Research Papers

Abstract

Micro-task crowdsourcing (MTCS) arrangements have increasingly gained importance as alternatives to traditional work arrangements. Many crowdworkers participate on MTCS platforms as they value the opportunity to work independently, be creative or engage in a wide variety of tasks. However, little attention has so far been given to those crowdworkers who heavily rely on MTCS arrangements as they face impeding career barriers in traditional work arrangements. Therefore, we know little on which career barriers in traditional work arrangements encourage crowdworkers to work via MTCS platforms, and how MTCS arrangements can contribute to evading these impeding barriers. This is however a crucial perspective for enhancing our understanding of the impact MTCS arrangements have and their potential to create a more inclusive overall labor market. Building on qualitative data from open questionnaires answered by 286 active crowdworkers, and a netnographic approach covering 576 forum posts, we reveal that crowdworkers dominantly face career barriers in traditional work arrangements due to intensive social commitments, physical and mental issues and demographic characteristics. As MTCS arrangements are released from fixed attendance, direct social relations and rigid selection processes, they contribute to evading these barriers. Our study provides important theoretical and practical implications.

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