Social Learning in the Digital Workplace
Crowdwork is a new form of digital labour emerging from the platform economy that brings together workers and clients on a global or regional level to carry out tasks for pay. It is currently seeing rapidly increasing uptake worldwide, with a global workforce in the hundreds of thousands and estimated annual growth of 50% between 2018 and 2020 (https://ilabour.oii.ox.ac.uk/online-labour-index/). In contrast to conventional workspaces, platforms usually do not provide training and skill development opportunities to their workers, shifting this responsibility entirely to the individual. Despite this, self-regulated learning behaviour and skills development practices have been identified as key criteria to success in the crowd-workplace, particularly in complex online freelancing work. The SOLID-WORK project aims to understand 1) why crowdworkers engage in learning activities, 2) which social networks they are embedded in and 3) how these factors impact their success in the online workspace. It uses the Life Course Perspective as an analytical lens to go beyond individual case studies towards a holistic and integrated understanding of crowdworker livelihoods and their social, societal and historical context. The platform economy and the new forms of digital labour emerging from it have immense economic potential, but their disruptive implications are not yet well understood. This project seeks to contribute substantively and methodologically to a nascent field of research into a global social phenomenon that university graduates entering the labour market will increasingly encounter.
- Timothy Charlton-Czaplicki
Department of Digitalization, CBS