Berkman Klein Centre, The MIT Media Lab, and The Oxford Internet Institute.
Dr Christoph Lutz said, in response to the news, “We are excited and honoured to be a part of such a globally important network. There are naturally a lot of synergies between the research we do here and in the rest of the Network’s members. We think that adding a Business School perspective will provide much value and we can already see many fertile opportunities for collaboration”.
Various members of the NCIS have strong ties across the network and we are already collaborating with The Berkman Klein Centre on our flagship project: Fair Labour and the Digitised Economy. We aim to strengthen our pre-existing links and foster new collaborative efforts in the future.
The 1st of September was the opening of our research centre. The breakfast seminar started out with a welcome speech by President of BI, Inge Jan Henjestad, followed up by Head of Department of Communication and Culture, Gillian Warner-Søderholm, and our two centre directors, Christian Fieseler and Sut I Wong.
Five of our Advisory Board Members had keynote speeches, among them were Fredrik Kallum from Cisco, Yvonne Fosser from Innovation Norway, Roger Schjerva from ICT Norway, Jan Gerlach from Wikimedia Foundation, and Rune Foshaug from NHO.
They stressed about topics related to digitalization: How can people collaborate in a digital context? How can we do so in a way that provide trust and security? How will Internet change organizations and its processes? How will it change us in both private and professional life? Or would it become even more difficult for us to switch off from work? How would it impact the Norwegian industries and society?
Over the upcoming years, we will take a closer look at implications of the Internet from a business point of view. We welcome those who are interested in such topics to share their ideas with us, as we believe the Centre is and will continuously endeavour to be the bridge between research and practice.
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
Sut I visited two research centres in Asia in july - the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) in Macau and the Digital Asia Hub in Hong Kong.
The UNU-CS is a new research institute at the intersections of information and communication technologies and international development (ICTD). The institute runs three research labs, including the Digital Peace Lab, the Gender Tech Lab, and the Small Data Lab.
The Digital Asia Hub is an independent, non-profit Internet and society research think tank based in Hong Kong. The institution is incubated by The Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and has a diverse group of academic, civil society, and private sector partners.
The Hub provides a non-partisan, open, and collaborative platform for research, knowledge sharing and capacity building related to Internet and Society issues with focus on digital Asia. During the visits, Sut I presented the ongoing research projects of our team members at NCIS. Dialogues were established, and collaborations among the centres are under revision.
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 gamification 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?