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 employ a sequential mixed-methods design to identify how community capabilities and ideological beliefs influence worker performance. These insights then inform 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 find that politically skilled individuals use their community capabilities, subsequently influencing their hourly wages. We also find 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.
Di Gangi, Paul; Howard, Jack L.; McAllister, Charn P.; and Thatcher, Jason Bennett, "The influence of political skill and community capabilities on microtask worker hourly wage: A mixed-methods study of Mechanical Turk" (2023). JAIS Preprints (Forthcoming). 125.
Available at: https://aisel.aisnet.org/jais_preprints/125