One of the many ways businesses and other sectors have been transformed has been the explosion of crowdwork, with many types of work outsourced to an online labor marketplace.
But despite a corresponding explosion of research into the phenomena, one important factor had not been investigated, said Xiao Ma, Assistant Professor of Business Analytics in the Department of Decision & Information Sciences at Bauer College.
“For businesses who want to outsource their jobs, they want a strategy to make sure their jobs are being completed by more responsible or more productive workers than less so. But how can they do that?” Ma said, reiterating the essential question he and two others sought to answer in a 2016 research paper.
The answer according to the research team’s conclusion is pretty simple: Take the time to identify and hire the small percentage of workers who are most engaged with others in crowdwork community forums online.
Whether they are sharing work strategies with others or simply taking a break from tedious tasks, the crowdworkers who spend more time communicating with others are not only more likely to be more productive and consistent employees, they are also more likely to be patient when setbacks or issues associated with assignments inevitably arise, Ma said.
“They make fewer errors and get more done. Those workers who spend extra time in the online community have demonstrated that they treat work seriously. Those who are not so serious are less likely to be in the community,” he added.
“Toward a Contextual Theory of Turnover Intention in Online Crowdworking” was presented at the International Conference on Information Systems in 2016.
By Julie Bonnin