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.
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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.
Peder Inge Furseth, professor at the Department of Communication and Culture and member of the Nordic Centre, just published a new paper in the esteemed Journal of Business Research (impact factor of 10.97 and ABS Academic Journal Guide level 3). The article is co-authored with Richard Cuthbertson (University of Oxford) and engages in theory-building in the area of digital innovation management.
Research into the Resource-Based View (RBV) and Knowledge-Based View (KBV) of firms has evolved over the last 30 years from being focused on the control of physical resources, through knowledge-based digital resources, to innovation. The article explores how competitive advantage through digital resources is different to physical resources. It considers a service perspective of RBV-KBV to help explain differences, which helps explain the evolution of RBV-KBV research over the last 30 years and strengthens the links between the established research themes of RBV, KBV, and innovation.
Nordic Centre members Christoph Lutz and Gemma Newlands have a new article in the prestigious journal New Media & Society (impact factor 5.31). The paper is co-authored with Dorothy L. Blyth (SAS) and Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), looking into the phenomenon of self-branding among online freelancers on the leading digital work platform Upwork.
Self-branding is crucial for online freelancers as they must constantly differentiate themselves from competitors on online labor platforms to ensure a viable stream of income. In their article ´Self-Branding Strategies of Online Freelancers on Upwork´, the authors analyze interviews with 39 freelancers and clients on Upwork, identifying five key self-branding strategies: boosting a profile, showcasing skills, expanding presence, maintaining relationships with clients, and individualizing brand.
In this article published in the Strategic Management Journal (ABS 4*, impact factor of 7.82, Financial Times 50 journal), Nordic Centre member Johannes Loh and Tobias Kretschmer (LMU Munich School of Management, Centre for Economic Policy Research) analyze how contribution patterns differ between more and less successful digital platforms. This serves to better understand the conditions under which online communities create value productively, and how they can be a source of competitive advantage.
By studying 23 game wiki communities on two competing platforms, Johannes and his co-author find that a platform’s advantage is tied to higher activity, which is in turn the result of more manpower in the value creation process, but also higher productivity by individual contributors. Furthermore, a dedicated core of highly productive community members is an important driver of platform success.
To succeed in growing and scaling their organization, start-ups must establish roles, routines, rules, and plans that coordinate organizational activities. However, early-stage start-ups often lack such coordination mechanisms.
Through a longitudinal qualitative multiple-case study of five start-ups, Nordic Centre member Peter Kalum Schou and Marius Jones (Norwegian School of Economics) develop an emergent theoretical framework for how start-ups develop and improve coordination over time. The article is published in the prestigious Academy of Management Journal (ABS 4*, impact factor of 10.98, Financial Times 50 journal). The authors find that start-ups establish coordination through a learning sequence consisting of four distinct learning styles.
Former Nordic Centre director and head of department of the Department of Communication and Culture Sut I Wong published a new article in the prestigious Human Resource Management Journal (ABS Academic Journal Level 4* and impact factor of 5.67). The article is co-authored with Marthe Berntzen (University of Oslo) and Gillian Warner-Søderholm (University of Southeastern Norway) and contributes to the literature on distributed teams and remote work.
Previous research on distributed teams indicates that physical distance between team members is problematic for team functioning. This article advances research within the field, investigating the role of team members' psychological experiences of isolation using both a longitudinal diary study and a time‐lag field study. The combined results of the diary study and the time‐lagged field study show that 1) perceived isolation, and 2) perceived isolation combined with high role ambiguity, contribute to experiences of helplessness.
A new paper by Nordic Centre co-director Christoph Lutz was published in the Journal of Service Management (impact factor 7.48). The conceptual article was written with a team of co-authors at Hanken School of Economics (Robert Ciuchita, Gustav Medberg, Valeria Penttinen, Kristina Heinonen) and is situated at the intersection of communication research and services/marketing literature. Digital platform users not only consume but also produce communication related to their experiences. Service research has explored users' motivations to communicate and focused on outcomes such as electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM), but it remains largely unexplored how users iteratively interact with communication artifacts and potentially create value for themselves, other users and service providers. The paper introduces communicative affordances as a framework to advance user-created communication (UCC) in service and discusses three key affordances in more depth: interactivity, visibility and anonymity.
A new article by Nordic Centre member Gemma Newlands was published in Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, a leading journal in economic geography (ABS Academic Journal Guide level 3 and impact factor of 3.79). The paper deals with the experiences of migrant food delivery workers and is based on in-depth qualitative interviews in Norway and Sweden. Platform mediated gig work has become a common labour market entry point for new migrants, due to factors such as information asymmetry regarding local job prospects, imperfect portability of qualifications, and a lack of host country language skills. In this article, Gemma explores how the specific occupational context of gig work intersects with their perceived employability, showing how gig work was considered to be of either of no value to future local employers, or a negative signal as to a workers’ skills and labour market integration.
Suzanne van Gils, together with co-authors Daniel Gläser (University of Hamburg) and Niels Van Quaquebeke (Kühne Logistics University), published a new article in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology (impact factor of 4.87; ABS Academic Journal Guide level 3). Even though paying employees for performance (PfP) has been shown to elicit increased motivation by way of competitive processes, PfP can also activate aggressive aspects of competitiveness. Based on three subsequent studies, the authors showed that: First, PfP triggers the implicit activation of the fighting and defeating facets of competitiveness. Second, co-workers reported more interpersonal deviance from colleagues when the latter received a performance bonus than when they did not. Lastly, employees with a bonus self-reported higher interpersonal deviance towards their co-workers, which was mediated by individual competitiveness.
How can we meet the future of artificial intelligence (AI) through deliberative governance? Responsible innovation within the field calls for well-informed debate that includes the public and private sector, as well as civil society. In a recently published article in Business Ethics Quarterly (AJG level 4, Impact Factor of 3.7), Alexander Buhmann and Christian Fieseler propose a new framework to meet challenges such as the knowledge gap that exists between experts and citizens, as well as the lack of transparency of AI innovation.
Even though digital self-tracking technologies such as mobile applications and wearables have been welcomed as useful tools in users' pursuit to healthier, happier lives, many are critical towards such technologies, especially in regard to factors such as body surveillance and control stemming from their embedded performance standards. This article studies the experience of users who regularly but casually engage with self-tracking technologies. The study, which was published in The Information Society, suggests that we approach self-tracking technologies and their effects with a more holistic approach.
Nordic Centre member Gemma Newlands published a new paper in Sociology, the flagship journal of the British Sociological Association and ranked level 4 in the ABS Academic Journal Guide. Based on qualitative research with 41 food delivery riders in Norway and Sweden, the article investigates processes of recognition in the gig economy. Extant research into recognition at work has typically only focused on face-to-face interactions, overlooking technologically complex forms of work where recognition might be sought from and via technical intermediaries, such as platform-mediated gig work. Advancing sociological research into the lived experience of contemporary gig workers, the article explores how these workers solicit and experience recognition at work. As a key contribution, Gemma’s research identifies a process of anthropotropism, a turning towards the human whereby human connections are sought in attempts to pursue traditional social scripts of collegiality and to gain recognition from legitimate human sources.
A new article by Nordic Centre member Shubin Yu and co-authors Anqi Yu (University of Antwerp) and Huaming Liu (University of Granada) came out in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services (impact factor of 10.97). In their research, the authors intend to find out whether and how a “China-made” label can influence online consumers’ product evaluation as adding labels to highlight products’ attributes has become an acquainted measure online by e-tailers/ firms to attract online consumers’ attention. The results show that when consumers’ nationalism is primed, the label significantly enhances the product evaluation by increasing the perceived social value of the product. Priming consumers’ patriotism, on the other hand, does not play a moderating role for this effect.
A new paper by NCIS members Eliane Bucher, Christian Fieseler, Christoph Lutz and Alexander Buhmann just came out in the top-journal New Media & Society (Impact Factor 8.1, 2/95 ranked journal in Communication). The article relies on a longitudinal survey of 460 Amazon Mechanical Turk workers and combines quantitative and qualitative analyses on the interplay of alienation, platform commitment and identity work. Among five types of alientation investigated - meaninglessness, powerlessness, normlessness, self-estrangement, and social isolation - self-estrangement turned out to be most pronounced. Platform commitment helps decrease alienation but alienation does not lower platform commitment. Identity work acts as a potential coping mechanism, with both embracing and distancing identity themes present in the data.
Algorithmic profiling describes the systematic and purposeful recording and classification of data related to individuals. It is a common practice among digital platform companies such as Google, Facebook or Amazon. However, little is known how users perceive, interpret and experience algorithmic profiling in practice - and algorithms more generally. To address this gap, Christoph Lutz, together with co-authors Moritz Büchi (University of Zürich), Eduard Fosch-Villaronga (Leiden University), Aurelia Tamò-Larrieux (University of St. Gallen) and Shruthi Velidi (former Fulbright visiting scholar at NCIS) conducted a user-centered survey of 292 US-based Facebook users, exploring their reactions to their algorithmically inferred ‘Your Interests’ and ‘Your Categories’ sections on the platform. The study, published in the estemeed journal Information, Communication & Society (Impact Factor of 5.4) revealed a broad and set of reactions, characterized by a sense of uncertainty but also disillusionment among many respondents. The article is available open access under the link in the title.
Smart connected toys (SCTs), such as Pleo and Hello Barbie, are physical toys that have sensors, are powered by energy, are software-controlled and interactive, and possess certain mobility. SCT are increasingly entering the daily lives of children and parents. However, they come with specific challenges and side-effects. In a new paper, published in AI & Society, Christoph Lutz, together with Eduard Fosch-Villaronga, Simone Van der Hof (both Leiden University) and Aurelia Tamò-Larrieux (University of St. Gallen), discuss the side-effects of SCT on a technical, individual, and societal level. They also relate these side effects to potential regulatory and legal solutions. The article is available open access under the link in the title.
Recent years have witnessed the development of algorithmic management not only in platform-mediated gig work, but also in more standard work settings. Algorithms have a central bearing on how work is managed, their outcomes in transforming management and relationships between workers and managers are socially constructed and enacted. The article ‘Algorithmic management in a work context’ explores algorithmic management as a sociotechnical concept, which reflects both technological infrastructures and organizational choices, and discusses how algorithmic management may influence existing power and social structures within organizations.
A growing number of organizations and workers rely on short-term and project-based relationships. However, flexible work arrangements take place in a new sociotechnical dynamic, where workers rely on a diversity of digital tools that defy centralized, top-down standardization or governance. Personal Digital Infrastructures (PDIs), defined as individualized assemblages of tools and technologies, such as personal laptops, smartphones, cloud services, and applications, help workers realize the opportunities and mitigate the risks that come with flexible work arrangements. The article is based on 170 semi-structures interviews with flexible workers and highlights the large diversity of tools and technologies for work used by the participants, as well as how PDIs connect to four flexibility dimensions: spatial, temporal, organizational and technological.
New digital technologies possess the potential to transform entrepreneurial processes, such as how entrepreneurs pursue opportunities and how they learn. This study of a large online community of entrepreneurs (called r/startups) on Reddit builds new theory on entrepreneurial learning in online communities. Drawing on coactive vicarious learning, a theory that describes how learning is socially constructed trough discursive interactions, it is outlined how entrepreneurs exchange experiences and help each other with questions and issues.
In this article, Alexander Buhmann and Christian Fieseler apply recent work on tackling grand challenges though robust action to assess the potential and obstacles of managing the challenge of algorithmic opacity. They also extend the robust action approach by linking it to a set of principles that can serve to evaluate organisational approaches of tackling grand challenges with respect to their ability to foster accountable outcomes under the intricate conditions of algorithmic opacity.
This study aims to understand how HRM activities apply to and take shape on digital platforms by studying worker perceptions. The study combines supervised text analysis with an in-depth content analysis, relying on 12’924 scraped comments from an online forum of workers on Upwork. Five conversations on HRM practices are outlined, being access and mobility, training and development, scoring and feedback, appraisal and control and platform literacy and support. Based on these findings, the authors build five propositions about how digital platforms employ HRM activities.
Information about how, where, and for whom AI services have been produced are valuable secrets, which vendors strategically disclose to clients depending on commercial interests. This new paper by Gemma Newlands, published in the open access journal Big Data & Society, provides a critical analysis of how AI-as-a-service vendors manipulate the visibility of human labour in AI production either by occluding human labour in the organizational ‘backstage’, further contributing to ongoing techno-utopian narratives of AI hype, or by ‘lifting the curtain’ when co-producing the AI service with the client, resulting in a paradoxical situation of needing to both perpetuate dominant AI hypenarratives while emphasising AI’s mundane limitations.
Christoph Lutz, together with Aurelia Tamò-Larrieux (University of St. Gallen), recently published their paper "Do Privacy Concerns About Social Robots Affect Use Intentions? Evidence From an Experimental Vignette Study" in the open access journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI. Chritstoph and Aurelia study how the privacy risks of a fictional social robot affect use intentions. Controlling for trust, general opinion about robots, social influence, scientific interest and demographics, a significant and negative effect of privacy risk on use intentions is found. This suggests that privacy matters. Respondents take it into account when framed prominently. The article followed up on earlier research published in 2020, which used a different methodology (https://stars.library.ucf.edu/hmc/vol1/iss1/6/).
Smart speakers such as Amazon Echo or Google Home are increasingly entering people's homes. However, due to their recording capabilities and embeddeddness in private settings, smart speakers come with privacy and security risks that might result in privacy concerns. To investigate this novel technology, its privacy risks and users' privacy protection behavior, Christoph Lutz and Gemma Newlands surveyed 300 UK-based smart speaker users. They found that concerns about third-party contractors and the companies behind the smart speakers (e.g., Amazon, Google) are more pronounced than concerns about other individuals such as household members or the smart speaker itself as a social agent. Moreover, privacy protection is not prevalent. Their research was recently published in the renowned journal The Information Society and is available open access here.
The present study investigates how individual and collaborative job crafting may help digital labourers to build resilience and career commitment in the gig economy. Results based on a time-lagged survey from 334 digital labourers indicate that those who engaged in higher individual job crafting reported subsequently higher resilience at the outset. Moreover, high collaborative job crafting compensated for low individual crafting efforts in reaching higher resilience and subsequently higher career commitment in the gig economy.
The rise of the gig economy has given fuel to digital labour platforms such as “Upwork” and “Fiverr”. Many important aspects of these platforms’ services are controlled by non-transparent algorithmic management, leading gig workers to use specific strategies to pacify the algorithm. Learn more about how gig workers deal with algorithmic management and its opacity in the research article written by Eliane Bucher, Peter Schou and Matthias Waldkirch published in the journal Organization.
Metropolitan cities are often thought of as ‘icons of the creative economy’. However, many argue that low pay, expensive housing and fierce competition have made such cities nearly unlivable. How do creative workers make sense of their geographical career transitions after moving from urban cities to more remote locations? How important is the role of the urban context for the success of creative careers, as well as for quality of life? Find out more in Alachovska Ana, Christian Fieseler and Sut I Wong’s research article published in Human Relations (journal).
The growing prevalence of gig work creates both opportunities and challenges for Human Resource Management. In this special issue of the Human Resource Management Review focusing specifically on the gig economy, Catherine Connely, Christian Fieseler, Matej Černe, Steffen Ribert Giessner and Sut I Wong provide an informative discussion on how and why one should study HR in the context of the gig economy. The article also lays out useful suggestions for future research on the topic.
This article studies employee silence, being the withholding of work-related ideas, questions, or concerns from someone who could effect change, which has been proposed to hamper individual and collective learning as well as the detection of errors an unethical behaviour in many areas of the world. The study is based on cross-cultural research from 33 countries. The results reveal similarities and differences in the prevalence of silence motives between countries but do not necessarily support cultural stereotypes.
The paper ‘Muzzling social media: The adverse effects of moderating stakeholder conversations online’ by Alexander Buhmann, Kateryna Maltseva, Christian Fieseler and Matthes Fleck studies whether organizations should exercise control by moderating conversations on social media. Their findings show that increased levels of moderation negatively affect attitudes towards an organization, satisfaction with an organization’s performance, and trust in the organization. Increased moderation also significantly undermines beliefs in the commitment of the organization to its stakeholders and control mutuality.
While responsible stewardship of innovation calls for public engagement, inclusiveness, and informed discourse, AI seemingly challenges such informed discourse by way of its opacity (poor transparency, explainability, and accountability). This paper by Alexander Buhmann and Christian Fieseler explores a deliberative framework for accountability discourses among AI developers, the media and civil society. The paper specifically takes up the prospects and challenges of deliberation for responsible innovation in AI. In particular, it addresses the role and functions of public fora, to explore pathways to participation in technology design, to suggest how a society may meaningfully debate, and eventually agree on, systemic compromises for the governance of AI.
Instagram has become a key social media platform for parents to share their parenting experiences through photos, videos and stories. The concept of "sharenting" describes parents' sharing of content about their children on social media and has been heatedly discussed in the media. Initial research has started to investigate sharenting practices but little quantitative evidence exists and Instagram as a prominent platform is under-researched. To find out more about sharenting on Instagram, Giulia Ranzini (VU Amsterdam), Gemma Newlands and Christoph Lutz carried out a survey of 320 UK-based parents with children younger than 13 and active on Instagram. Giulia, Gemma and Christoph were particularly interested in privacy perceptions and boundary negotiations, finding that parents who share more content about themselves also engage more in sharenting. Moreover, peer influence acted as a strong predictor of sharenting. The research is published open access in Social Media + Society, a key emerging journal in the area (2019 Impact Factor of 2.807).
Gemma and Christoph, together with Aurelia Tamò-Larrieux (University of St. Gallen), Eduard Fosch-Villaronga (Leiden University), Rehana Harasgama (Bär & Karrer) and Gil Scheitlin (University of Zurich), published their paper "Innovation under pressure: Implications for data privacy during the Covid-19 pandemic" in the open access journal Big Data & Society (2019 impact factor of 4.577).
In their contribution, the authors discuss the privacy implications of rushed innovations that are rolled out speedily in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Two examples serve as key cases: contact tracing apps and Zoom. The implications are discussed from a socio-technical and from a legal perspective, offering a comprehensive take on the topic.
Across two different studies (field study and experiment), this article examines how and when ethical leadership could reduce followers’ corruption. The authors explore the moderating role of followers’ Machiavellianism and the mediating role of intuitive thinking style in the negative effect of ethical leadership on corruption. The findings show that ethical leadership reduces corruption by leading followers to refrain from engaging in corruption intuitively. Furthermore, it is shown that ethical leadership interacts with followers’ Machiavellianism in reducing corruption. The findings regarding the specific role of Machiavellianism are mixed and therefore warrant further research.
Gemma and Christoph published their paper "Fairness, Legitimacy and the Regulation of Home-Sharing Platforms" in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management (2019 impact factor of 5.667). In this piece, Gemma and Christoph take up debates about the regulation of home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb. While legal research has looked into regulatory matters from a macro-perspective, the user-perspective on regulatory desirability is under-reflected and under-researched.
The article tackles this gap by drawing on fairness theory as well as legitimacy discourses, postulating that the perceived procedural, interpersonal and informational fairness of home-sharing platforms affects their legitimacy positively and their regulatory desirability negatively. Using three experimental vignette surveys, the postulated hypotheses are supported. Home-sharing platform can bolster their legitimacy and reduce the desire for their regulation by acting fairly. The findings are particularly timely because home-sharing platforms, such as Airbnb, are heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and have faced backlash from users (especially hosts) and regulators, challenging their legitimacy and making fairness a key matter of urgency.
Christoph, together with Christian Pieter Hoffmann (University of Leipzig) and Giulia Ranzini (VU Amsterdam), published a new paper in New Media & Society (2019 impact factor of 4.577). Their article "Data capitalism and the user: An exploration of privacy cynicism in Germany" came out in the July issue of the journal, as part of a special issue on "Understanding the Social in a Digital Age" (edited by Zoetanya Sujon and Harry T. Dyer).
The authors draw on rich survey data from more than 1000 Internet users in Germany to investigate the prevalence and dimensions of privacy cynicism, understood as an attitude of uncertainty, powerlessness, and mistrust toward the handling of personal data by digital platforms, rendering privacy protection subjectively futile. The analysis reveals four dimensions of privacy cynicism (uncertainty, powerlessness, mistrust, resignation) and embeds them into a nomological model of adjacent privacy constructs such as privacy concerns, privacy protection behavior, and privacy threat experience. The most pronounced dimension of privacy cynicism is powerlessness, followed by mistrust, uncertainty and resignation. The findings are then contextualized within larger discussions on data capitalism, where users are increasingly pressured to trade off their privacy to be able to participate meaningfully in society through social media and adjacent online services. The article is available open access and can be read here.
Young people’s lives are increasingly shaped by digital technologies. While significant digital divides and participation gaps remain, an increasing number of young people around the globe participate in and contribute to the digitally networked environment in many forms, ranging from creative expression on social media to interactive gaming and collaboration. This spotlight explores young people’s digital engagement through the lens of the digital economy and seeks to gain an initial understanding of youth’s practices, motivations, skills, pathways, and modes of value creation as they interact with a digital environment in which the boundaries between the commercial and personal spheres, between work and play, are often blurring.
The spotlight summarizes key insights from a trans-Atlantic exploratory research collaboration between Youth and Media at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society at BI Norwegian Business School. In addition to sketching building blocks toward a framework, the paper brings together three essays that explore in different application contexts both the opportunities and challenges that surface when young people engage with and participate in the digital economy.
Workplace surveillance is traditionally conceived of as a dyadic process, with an observer and an observee. In this paper, I discuss the implications of an emerging form of work place surveillance: surveillance with an algorithmic, as opposed to human, observer. Situated within the on-demand food-delivery context, I draw upon Henri Lefebvre’s spatial triad to provide in-depth conceptual examination of how platforms rely on conceived space, namely the virtual reality generated by data capture, while neglecting perceived and lived space in the form of the material embodied reality of workers.
This paper offers a two-fold contribution. Firstly, it applies Henri Lefebvre’s spatial triad to the techno-centric digital cartography used by platform-mediated organisations, assessing spatial power dynamics and opportunities for resistance. Secondly, this paper advances organisational research into workplace surveillance in situations where the observer and decision-maker can be a non-human agent.
Our article Digital labourers’ proactivity and the venture for meaningful work: Fruitful or fruitless? was just published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. In their study, Sut I, Christian and Dominique make the point that contrary to what platform organizations may expect, digital labourers view crowdworking as both a job and a career, which in turn fosters meaningfulness.
Based on work with more than 800 digital laborers, the article proposes that careers are important aspect in understanding digital labourers’ understanding of their jobs and careers, and the platforms facilitating digital work could gain in providing career development opportunities, instead of focusing on short‐term incentives.
This article provides a systematic review of laws, guidelines, and best practices related to the Nordic influencer industry as of the year 2020. We highlight some nuanced differences or shortfalls across Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, and give some policy recommendations to national governments and industry in order to maintain a professional Nordic standard.
The article identifies a degree of social, cultural, and economic coherence in the Nordic context that allows for the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish influencer industries to be viewed as a collaborative entity. It then reviews the status of income and tax procedures, and the regulation of commercial disclosures for influencers in the Nordic region. It is hoped that this research contributes to strengthening the integrity and rigour of the Nordic influencer industry to serve as a model for other regional networks of influencers.
Influencer marketing is a hybrid phenomenon, merging the advertising logics of traditional celebrity endorsements with social media’s preoccupation with ‘authentic’ and self-generated consumer content. In this chapter we deconstruct the notion of influencer marketing as an achievable career goal.
We highlight how the unpaid labour of aspirational influencers can be exploited to fulfil the platform-goals of data capture, as well as to fulfil the personal ambitions of more successful influencers. In addition, we explore how aspiring influencers can face barriers to participation and success, including systemic inequalities of gender, race and class, infrastructural inequalities in terms of access to influencer agencies, and algorithmic inequalities whereby social media is visibility determined by opaque and homogenizing systems. While influencer marketing is increasingly prevalent across all major social media platforms, such as YouTube, TikTok, Weibo and WeChat, this chapter will focus on influencers who predominantly use the photo- and video-sharing platform Instagram. Please access the book chapter '#dreamjob: Navigating Pathways to Success as an Aspiring Instagram Influencer' here.
Kateryna Maltseva recently published the article: Wearables in the workplace: The brave new world of employee engagement in Business Horizons. In this article, Kateryna discusses the implications of implementing wearable devices at the workplace. A growing number of organizations increasingly implement wearable devices, hoping to improve organizational performance.
Wearables provide new and unique opportunities for engaging employees with their work and their organizational environment. Wearables allow tracking both environment related data (e.g., location, temperature etc.) as well as physiological data (e.g., heart rate, brain waves etc.). The feedback these devices provide is supposed to help both employees and managers navigate the work environment more effectively. Despite the compelling benefits of wearables, they may prove to be detrimental to organizational performance unless a number of ethical issues are addressed. This article provides an overview of the benefits that certain wearable technologies can provide employees and managers, as well as the challenges they may create for organizations.
We’re excited to contribute a chapter to the new issue of Research in the Sociology of Organizations (RSO). In our chapter titled “Shaping Emotional Labor Practices in the Sharing Economy”, we are investigating how digital platforms of the sharing economy encourage and enforce emotional labor practices among both consumers (passengers, guest etc.) and providers (drivers, hosts etc.). Here, we follow a mixed methods approach, combining survey research among Airbnb and Uber users with content analysis of seven leading sharing economy platforms.
Our findings show that (1) users perform emotional labor despite not seeing is as necessarily desirable and (2) platforms actively encourage the performance of emotional labor practices even in the absence of direct formal control. Emotional labor practices are encouraged through (hard) design features such as mutual ratings, reward systems, and gamification, as well as through more subtle (soft) normative framing of desirable practices via platform and app guidelines, tips, community sites, or blogs.
In this article, we develop a framework for managing algorithmic accountability that highlights three interrelated dimensions: reputational concerns, engagement strategies, and discourse principles.
The framework clarifies (a) that accountability processes for algorithms are driven by reputational concerns about the epistemic setup, opacity, and outcomes of algorithms; (b) that the way in which organizations practically engage with emergent expectations about algorithms may be manipulative, adaptive, or moral; and (c) that when accountability relation-ships are heavily burdened by the opacity and fluidity of complex algorithmic systems, the emphasis of engagement should shift to a rational communication process through which a continuous and tentative assessment of the development, workings, and consequences of algorithms can be achieved over time.
Christoph Lutz' article Digital Inequalities in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data has been published in the new journal Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies. In this comprehensive literature review, Christoph summarizes previous research on digital inequalities and then shows avenues how this literature might engage with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data and the gig economy.
The article is a call for exploring technologies such as smart speakers, online labor platforms and social media through the sociological lens of inequalities, showing how different population groups adopt, use and benefit in different ways from such emerging technologies. The article can be found here and is freely accessible.
Nordic Centre collaborators Anabel Quan-Haase, Lyn Hoang (both University of Western Ontario) and Grant Blank (University of Oxford) have just published a new article in the prestigious journal Information, Communication & Society. In "The Winners and the Losers of the Platform Economy: Who Participates?" Lyn, Grant and Anabel investigate the predictors of participation in the platform economy.
Using rich and representative survey data from the United States, they show that participants in different sectors of the platform reveal vastly different social profiles. In particular, those who work through labor-exchange platforms tend to come from disadvantaged backgrounds, while participants of online selling platforms tend to be from affluent backgrounds. The findings indicate the need to study the platform economy in a (more) fine-grained manner. Anabel and Grant are involved as international collaborators in the Toppforsk project "Future Ways of Working in the Digital Economy". Their research interests are in the sociological study of the Internet, particularly from a digital inequalities and privacy perspective.
Gemma and Christoph published a new paper in New Media & Society (2018 impact factor of 4.800). Their article "Crowdwork and the mobile underclass: Barriers to participation in India and the United States" came out in late January 2020. It uses rich survey data from more than 600 Amazon Mechanical Turk workers in India and the United States to investigate if and how these workers use mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) for their tasks and task-related activities.
As a theoretical basis, Gemma and Christoph rely on the mobile underclass argument, which describes how mobile Internet access is second-class Internet access due to limitations in functionality, content availability and openness of protocols. The results paint a differentiated picture but offer support for the mobile underclass argument. While many workers report using mobile devices on Amazon Mechanical Turk, this use is complementary and seen as limiting. Substantial barriers to mobile crowdwork exist in in terms of functionality, accessibility, and affordability (especially in India). In the United States, the frequency of mobile phone use for crowdwork has a negative effect on hourly earnings, indicating that workers are effectively penalized for using mobile devices. The study calls for more awareness among Amazon Mechanical Turk requesters (including researchers) to make their tasks mobile-friendly, enabling participation among mobile-first and mobile-only Internet users. The study is part of the ongoing Toppforsk project "Future Ways of Working in the Digital Economy" and is situated within work package 4 on inequalities in new forms of work.
We have recently published a new conceptual article on careers in the gig economy, in the Human Resource Management Journal. In the article, we we debate the obstructions to and potential ways to promote boundaryless careers in the gig economy, which—despite appearing on the surface to offer suitable conditions for boundaryless careers—suffers from numerous conditions that hinder such careers.
In particular, we then conjecture that intraorganisational and interorganisational career boundaries restrict gig workers' development of relevant career competencies and thus limit their mobility. We then put forward the notion that we have to consider moving awayfrom traditional, employer-centric human resource management and introduce new forms of network-based and self-organised human resource management practices (in the form of collaborative communities of practice) in order to diminish these boundaries.
Christoph Lutz, together with co-authors Heike Felzmann (NUI Galway), Eduard Fosch Villaronga (University of Leiden) and Aurelia Tamo-Larrieux (University of Zurich), published a new article in the open access journal Big Data & Society. Their conceptual article "Transparency you can trust: Transparency requirements for artificial intelligence between legal norms and contextual concerns" investigates the phenomenon of transparency in artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making from a legal, sociological and ethical perspective.
The article is a continuation of earlier work on this issue and extends the analyses from robotics to AI more generally. The full article is freely available here. Since its publication at the end of June 2019, the paper has been downloaded over 1000 times and has been heavily tweeted, reaching up to 200000 followers.
Our new special issue in the Journal of Business Ethics, together with Michael Etter from King’s College London and Glen Whelan from York University, was just published. The special issue presents five articles that develop theoretical frameworks and conduct empirical investigations, providing fine-grained analyses of urgent issues in the sharing economy. Together, the articles employ theories rooted in business ethics to investigate the sharing economy and use their investigations of the sharing economy to further develop business ethics theories.
Gemma Newlands, Christoph Lutz and Christian Fieseler saw their new article Trading on the Unknown: Scenarios for the Future Value of Data published in the May issue of Law & Ethics of Human Rights. The journal is one of the key outlets in human rights law, ranking number 3 (out of 44) in the W&L Law Journal Ranking.
GThe paper is part of the special issue "Sharing Economy Markets and Human Rights" and reflects on the ways in which sharing economy platforms, such as Airbnb and Uber, place bets on the future through excessive data collection. It proposes four scencarios of data's future value and discusses how realistic each scenario is.
The article The Conditioning Function of Rating Mechanisms for Consumers in the Sharing Economy by Gemma Newlands, Christoph Lutz and Christian Fieseler was published in the prestigious journal Internet Research (2018 Impact Factor of 4.109).
The paper is a continuation of their 2018 HICSS paper Emotional Labor in the Sharing Economy and forms part of a special issue on the sharing economy. Gemma, Christoph and Christian show through a mixed-methods design how sharing economy consumers (e.g., Airbnb guests, Uber passengers) perform emotional labor, for example by hiding negative feelings. Such emotional labor is perceived as burdensome but necessary due to the bilateral rating mechanisms that major sharing platforms have in place.
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.
The article "The chilling effects of algorithmic profiling: Mapping the issues" was recently published in Computer Law & Security Review (highest ranked journal in the technology law category according to Google Scholar, with a 2018 impact factor of 1.552).
In the paper, Christoph Lutz and his co-authors Moritz Büchi, Aurelia Tamò-Larrieux (both University of Zurich), Shruthi Velidi (former Fulbright visiting researcher at the Nordic Centre), Eduard Fosch-Villaronga (Leiden University), and Salome Viljoen (NYU and Cornell Tech) conduct a thorough literature review of the topics of algorithmic corporate profiling and chilling effects. Chilling effects are understood as the impact of surveillance on constraining behavior. Existing resesarch indicates that algorithmic profiling is becoming increasingly pervasive and that government and peer surveillance can in fact "chill" or constrain individuals. However, little is none about the chilling effects of corporate profiling, with a scattered regulatory landscape in the US and in Europe. The authors offer four propositions for future research to address the topic.
Christoph Lutz and Christian Pieter Hoffmann (University of Leipzig) published a new article in the prestigious journal Policy & Internet (impact factor of 1.927 in 2018). In "Digital Divides in Political Participation: The Mediating Role of Social Media Self‐Efficacy and Privacy Concerns", the authors look at the social inequalities in online and offline political participation in Germany.
Based on a survey of 1488 Internet users in Germany and using social cognitive theory, they find salient antecedents in the form of social media self-efficacy, age, gender and education. The results show how political participation in Germany - both online and offline - is strongly socially stratified and how cognitive dispositions are important to explain it.
The article "The privacy implications of social robots: Scoping review and expert interviews" was recently published in Mobile Media & Communication. The paper by Christoph Lutz, Maren Schöttler (Free University of Berlin) and Christian Pieter Hoffmann (University of Leipzig) systematically assesses the privacy implications of social robots, based on a scoping review and expert interviews.
In the scoping review, the authors analyze 33 relevant publications across fields. In the expert interviews, salient aspects from the literature review are discussed in more depth through the voices of four academic experts, one practitioner, and one policy expert. Together, the analyses show that social robots introduce new privay challenges due to their autonomy and mobility. The article is available here and is part of a Mobile Media & Communication special issue on the topic of "mobile media beyond the mobile phone".
Christoph Lutz, together with co-authors Heike Felzmann (NUI Galway), Eduard Fosch-Villaronga (University of Leiden) and Aurelia Tamo-Larrieux (University of Zurich), managed to publish the article Robots and Transparency: The Multiple Dimensions of Transparency in the Context of Robot Technologies in the prestigious IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine (2018 Impact Factor of 4.250). In the article, the authors look at the transparency requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and problematize its application in the context of social and assistive robots.
In late November 2019, Christoph, together with Eduard Fosch-Villaronga (Leiden University) and Aurelia Tamò-Larrieux (University of Zurich) published the paper "Gathering Expert Opinions for Social Robots’ Ethical, Legal, and Societal Concerns: Findings from Four International Workshops".
The article is the result of four workshops conducted by the authors between 2015 and 2017 at leading robotics conferences. In these workshops, the authors convened scholars and practitioners in the field of social robotics to discuss the ethical, legal and social (ELS) challenges of this emerging technology in a solution-oriented format. The article synthesizes the findings of the workshops and discusses five key challenges: 1) privacy and security 2) legal uncertainty 3) autonomy and agency 4) employment effects 5) replacement of human interactions. The paper is available open access in the International Journal of Social Robotics - a key resource in the field of robotics (2018 impact factor of 2.296).
Our new article in Computers in Human Behavior focuses on how crowdworkers construct meaningfulness, based on the accounts of workers on the crowdsourcing platform Amazon Mechanical Turk. We draw upon a relational job design perspective to explore why microworkers experience meaningfulness in their work.
We found four sources of meaningfulness: rewards, self-improvement, moral, and social. These four sources vary in the degree to which they were internal or external in focus, and in their level of rationalization (concrete or abstract). This may explain why such types of employment are appealing despite a lack of organizational-support structures and points to the need to better understand cue provision in virtual, platform-enabled work settings.
REFERENCE: Kost, D., Fieseler, C., & Wong, S. (2018). Finding meaning in a hopeless place? The construction of meaningfulness in digital microwork. Computers in Human Behavior, 82, 101-110.
In our new article 'Consumer segmentation within the sharing economy: The case of Airbnb', published in the Journal of Business Research, we find that the users of Airbnb services are distinguished by their use-type (selecting shared rooms vs entire homes) and that income, education, gender, and travel modality predict accommodation choices. Utilizing a mixed methods approach, with both a quantitative survey and a qualitative content analysis of Airbnb listings, we compare two different types of accommodation offered on Airbnb: shared room and entire home.
Our key findings in this paper highlight how Airbnb hosts strongly target their listings for consumer segments, but that guest choice and host targeting do not align, leading to potential innefficiency in the market.
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.
With the future of work increasingly data-driven, platforms automate decisions based on the collection of vast quantities of user data. However, non-users constitute a challenge as they provide little to no data for either platforms or other users.
We focus on a category of (non-)users that has not received any attention in research: users-by-proxy. Users-by-proxy make use of sharing services but they are not themselves part of the sharing transaction. Platforms cannot analyze their behavior to tailor services or allocate labor most effectively. Users-by-proxy also have significant implications for trust and reputation mechanisms. In this conceptual contribution, we provide a definition of users-by-proxy as a third category between users and non-users, developing a typology of users-by-proxy based on motives of non-/use. We focus on the ramifications of users-by-proxy for the future of work and their significance for the limits of data-driven decision-making.
In our new article in Academy of Management Discoveries, we were interested in the notion of authenticity in the sharing economy. The sharing economy is witnessing an interesting balance, where on the one side, platforms and providers like to brand authentic experiences, and clients claim to actively seek such experiences. However, at the same time, the sharing economy is increasingly becoming professionalized, witnessing an outgrowth of third-party service provider and less acceptance for service failures.
Against this background, based on a qualitative interview-study as well as on a quantitative survey among users of the room sharing platform Airbnb, we show how the degree of perceived authenticity may impact review behavior and customer loyalty. Our results point to the integral nature of both authenticity and the invocation of notions of authenticity for sharing business models who are reliant, by their very nature, on alleviating the imperfections of amateur production.
REFERENCE: Bucher, E., Fieseler, C., Fleck, M., & Lutz, C. (2017). Authenticity and the sharing economy. Academy of Management Discoveries.
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.
We propose that gamified corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication is potentially well suited to create attention and involvement for corporate CSR initiatives. However, we argue that many gamification applications undermine their purpose and increase stakeholder suspicions about CSR. By debating the potential benefits and risks of gamified CSR communication, we aim to open the scholarly debate on the appropriateness of gamification in CSR.
The article Collective Action and Provider Classification in the Sharing Economy by Gemma Newlands, Christoph Lutz and Christian Fieseler was published in the prestigious journal New Technology, Work and Employment. Using data from 386 sharing economy providers (e.g., Airbnb hosts, Uber drivers) across 12 European countries, the authors investigate soft forms of provider self-organization and attitudes towards collective action. They also look at provider self-classification: the question whether sharing economy providers see themselves as independent contractors or as employees of sharing platforms.
The findings point to varied opinions and practices, with five overarching clusters that range from collective action enthusiasts to collective active opponents. Sharing modalities such as motivations, sharing frequency and the main platform where providers offer access to their goods differentiate these clusters. For example, Uber drivers are more positive towards collective action and also have a stronger preference to be classified as employees compared with Airbnb hosts and BlaBlaCar drivers.
Christian, Eliane and Christian Hoffmann (University of Leipzig) just published a new article named "Unfairness by Design? The Perceived Fairness of Digital Labor on Crowdworking Platforms" in the Journal of Business Ethics. In the article, we analyze institutional biases embedded in on-demand crowdworking platforms and their effect on perceived workplace fairness. We find a triadic relationship between employers, workers, and platform providers, where platform providers have the power to design settings and processes that affect workers’ fairness perceptions.
Christoph, Eliane and Christian, together with Christian Hoffmann (University of Leipzig), published a new article, entitled "The role of privacy concerns in the sharing economy", in the prestigious journal Information, Communication & Society. In this paper, the authors investigate how privacy concerns about Airbnb - both online and offline during the stay - affect users' sharing behavior.
In addition, they look at the role of trust and the perceived benefits of sharing through Airbnb. Based on the analysis of survey data from 374 Airbnb hosts, the authors find that privacy concerns have no significant effect on sharing behavior but trust and the perception of monetary benefits influence sharing positively. This leads to the notion of a sharing paradox, in line with previous research finding divergence between privacy attitudes and behavior.
The article "Where Dating Meets Data: Investigating Social and Institutional Privacy Concerns on Tinder" by Christoph Lutz and Giulia Ranzini (VU Amsterdam) was published in the open access journal "Social Media + Society". In this study, the authors investigate the mobile dating app Tinder.
Using an online survey of almost 500 users, they find that most users' privacy concerns about instiutional threats (such as data collection by Tinder and selling data to third parties) are more pronounced than their concerns about social privacy threats (for example, stalking by other users and hacking). The analysis also reveals the role of motives and psychological factors in predicting both types of privacy concerns.
Christian, together with Severina Müller (University of St. Gallen), Miriam Meckel (Wirtschaftswoche) and Anne Suphan (University of Hohenheim) just had a new article published in Social Science Computer Review. The article named "Time Well Wasted? Online Procrastination during Times of Unemployment" examines the argument regarding whether perceived social exclusion during unemployment leads to procrastination through online media, which in turn lessens the job search efforts of the unemployed.
Based on data from unemployed Internet users, we argue that online procrastination plays an important role in the lives of the unemployed but has no immediate effects on their perceived job search efforts, but contextual factors such as motivational control play an important role.
The article Online serendipity: A contextual differentiation of antecedents and outcomes by Christoph Lutz, Christian Pieter Hoffmann (University of Leipzig), and Miriam Meckel (Wirtschaftswoche) was published in the prestigious Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST). Based on a large survey in Germany with over 1000 respondents, the authors investigate the phenomenon of serendipity on the Internet.
Serendipity describes unexpected experiences prompted by a valuable interaction with ideas or information. In colloquial terms, serendipity means stumbling upon something useful or finding something valuable without looking for it. The study demonstrates how trust, self-efficacy and the disclosure of personal information on the Internet foster serendipity experiences. It also sheds light on the context by distinguishing between online shopping, social media, and information environments such as search. Only in the social media context serendipity leads to higher satisfaction with the service, but not in the online shopping and information scenario.
Sut I recently published a study at International Journal of Human Resource Management, entitled “Influencing upward: Subordinates’ responses to leaders’ (un)awareness of their empowerment expectations”. In this study, Sut I investigated how subordinates engage in upward influence behaviors to voice their opinions on empowerment practices to their leaders.
Data were collected from 114 pairs of leader-subordinate dyads at a manufacturing firm. Based on cross-level polynomial regression and response surface analyses, the present study found that the less the leaders were aware of subordinates’ empowerment expectations, the more the subordinates engaged in upward influence behaviors, namely rational persuasion and inspirational appeals. Moreover, high leader-subordinate task interdependence and subordinate self-efficacy as moderators amplified the (in)congruent relationships. The results contribute to empowerment literature by providing valuable insight into the bottom-up influence in the empowerment process.
Christoph Lutz recently published a new article, entitled "The Dark Side of Online Participation", in the prestigious journal “Information, Communication & Society”. The paper introduces a new typology of online participation and is co-authored with Christian Pieter Hoffmann from the University of Leipzig.
Through focus groups with almost 100 Internet users in Germany, Christoph and Christian derived a typology of online participation with eight forms along three axes. The forms address a range of biases in the literature such as a positivity bias, a political bias and an agency bias.
Christoph, together with Grant Blank from the Oxford Internet Institute (University of Oxford), published a new article, entitled "Representativeness of Social Media in Great Britain: Investigating Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram", in the prestigious journal American Behavioral Scientist.
The authors investigate how different social media platforms differ in their user base in terms of demographic, socio-economic, and attitudinal characteristics. Using rich and high quality data from the Oxford Internet Survey, they find pronounced age and socio-economic differences. Facebook, for example, is used more heavily among young individuals and women as well as users with access to mobile devices and high levels of self-efficacy. The findings have implications for social media research, as no platform is representative of the broader population.
Together with 26 international scholars, Sut I has a paper on leadership identity inventory (ILI) to be presented at European Association of Social Psychology in Granada in July 2017. The social identity approach to leadership has had increasing impact in recent years. Many studies have shown, for instance, that more prototypical leaders are more effective - for example, they are typically trusted more, secure more follower support and have greater leeway to make decisions.
More recently, in addition to identity prototypicality (or “being one of us“), three further dimensions of identity leadership have been identified (Haslam, Reicher & Platow, 2011): identity advancement (“doing it for us“), identity entrepreneurship (“crafting a sense of us“) and identity impressarioship (“making us matter“). All four dimensions have recently been operationalized with the Identity Leadership Inventory (ILI; Steffens et al., 2014). This presentation introduces and presents first results of an ongoing international project, the ILI-Global, which applies and validates the ILI scales by gathering data from all six continents and more than 20 countries with over 3800 participants. The ILI has been translated (using back-translation methods) and used in online surveys along with other measures of leadership (LMX, transformational and authentic leadership) and employee attitudes and (self-reported) behaviors (e.g., satisfaction, identification, citizenship behaviors) in 15 different languages. The results of ILI-Global confirm the validity of the ILI across cultures. We show that the four dimensions of the ILI are distinguishable and that they contribute to the prediction of work-related attitudes and behaviors above and beyond other influential leadership constructs.
The article Making Academic Social Capital Visible: Relating SNS-Based, Alternative and Traditional Metrics of Scientific Impact by Christoph Lutz and Christian Pieter Hoffmann (University of Leipzig) was published in the prestigious journal Social Science Computer Review (2017 Impact Factor of 2.293). Based on a social network analysis of follower-following relationships on ResearchGate and extensive bibliometric data about 300 scholars at a Swiss university, the authors investigate how different metrics of scientific impact relate to each other.
The findings indicate that metrics derived from specific-purpose social media and social networking services such as Mendeley correlate strongly with established citation metrics such as researchers' Google Scholar and Web of Science h-index. Metrics derived from general-purpose social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, on the other hand, have only weak correlations with established citation metrics. Finally, centrality in the ResearchGate network has moderate correlations with most other indicators assessed, showing future potential of social network analysis-based metrics of impact assessment. Such centrality measures might indeed capture academic social capital.
Professor Wong together with Professor Dysvik published a study at International Journal of Human Resource Management on how individuals with various organizational tenure may engage in mastery-avoidance goals. The paper is titled, 'Organizational tenure and mastery-avoidance goals: The moderating role of psychological empowerment'.
Mastery-avoidance (MAv) goals are recognized to be detrimental as they arouse counterproductive work-related behaviours. In the current literature, MAv goals are assumed to be more predominant among newcomers and longer tenured employees. The alleged relationship provides important implications but yet has received scant empirical attention. In response, this study examines the proposed U-shaped curvilinear relationship between organizational tenure and MAv goal orientation. In addition, the potential moderating role of psychological empowerment on this curvilinear relationship is investigated. Based on data from 655 certified accountants, the results support the existence of the hypothesized curvilinear relationship. Also, it revealed that for employees who experience higher levels of psychological empowerment, the U-shaped relationship between organizational tenure and MAv goal orientation becomes flattened.
A new paper by Christoph Lutz, entitled “A Social Milieu Approach to the Online Participation Divides in Germany,” has been published in the open access journal Social Media + Society. It deals with online participation in Germany: active uses of the Internet, where users create and share their own content, for example via blogs, video platforms or on social media. By analyzing focus groups and online communities, this qualitative study identifies different online participation patterns in seven social milieus. Age and proactive attitudes partly account for the milieu differences, with the role of socio-economic status being more complex than assumed in previous research.
The paper “Privacy cynicism: A new approach to the privacy paradox” came out in the open access journal “Cyberpsychology” and is freely available. In this piece, Christoph and his co-authors, Christian Hoffmann (University of Leipzig) and Giulia Ranzini (VU Amsterdam), investigate privacy attitudes in Germany with focus group data. They find that many Internet users are cynical when it comes to their online privacy, expressing feelings of distrust, uncertainty, powerlessness, and resignation.
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.
In their article “The flow of digital labor”, recently published in New Media and Society, Christian Fieseler and Eliane Bucher discuss flow experiences as a driver for engaging in digital microwork, while also looking at factors which may lead to improved digital work experiences in general. Even with the rise of the robots, there are (still) a multitude of tasks which cannot be completed by computers.
Digital microwork platforms such as Amazon Mechanical Turk or Taskrabbit specialize in such human micro-tasks like tagging images, transcribing snippets of text or correctly categorizing the sentiment expressed in a tweet. They broker micro work-packages to an anonymous digital workforce for micro-compensations. Microworkers typically work in their leisure time and they often work for a relatively small overall hourly wage. Based on a survey of 701 workers on amazon mechanical turk, the authors show that intrinsic motivation, complete absorption into the task-stream at hand as well as enjoyment of working on tasks which are sometimes challenging, yet not impossible to solve, contribute to flow-like states of immersion during digital microwork. Furthermore, the authors show that reaching flow while in digital microwork depends on certain work characteristics, such the perceived degree of worker autonomy, the extent to which a worker’s skills are utilized or challenged, and the significance of feedback received for a job well done. The results both highlight the importance of flow-like immersion in explaining why individuals engage in digital labor projects and point to avenues that may lead to the design of optimal digital work experiences.
Article on the Sharing Economy published in Computers in Human Behavior. 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 Bucher, Christian Fieseler and Christoph Lutz 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.
We are happy to present four papers at this year's Academy of Management conference at Los Angeles: // Hoffmann, C., Lutz, C., & Meckel, C. (2016).
Academic Social Capital? Relating Centrality on Research-Gate to Established Impact Measures. Paper to be presented at the 2016 AOM Annual Meeting, Anaheim, 5-9 August. // Kost, D., Wong, S. I, & Fieseler, C. (2016). Finding meaning in a hopeless place: The construction of meaning in digital microwork. Paper Accepted for presentation at Annual Meeting of Academy of Management, Anaheim, California, USA, August 2016. // Wu, J., Giessner, S. R., & Wong, S. I. (2016). When will followers voice up? Interplay between leader-member exchange (dis)similarity and leader group prototypicality. Paper accepted for presentation at Annual Meeting of Academy of Management, Anaheim, California, USA, August 2016. // Kost, D. (2016). Transactive Memory systems in virtual teams: The effect of integration and differentiation on performance. Paper accepted for presentation at Annual Meeting of Academy of Management, Anaheim, California, USA, August 2016. More information about the AOM conference is available here: http://aom.org/annualmeeting/theme/
Sabina Bogilović, Miha Škerlavaj and Sut I Wong published a book chapter on idea implementation and cultural intelligence. The chapter, titled 'Idea implementation and cultural intelligence', was published in 'Capitalizing on Creativity at Work: Fostering the Implementation of Creative Ideas in Organizations', an edited volume by Škerlavaj et al.
In this book chapter, the authors explore the understudied process of how cultural intelligence can enhance idea implementation at the individual level in a culturally diverse work environment. By conducting experimental studies, the authors suggest that employees with high cultural intelligence tend to be more valuable than their colleagues with low cultural intelligence when individuals implement creative ideas in a culturally diverse work environment. The authors also provide some practical examples of how individuals can increase their cultural intelligence in order to better implement creative ideas in a culturally diverse environment.
In a study published at The Leadership Quarterly, entitled 'Crafting One’s Job to Take Charge of Role Overload: When Proactivity Requires Adaptivity Across Levels', Elizabeth Solberg and Professor Wong investigate employees’ job crafting behavior in the context of perceived role overload. They identify employees’ perceived ability to deal with work change (i.e., “perceived adaptivity”) and leaders’ need for structure as moderators positively influencing this relationship.
A two-wave panel field study of 47 leaders and 143 employees in a Norwegian manufacturing firm found that perceived role overload related negatively to employees’ job crafting, as hypothesized. Employees’ perceived adaptivity alone did not increase job crafting in role overload situations, as predicted. Rather, the relationship between perceived role overload and job crafting was only positive when employees’ perceived adaptivity was high and their leaders’ need for structure was low. Thus, employees’ job crafting in role overload situations depends on the interactive fit between employees’ and leaders’ adaptive capabilities providing important implications for the socially embedded theory of job crafting.
The paper “Privacy through Multiple Lenses: Applying the St. Galler Privacy Interaction Framework (SG-PIF)”, co-authored with Aurelia Tamò, Pepe Strathoff and Flavius Kehr and published in ex ante, describes a multi-level perspective on online privacy, based on ecological systems theory. Online privacy is conceptualized on four different levels and their interactions: the personal level, organizations, society, and the government. The authors apply this framework – the SG-PIF – to email tracking and thus show its usefulness.
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.
Professor Wong together with Professor Skerlavaj and Assistant Professor Cerne published a study on job crating in Human Resource Management. The paper is entitled, 'Build Coalitions to Fit: Autonomy Expectations, Competence Mobilization, and Job Crafting'.
Job crafting offers several beneficial organizational outcomes, yet little is known about what makes employees engage in it. In particular, the role of leaders in influencing their subordinates to engage in job crafting has been insufficiently studied. Drawing on role theory, we suggest that the congruence of leader–subordinate autonomy expectations nurtures subordinates’ experiences of having their competences adequately utilized in their jobs. This experience, which involves the competence mobilization of their work roles, subsequently fosters subordinates’ engagement in job crafting behavior. A two-stage field study of 145 leader–subordinate dyads using cross-level polynomial regression and response surface analysis supported the (in)congruence hypotheses. The results also demonstrated that subordinates’ perceived competence mobilization mediates the relationship between autonomy expectation (in)congruence and job crafting. In addition, leader coalition as a moderator strengthens the effect of perceived competence mobilization as a psychological condition for job crafting.
Steffen Giessner, Kate E. Horton and Sut I Wong published a review article at Social Issue and Policy Review on identity management during organizational mergers & acquisitions (M&As). The paper is titled, 'Identity management during organizational mergers: Empirical insights and policy advices'.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are increasingly undertaken in both the private and public sector, for sustaining competitiveness within challenging economic climates, such as Facebook acquired instragram, Amazon is currently planning to acquire FedEx and UPS. Yet, empirical evidence indicates that the majority of M&A activities can be considered as financial failures. In addition, many has pointed to the human and social costs of M&As to be a major contributor. They have conducted a review of the M&A literature and suggested four key areas to consider for M&A adjustment, including identity process, intergroup structure and processes, justice and fairness, and leadership.
We will be present with five papers at this year's conference of the International Communication Association in Fukuoka, Japan: // Lutz, C., & Tamò, A. (2016).
Communicating with Robots: ANTalyzing the Interaction between Digital Interlocutors and Humans. Paper to be presented at the 2016 ICA Post-Conference “Communicating with Machines: The Rising Power of Digital Interlocutors in Our Lives”, Fukuoka, 14 June 2016. // Blank, G., & Lutz, C. (2016). Benefits and Harms from Internet Use – A Differentiated Analysis in the UK. Paper to be presented at the 2016 ICA Annual Conference, Fukuoka, 9-13 June 2016. // Fieseler, C., Bucher, E., & Lutz, C. (2016). Why Do We Share? Exploring Monetary, Moral and Social-Hedonic Motives for Internet-Mediated Sharing. Paper to be presented at the 2016 ICA Annual Conference, Fukuoka, 9-13 June 2016. // Hoffmann, C. P., Lutz, C., & Poëll, R. (2016). Blasting and Posturing: A Gender Divide in Young Facebook Users’ Online Political Participation. Paper to be presented at the 2016 ICA Annual Conference, Fukuoka, 9-13 June 2016. // Ranzini, G., Lutz, C., & Gouderjaan, M. (2016). Swipe Right: An Exploration of Self-Presentation and Impression Management on Tinder. Paper to be presented at the 2016 ICA Annual Conference, Fukuoka, 9-13 June 2016. You can find more information on this year's ICA conference here: http://www.icahdq.org/conf/