Organizations increasingly rely on algorithmic control (AC), which leverages the capabilities of novel digital technologies and intelligent algorithms to automate control activities previously performed by human managers. Existing research points to a diverse set of worker reactions to AC. To explain these diverse reactions, our study focuses on gig-economy work, where AC is particularly prevalent, and draws on a recently proposed theoretical model, which highlights the importance of two antecedent dimensions (compatibility and coherence). On this theoretical basis, and through a qualitative content analysis of an online forum for ride-hailing drivers, our study contributes novel insights to prior literature by contextualizing and detailing ideal-typical worker reactions. In particular, we uncover a set of common, context-specific worker reactions to AC and discuss how AC features thwart workers’ autonomy and competence needs (compatibility) and why these features make controls only seemingly inescapable on the surface (coherence paradox). Theoretical implications are discussed.
Pregenzer, Michael; Remus, Ulrich; and Wiener, Martin, "Algorithms in the Driver's Seat: Explaining Workers' Reactions to Algorithmic Control" (2021). ECIS 2021 Research Papers. 83.
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