Business & Information Systems Engineering

Document Type

Research Paper


When IT work is performed through digital labor markets, IT professionals have a high degree of personal responsibility for their careers and must use appropriate strategies to be successful. This paper investigates the success of IT freelancers on digital labor platforms. Drawing on signaling theory, a dataset of 7166 IT freelancers is used to examine how activating, pointing, and supporting signals lead to success. Analysis was carried out using negative binomial regression. The results indicate that the three signaling types positively influence the objective career success of IT freelancers. This paper contributes to the literature by testing signaling theory in the new context of digital labor platforms, investigating IT specifics, and proposing support as a new type of signal for IT professionals on digital labor platforms. In practice, the results provide guidelines for IT freelancers to improve their success within their careers.