OMS 405 Fall 2018

OMS 405
Senior Capstone on the Gig Economy
Reading List (version 2.0; v. 1.0 here)

Prof. Alice Brawley Newlin, Gettysburg College, Fall 2018
(see syllabus here)

1. What is gig work? (Aug 29)

2. This ain’t a new problem, folks!

2a. Some historical and big picture perspective (the changing nature of work) (Sept 3)

  • The legal context of the management of human resources (Murphy, 2018), pp. 2-5 (“Historical Context”) and pp. 16-17 (“Who is an Employee…?”)
  • Labour is not a technology: Reasserting the Declaration of Philadelphia in times of platform-work and gig-economy (de Stefano, 2017), pp. 4-6 (Section 2. “Uber: Digital service…?”) and pp. 8-14 (Sections 4 and 5)

2b. A primer on employee classification, taxes, and tax forms (Sept 10)

2c. Employee classification in light of the gig economy (Sept 10)

2d. Recent rulings, etc. (Sept 12) – pick any two

3. Exploring platforms

3a. Student mini-presentations on selected various platforms (in class Sept 17-19), to possibly include: 99Designs, Airbnb, AirGarage, Airport Sherpa, Band of Hands, CAD Crowd,, Chaordix, ClickWorker, Craiglist, CrowdSpring, DesignCrowd, Doctor on Demand, Etsy,Eyeka, Figure Eight (formerly CrowdFlower), Fiverr, Freelancer, Guerra-Creativa, Guru, Idea Connection, IdeaScale, InnoCentive, Instcart, Kaggle, Lyft, Microworkers, NineSigma, People PerHour, Rover, Silk Road, TaskRabbit, Topcoder, Toptal, Thumbtack, Twitch, Uber, Upwork, YourMechanic, Youtube, ZOOPPA… (any platform but MTurk)

3b. Limits of uberization? (Sept 24)

3c. Organizing what we know so far about gig work platforms (Sept 24)

  • The Sharing Economy (Sundararajan, 2016), Ch. 3 “Platforms: Under the Hood”

4. Being a gig worker

4a. Who gig works? (Sept 26)

4b. Firsthand experience (Oct 1)

  • “Being an MTurk Worker” participation prep assignment

4c. Secondhand experiences (Oct 1-3)

5. Measuring the gig economy

5a. Variations in findings (Oct 3)

5b. Limitations of measurement methods (in class Oct 3)

6. Worker issues

6a. Benefits (Oct 10)

6b. Occupational health (Oct 15)

6c. Collaborative efforts (Oct 15)

6d. Collective action: Unions? Manifestos? Protests? (Oct 22)

7. Fairness

7a. Defining fairness (in class Oct 24-29)

7b. Ratings – general intro (Oct 24)

7c. Discrimination in ratings (Oct 24)

7d. Pay (Oct 29)

7e. Discrimination in access (Oct 29)

8. “Bigger picture” impacts of the gig economy

8a. Housing (Oct 31)

8b. Artificial intelligence (Oct 31)

8d. Marrying traditional business and the gig economy (Nov 5)

9. Is the gig economy good?

9a. “Good”? (Nov 7)

9b. “Bad”? (Nov 12)

10. What gig work means for us

10a. As managers and management scholars (Nov 14)

  • The Economist: User-rating systems are cut-rate substitutes for a skillful boss (The Economist, 2018)
  • Amazon’s Mechanical Turk as a viable source for organizational and occupational health research (Michel et al., 2017)
  • Nonnaïveté among Amazon Mechanical Turk workers: Consequences and solutions for behavioral researchers (Chandler, Mueller, & Paolacci, 2014) – skim for key points in conducting research using MTurk
  • Crowdwork from an HRM perspective: Integrating organizational performance and employee welfare (Ellmer & Reichel, 2018) – read section 5 “Crowdwork from an HRM perspective”

10b. As people with “normal” jobs (Nov 19)

10c. Personally (Nov 19)

10d. As people who want the future of work to be good (Nov 19)

  • Your role in creating a fairer world of work (Graham, 2017, pp. 28-31)