Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Microlabor markets engage workers in temporary employment contracts to complete short-duration tasks for micropayments. Because microlabor platforms often preclude worker interaction, independent microtasking communities have emerged to allow workers to exchange ideas and interact to improve their work performance. Research has yet to take an in-depth look at how workers utilize microtasking communities to mitigate unpaid coordination costs to improve their financial productivity. The present study uses political skill as a theorizing lens to investigate how microtask workers utilize the capabilities of these communities that influence their ability to avoid financial marginalization. Using pseudo-ethnography and thematic analysis, we employed a sequential mixed methods design to identify how community capabilities and ideological beliefs influence worker performance. These insights then informed the design of an empirical study using survey data from 253 Amazon Mechanical Turk workers who use microtasking communities to test our research model. We found that politically skilled individuals use community capabilities, subsequently influencing their hourly wage. We also found that microtasking ideology weakens the effects of political skill on community capabilities and their influence on hourly wages. We discuss several contributions to the political skill and microtask literature.





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