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Abstract

Offshore outsourcing has increased to the point where it is now part of the mainstream consciousness. The same tools that enable remote work sharing in corporations also allow individuals to outsource their own work (microsourcing)—either with company approval or covertly. As an innovative work practice, microsourcing can bring greater flexibility to the workforce. It also has the potential to undermine control of the work process as well as introducing new risks and ethical issues to the workplace. The appearance of brokers to facilitate microsourcing suggests that entrepreneurs perceive there is a demand for these arrangements. Due to the potential threats to intellectual property, even employers and managers who do not use or approve of the practice should take some steps to educate themselves about microsourcing. This research is the first known attempt to use a theoretical framework to understand microsourcing as an individual level work strategy as well as its context and drivers. This study uses Structuration Theory as a guideline in the investigation of different microsourcing implementations.

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