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With recent downsizing of talented professionals and the power of globalization to provide opportunities for more underdeveloped countries, the gig economy is a source of influence in today�s generation of professionals. Online outsourcing media have shown to be valuable resources for companies who need a specific set of skills for a limited period. This case study evaluates, one of the leading freelance websites in the gig economy; this article provides insights on how others should evaluate the power of this new economy in terms of opportunities for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. Upwork has led the pack by providing a flexible platform for freelancers worldwide, including coders, writers, and web developers, putting businesses in touch with reasonably priced workers. The study begins by exploring the attributes of the gig economy. Data collection is achieved through qualitative analysis. The application of these conclusions could increase the survival rate of new freelancers on and in the gig economy. The study is significant because this research widens contemporary assumptions about strategic thinking for individuals engaged in e-commerce.
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Case Study
Fueling the Gig Economy: A Case
Study Evaluation of
Green et al.
Management and Economics Research Journal, Vol. 4, Iss. 2018, 104–112
104 Case Study
Fueling the Gig Economy: A Case Study Evaluation of
Daryl D. Green*, Craig Walker, Abdulrahman Alabulththim, Daniel Smith, Michele Phillips
College of Business, Oklahoma Baptist University, 500 W. University Drive, Shawnee, OK 74804, USA.
Received: Nov 20, 2017; Accepted: Feb 5, 2018
With recent downsizing of talented professionals and the power of globalization to provide opportunities for more
underdeveloped countries, the gig economy is a source of influence in today’s generation of professionals. Online
outsourcing media have shown to be valuable resources for companies who need a specific set of skills for a limited
period. This case study evaluates, one of the leading freelance websites in the gig economy; this article
provides insights on how others should evaluate the power of this new economy in terms of opportunities for small
businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. Upwork has led the pack by providing a flexible platform for freelancers
worldwide, including coders, writers, and web developers, putting businesses in touch with reasonably priced workers.
The study begins by exploring the attributes of the gig economy. Data collection is achieved through qualitative analy-
sis. The application of these conclusions could increase the survival rate of new freelancers on and in the
gig economy. The study is significant because this research widens contemporary assumptions about strategic thinking
for individuals engaged in e-commerce.
Keywords:; Business case study; Freelancer; Gig economy; Global labor market.
With the large number of struggling artists who seek to advertise their skills in the open market, Upwork
provides a direct connection to customers in need of specic services. The company promotes that one in
ve Fortune 500 companies hire freelancers through its website (, 2017). This type of freelance
business is ideal in that it limits liability in business transactions through being an intermediary between two
parties. In fact, today’s economy has opened a global marketplace for independent contractors to expand
their customer base nationally and internationally. Online outsourcing has proven to be a transformative
medium in this global economy (Burtch, Carnahan, and Greenwood, 2016). Businesses can tap into a global
market to obtain the necessary professional services beyond their own local markets. In fact, this global
marketplace has allowed freelancers, often called contractors, to cast a broader net in hopes of nding more
work. Companies such as Upwork enable these freelancers to do just that. Certainly, this type of business
brings with it a long list of advantages and disadvantages (Carr et al. 2017). However, good professional
reputations are created when companies or individuals take their time in looking for the proper contractor
and make their needs explicitly clear; the contractor then meets their specications within the specied
period. In these cases, everyone involved feels as though value exists in the transactions. Soriano (2017)
proposed that these companies do not intentionally recruit subpar freelancers. However, when a market-
place is driven by price, instead of value, quality of service often goes down. People, both companies and
individuals, crave value in any professional interaction (De Stefano, 2016). When you create a forum that
benets everyone involved and set certain standards within that forum, there is real potential for growth.
1.1. Review of Literature—Gig Economy
Gig economies are those economies where individuals market their skills, whether in unskilled labor mar-
kets, such as Uber drivers, or as skilled professionals, such as coders who bid out their services on sites
such as Upwork. Between 2005 and 2013, 85% of employment growth emerged from the gig economy.
However, many workers are forced into this gig economy and not by choice (Friedman, 2014). Using gig
economy companies, freelancers “[piece] together a livelihood from a range of activities” (Huws and Joyce,
Management and Economics Research Journal, Vol. 4, Iss. 2018, 104–112 105
ID: 523634
2016). Thus, freelancing allows companies to ll a specic need while cutting out costly hiring processes—
this allows companies to retain monies for use on additional projects (Ricker, 2017). Additionally, this gig
economy provides freelancers the opportunity to make lifestyle choices that a conventional job would not
allow them. Gig economy workers may be able to choose when and where they want to work as well as how
much they charge for their services.
Although gig economies have many benets, freelancers should ensure that they are aware of the
risks. Not all freelancing companies conduct business in the same way. Some companies, such as Upwork,
allow the freelancer to choose their jobs, taking a percentage of the revenue earned for each job, while oth-
ers charge a at fee that is added to the nal cost of the project (Kallenburg and Dunn, 2016). In addition,
Upwork has a “noncircumvention clause that prohibits [workers] for twenty-four months from working with
any client that identied the worker through the Upwork website” (Kallenburg and Dunn, 2016). Although
the gig economy may represent a short-term stimulus in the global environment, only time will tell if this
business model can achieve sustainable success in the future.
This research uses qualitative content analysis for developing this specic case study involving UpWork.
com, a freelancing website. In the case study analysis, individuals analyze a business case by focusing on
the critical facts and using this information to determine the opportunities and problems facing that orga-
nization; this process helps students to learn by providing them real-world business scenarios where they
act as problem solvers (Laudon and Laudon, 2017). In fact, students and instructors can move beyond theo-
retical concepts to practical ones (May, 2013). Case study analysis can be broken down into the following
stages: (a) identify the critical facts in the case, (b) identify the key issue(s), (c) specify alternative courses
of action(s), (d) evaluate each possible action(s), and (e) make the preferred recommendations. Laudon and
Laudon (2017) suggested that the most critical item in case study analysis is identifying the most important
facts surrounding the case. Through this methodology, researchers were able to gain new insight related to
organizations operating in the gig economy.
2.1. Organizational Background
If an individual was looking for one of the most popular platforms to connect with a remote employee or a
freelance job, then look no further than Upwork. Upwork is truly the surviving member of a triumvirate of
freelance platforms (San Francisco Chronicle, 2015). At one time, on the freelance frontier, there was oDesk,
Elance, and Upwork. In 2013, Elance and oDesk merged to form Elance-oDesk. In 2015, the company was
re-branded to Upwork. This website is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent
professionals can connect and collaborate remotely (San Francisco Chronicle, 2015). Today, Upwork is the
world’s largest online freelancer marketplace with over 10 million freelancers and 4 million clients; these
freelancers perform a variety of activities including web and software development, graphic design, creative
content, advertising, digital marketing, translation, writing, and administrative and customer support (San
Francisco Chronicle, 2015). One of the greatest advantages of using a company such as Upwork is the abil-
ity to interview, hire, and work with freelancers or contractors from around the world using the company’s
platform. The company has also added a real-time chat feature. Upwork is a great place for quality contrac-
tors to make money. In this gig environment, businesses and individuals can save money while acquiring
the services they need. However, Carr et al. (2017) suggested that buyers still need to move cautiously with
global freelancing owing to the varying risk. Thus, Upwork provides a tremendous opportunity to freelanc-
ers, businesses, and individuals in the gig economy, yet these virtues of using the website are not without
Strategic analysis is an important tool for analyzing Effective analysis reviews the competitive
environment, denes key issues, and recognizes critical assumptions on which organizational strategies
106 Case Study
are built (Harris and Lennox, 2013). These management tools “provide a structured method for organizing
and understanding the complex trends and developments” that are occurring across this business sector
(Palmer, Dunford, and Buchanan, 2017). This research probes deeper into the infrastructure of Upwork by
evaluating the company’s strategy, structure, and organizational culture. A comprehensive strategic analy-
sis includes (a) an identication of the organization’s current competitive environment, (b) a consideration of
the pros and cons of its actions, and (c) the advancement of a set of recommendations based on its strategic
analyses (Harris and Lennox, 2013). Laudon and Laudon (2017) maintained that, in case study analysis, it is
critical to identify key issues surrounding the case. Thus, researchers should identify the problem and deter-
mine why it is occurring. In reviewing the freelance website, the rst evaluation utilized is the PESTLE Analy-
sis. PESTLE is an environmental analysis of several critical factors, including political, economic, social,
technological, legal, and ecological (Palmer et al., 2017). Upwork was reviewed not only in relation to other
professional freelancing sites such as and, but the company’s business
practices were also assessed in context to other well-known freelancing sites such as Uber (see Table 1).
Political: From the political perspective, there is a lack of government laws to protect freelance work-
ers. In fact, gig economies are exempt from certain governmental taxes (Wells and Chemi, 2016). Owing to
their status as self-employed entities, many workers do not enjoy the assurances and rights that unions and
laborers’ developments have spent over a century battling to accomplish (Marx, 2016). Furthermore, most
laborers in the gig economy are not protected by a “no lowest pay permitted by law” clause, they do not
have job loss benets or paid sick time; they are not afforded the benets of retirement annuities; they are
also not protected by laws that regulate working hours. Freelancers make their way in this new segment,
yet they have no protection and are at the impulse of the platform(s) with which they have associated them-
selves (Marx, 2016). This reality may cause changes in regulations in the future for gig economies.
Economical: Using PESTLE analysis, individuals can see that there are dramatic changes that emerge
from gig economies; this economy is a new way of working compared to traditional jobs. Gig economies
have grown dramatically over the past ve years, despite reporting lower wage earnings when compared
to equally educated traditional workers. Rapid growth in this sector has caused gig economies to quickly
become a large part of the global economy. A current report uncovered that 20-30% of the U.S. workforce
comprises temporary workers and independently employed specialists (Marx, 2016).
Social: Today’s customers are empowered with unlimited sources of services. With a global market,
buyers can enjoy cheaper prices for services. Individuals working in the gig economy are also empowered
with maximum exibility of working hours and wages. In today’s environment, there is a multigenerational
workforce (Green and Roberts, 2012). Workers can create their own hours and their own workload. Many
Table 1. Pestle Analysis of Upwork.
Lack of
laws to protect
workers exist.
Wages lower
than equally
Elasticity of
the workforce.
Job security
upon the
workforce exists.
Creation of one’s
own work hours.
of one’s own
to a worldwide
with varying
work availability.
Accessibility to
a worldwide job
Lack of benefits
Lack of laws
to protect
Risk of
laws on
Energy savings
owing to
Usage of
computers and
software that
are owned by
Limited need for
resources such as
paper, electricity,
or real estate.
Management and Economics Research Journal, Vol. 4, Iss. 2018, 104–112 107
ID: 523634
younger workers enjoy this exibility. In fact, many millennials are not interested in permanent full-time
jobs; this may be because they feel that they were pushed into the independent workforce during the recent
economic downturns and had remained in this area of work owing to the residual soft economy. This causes
concern that millennials may not be learning key skills such as communication, leadership, and teamwork
that are essential to survive in a corporate culture, thus causing them not to understand the time that it takes
to truly master a skill or earn a promotion (Brown, 2017).
Technological: From the technology perspective, Upwork, as part of a gig economy, displays tremen-
dous innovation in the work process when compared with the traditional work elds. Simultaneously, the
gig economy also has benets for companies that use these freelance employees—companies can cut costs
and funnel those savings into materials, products, and services. Gig economies, such as Upwork, as an
industry do not consume considerable raw resources, such as paper, in their work. They do not need large
ofce spaces for employees or prestige. They also save employees’ time by communicating with clients
through the company website, phone, or other online methods. Owing to innovation playing such a large
part in gig economies, companies such as Upwork must keep up with the developments in innovation if they
want to stay current.
Legal: Legal issues abound in the gig economy. Owing to the success of companies such as Uber and
Airbnb, many government regulators have started paying attention to these types of internet-based busi-
nesses and the United States’ outdated labor laws. In the gig economy, there is no union and no clear laws
to protect workers. Kennedy (2016) maintained that these labor laws have not kept up with the fast pace of
the gig economy. In general, labor laws regulate the relationship between an employer and its employees.
Yet, freelancers in the gig economy often operate independently, negotiating with different clients (Kennedy,
2016). These labor laws provide additional cost to a business and create uncertainty in the marketplace with
unclear guidelines about working relationships as it relates to online-based businesses. Kennedy (2016)
outlined the following possible solutions in reforming labor laws for the gig economy: (a) The government
could create a new category of worker, between full employee and independent contractor; (b) Congress
can reevaluate the country’s major labor laws so that they can achieve specic goals; and (c) Government
ofcials can develop a well-written statute to ensure that all workers, customers, and other stakeholders
benet from the gig economy. As traditional companies continue to utilize freelance workers, legal ramica-
tions will continue to exist.
Environmental: Environmental factors have minimal impact. With freelancing, there is no need to com-
mute to work, reducing environmental concerns such as pollutant emissions. Furthermore, Palmer et al.
(2017) argued that physical factors, such as environmental concerns, can create external forces that garner
management attention. Freelancers utilize computers and software. They operate paperlessly and do not
contribute signicantly to the continued amount of waste going to a nation’s landlls.
In conclusion, several factors inuence the gig economy and the emergence of freelance websites such
as Upwork. Utilizing the PESTLE analysis for Upwork can assist the strategists in forging the right decisions
and taking advantage of other opportunities in the market.
Competitive analysis: Additionally, understanding the competitive environment is critical to Upwork’s
future success. Conducting a competitive analysis is very helpful, because the results can strengthen an
organization’s strategic approach. In a competitive analysis, strategists evaluate the business’ competitors
in order to assess and predict the durability of any competitive advantage. In fact, a successful strategy
requires some barriers to competition that prevent others from entering the business’ market and duplicat-
ing its core competencies (Harris and Lennox, 2013).
In the competitive analysis conducted for this case study, Upwork was compared to two other competi-
tors, and (see Table 2). Nevogt (2016) argued that Upwork is popular because of
its size, boasting of millions of freelancers on its platform. However, the sites strength is also a major weak-
ness that competitors are they using this to leverage their organizations or are they leveraging against their
organizations? Opportunities and threats emerge when strategists examine customers, competition, and
external forces (Perreault, Cannon, and McCarthy, 2014).
Upwork: Upwork has one of the highest positions in the market. Using Strengths, Weaknesses, Oppor-
tunities, & Threats (SWOT) analysis, Upwork’s strengths and weakness as well as what has helped them
thrive and what risks they could be experiencing from their competitors, and more importantly, possible
changes in laws and governmental restrictions for companies that work with freelancers were identied
108 Case Study
(Kennedy, 2016). One major opportunity for Upwork is expanding into other services. Yet, one clear threat is
that more new competitors are entering the market with the same services or better services. For buyers,
posting a job on Upwork can be a hassle owing to the size of the website and the number of freelancers.
Even with a rating system available for buyers, it is difcult to locate the right freelancer (Nevogt, 2016).
Upwork can provide many opportunities to freelancers. However, there still exist risks to those who contract
Table 2. Competitor Analysis of Upwork.
Critical elements
(industry competitor)
(industry competitor)
Unique selling
The company promotes
itself as always finding a
way to deliver an easy and
professional service
The company showcases
some of the cheapest services
among freelance competitors
The company positions
itself as having the simplest
process for customers to
purchase services
Value to
Customers get professional
Customers have many ways to
fulfill their needs
Customers have multiple
options to meet unique
Core competencies
The company helps to hire
managers, and it provides
consulting to businesses
looking for services
The company specializes in
different jobs
The company has
approximately 11 categories
for buyers
Positioning in
(i.e., top, middle,
Top Top Middle
Marketing mix
Product—Variety of
Price—Depends on the
Promotion—Ads and by
Product—Variety of services
Price—Depends on freelancer
Promotion—Ads and by
Product—Variety of services
Price—Depends on
Promotion—Ads and by
Online, easy to use,
specialize in hiring
managers and consulting
Online, a lot of freelancers and
many services
Online, many services,
strong interface
Weakness Too niche Mixed set of freelancers—
some good and some bad
Inaccurate budgets on
Opportunity Expanding into other
Making the website more
accurate on service quality
Making the prices more
accurate on services
Threats New competitor offering
the same service or better
Other competitors offering
cheaper services
New competitor offering the
same service or better
Overall impressions
in the market
The company is considered
an industry leader in the
freelance arena. It provides
very professional services
including well-defined
specific services
The company is considered
an industry leader in the
freelance arena owing to its
low-cost strategy. It provides
many services, but there is no
accurate measure for quality
The company is considered
one of the industry leaders.
However, it has sometimes
offered inaccurate
budgets on projects. Yet,
this business is a strong
competitor to any other
freelance website in this
Management and Economics Research Journal, Vol. 4, Iss. 2018, 104–112 109
ID: 523634
through these sites that do not exist in direct employment positions. Additionally, a difference of opinion
makes it difcult to assess the value of jobs on Upwork, because job satisfaction highly depends on the
type of job a person is seeking. Some freelancers are looking for small quick tasks; whereas, others prefer
long-term projects (Kallenberg and Dunn, 2016). In general, Upwork is a good value for most buyers. The
company provides very professional services, including well-dened specic services. is a prime competitor to Upwork primarily owing to its inexpensive pricing
structure. The company has a high position in the marketplace owing to its low-cost strategy. Fiverr claims
to be the world’s largest freelance services marketplace for lean entrepreneurs who want to focus on growth
offering services starting at $5 (, 2017). In fact, buyers can purchase a variety of services equiva-
lent to those on Upwork. The purchasing process is different from Upwork—sellers post these services, not
buyers/employers. Buyers can search for services or browse the Fiverr platform. However, it is the sellers
who post what they are willing to do and for how much, not the buyers (Nevogt, 2016). Sellers and buyers
can access the site easily. In fact, starting a freelance business is simple with few barriers to entry. With that
said, buyers are subject to an onslaught of low-quality products owing to the lack of adequate quality con-
trol. As an individual might expect, Fiverr is not a great place for freelancers to earn a substantial income.
Based on the company model, customers’ options are limited. Sellers are clearly in control (Nevogt, 2016).
In general, Fiverr is a good buy for customers who desire freelance services at cheaper prices than Upwork.
The company provides many services. However, there is no accurate measure for quality. Freelancer represents another viable alternative freelance website to Upwork. The web-
site boasts of more than 9 million projects posted and more than 17 million users (Nevogt, 2016). Similar to
Upwork, the business model is massive, offering similar benets and similar weaknesses. The company’s
platform is set up where customers drive the process. A customer posts a project to get started, complete
project details (including skills needs, pricing options), and waits for freelancers to bid on the work (Free-, 2017). Posting a project is free for customers. However, employers can also skip this process
entirely by hiring freelancers directly. However, there are some noticeable weaknesses in
Although Freelancer offers time-tracking tools, these services are not free. Nevogt (2016) suggested that
this process might incentivize freelancers to bill as many hours as possible if projects are being paid by the
hour. Additionally, payment processing has been noted to be very slow with lackluster customer support.
Freelancer is an adequate replacement for Upwork. Yet, the company has sometimes offered inaccurate bud-
gets on projects. However, this business is a strong competitor to any other freelance website in the market.
If individuals and organizations desire sustainable success in the gig economy, they must think strategically.
Strategy sets the tone and direction for an organization, prioritizes tasks, and helps to guide the myriad of
decisions that must take place in an organization (Harris and Lennox, 2013). On a global front, organiza-
tions must be able to navigate a very competitive landscape. Thus, organizations must have the capacity to
address today’s needs while looking far into the future at new market opportunities and new competitors.
After conducting analyses, researchers should provide the proper course of action. Laudon and Laudon
(2017) argued in the case study analysis that this process involved selecting the best course of action and
providing a detailed explanation for the recommended solutions. This research produced several strategic
A. The gig economy is here to stay, offering unlimited opportunities to workers worldwide: Owing
to the widespread adoption of the internet, millions of people worldwide are now able to com-
pete for the same jobs. As this trend continues, this could cause an oversupply of labor in certain
gig economy markets, such as Upwork, which would then cause the market price for work to
plummet. This market is also strongly driven by ranking and reputation scores, thus allowing the
creation of intermediaries—highly ranked individuals who then bid work out to lower ranked indi-
viduals at lower pay. One way that workers could try to guard against this is to create cooperatives
or unions, which would allow for the creation of rules or laws to protect workers (Graham and
Wood, 2016).
110 Case Study
B. Freelancers will continue to struggle with insignicant income on Upwork owing to global com-
petition: Most on-demand companies classify their workforce as independent contractors and not
employees. However, many of these workers are not allowed to accept jobs from clients outside
of the company platform, thus limiting one’s ability to create a client base. Another downside is
that once these workers are classied as independent contractors, they are no longer covered by
the Fair Labor Standards Act or National Labor Relations Act, and most are not eligible for sick
leave, health insurance, or retirement benets. If Congress chooses to change this situation, they
should create portable benets programs or risk-pooling programs to allow some protection for
these workers (Donovan, Bradley, and Shimabukuro, 2016).
C. Upwork should further differentiate itself from the competition: With that being said, Upwork
must work to implement this strategic approach. The analysis is clear that the services provided
are uncomplicated, which opens the door for replacements. One unique factor that makes the
company the market leader is the global network of freelancers. By upholding this factor, Upwork
is able to identify a need in the market to connect talented freelancers with businesses in need.
The company has a strong understanding of how to leverage their online platform to make those
connections happen. This has eliminated the restrictions that companies once faced in hiring a
local rm with a few freelancers to create their brand identity. The company uniquely offers end-
less options for clients, allowing it to gain new clientele. The Upwork team will need to remain
vigilant in the knowledge of their competition to maintain their unique offerings and may consider
diversifying their business model to include goods in addition to their current services.
Global forces will continue to make the gig economy relevant. If individuals and organizations want to
consider proactive strategies to beat the global competition, they cannot afford to ignore the freelance
workforce. In fact, the gig economy has sufciently gained momentum internationally to be a critical factor
in the very near future. Today, Upwork is the industry leader in the freelance arena. However, the organiza-
tion cannot be complacent. The analysis demonstrated that the current service offerings are uncomplicated,
which opens the door for replacement and duplication by other competitors. In general, Upwork has been
successful in driving their brand as well as the ideas of gig economies forward. The main strength of Upwork
is their strong technological presence—not only in its own business platform, but also in many of the ser-
vices that they provide to their customers. The company has also lled a void for those individuals who
wish to work, but under their current circumstances were unable to obtain or did not desire a traditional
nine-to-ve job. In addition, Upwork has caused a disruption to traditional hiring and management strate-
gies. Similarly, Uber has caused a disruption to taxi services. This level of disruption is something that has
not been observed in the human resources arena previously (Ricker, 2017). For Upwork to maintain their
lead in the freelance gig economy sector, they should carefully monitor the changes that may be coming in
government and employment policies. Although there are challenges that Upwork and other gig economy
businesses will experience in the future, it appears from this research that freelancing is here to stay. The
application of these conclusions could increase the survival rate of new freelancers on and in
the gig economy in general. The study is signicant because this research widens contemporary assump-
tions about strategic thinking for individuals engaged in e-commerce. As technology advances, buyers will
be able to hire freelancers to perform any task with a click of a button.
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Citation: Green DD, Walker C, Alabulththim A, Smith D, Phillips M. 2018. Fueling the gig economy: a case study evaluation of Upwork.
com. Management and Economics Research Journal 4: 104-112.
Dr. Daryl D. Green is an Assistant Professor in the College of Business at Oklahoma Baptist University. He is a former U.S. Department
of Energy program manager with over 25 years of professional management experience. He is a nationally syndicated columnist,
where he writes in the areas of leadership, decision making, and culture. He has earned a doctoral degree in Strategic Leadership from
Regent University.
112 Case Study
Dr. Craig Walker is a Professor of Economics at Oklahoma Baptist University. He has earned an MBA from Baylor University and a
Ph.D. in Economics from Southern Methodist University. He has professional experience in the defense industry and local economic
Abdulrahman Alabulththim came to the United States almost 8 years ago. He worked hard at his studies and recently graduated from
the University of Central Oklahoma with an undergraduate degree in Finance. He is pursuing a masters degree at Oklahoma Baptist
University in International Business and is looking forward to pursuing his Ph.D.
Michele Phillips, CLS (ASCP), MB, is the supervisor of the Biochemical and Molecular Genetics Laboratories at the Detroit Medical Cen-
ter and is currently an Oklahoma Baptist University MBA—Leadership student. Her 15 years in management drives her to learn about
what best motivates people and sets them on their path to success.
Daniel Smith is a clergyman, college educator, and guidance counselor. He works with students to navigate the complexities of col-
lege life and achieve a quality education. He has supported thousands of students in their pursuit of a college degree and assisted in
building the business program on the Sequoyah County campus of Carl Albert State College. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree
in Business from Northeastern State University and will complete an MBA in International Business from Oklahoma Baptist University
in May 2018.
... As the world's largest human resources' platform, Upwork [8] represents the typical centralized crowdsourcing system (CCS). However, it was forced to shut down a series of services by a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack in May 2014. ...
... Input: task preference list, TPL T k , and worker preference list, WPL W i Output: task matching result Di stributed T j (1) Temp Di stributed T j � ∅ and Di stributed T j � ∅ (2) while ∃W i ∈ W whose status is undistributed do (3) e primary task T j in his WPL W i receives his task completion proposal (4) if placeRemained T j > 0 then (5) Temp Di stributed T j ←Temp Di stributed T j ∪ W i (6) placeRemained T j � placeRemained T j − 1 (7) else if ∃W i '∈ Temp Di stributed T j s.t. W i ranks higher than W i ' in TPL T k then (8) Temp Di stributed T j ←Temp Di stributed T j \ W i ′ (9) Temp Di stributed T j ←Temp Di stributed T j ∪ W i (10) if placeRemained T j �� 0 then (11) TaskList � TaskList\ T j (12) Di stributed T j ←Di stributed T j ∪ Temp Di stributed T j ALGORITHM 1: Preference-based task matching (PTD) mechanism. 8 Security and Communication Networks where ec is the number of evaluators that participating in the consensus of the final score. ...
... W i ranks higher than W i ' in TPL T k then (8) Temp Di stributed T j ←Temp Di stributed T j \ W i ′ (9) Temp Di stributed T j ←Temp Di stributed T j ∪ W i (10) if placeRemained T j �� 0 then (11) TaskList � TaskList\ T j (12) Di stributed T j ←Di stributed T j ∪ Temp Di stributed T j ALGORITHM 1: Preference-based task matching (PTD) mechanism. 8 Security and Communication Networks where ec is the number of evaluators that participating in the consensus of the final score. Each score from the evaluator y is weighed by their reputation value R y . ...
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Internet backboned crowdsourcing utilizes network-wide resources to solve complicated and large-scale tasks, which are not accomplishable for independent individuals. Existing crowdsourcing platforms are mostly centralized solutions with reliability and trustworthiness fragile to single-point failures on the central servers. The innovation of distributed ledgers as blockchain inspires us to optimize the traditional crowdsourcing procedure with distributed sustainability. We propose a blockchain-based design of the distributed secure crowdsourcing scheme for task distribution and result verification without relying on any third trusted institution. A preference-based task distribution (PTD) mechanism is presented which guarantees the percentage of task distribution and the satisfaction of the chosen workers. Task works are continuously assessed for reputations based on their historical behaviors. Task completion correctness is verified by blockchain consensus in two different scenarios after workers submit their results with reputations. We implement a prototype system based on the Ethereum chain with PTD and solution verification components. With various tasks and scenarios evaluated in the system, the proposed distributed crowdsourcing framework shows system reliability, data security, and scenario feasibility.
... Aunque existen algunas investigaciones sobre plataformas de la Unión Europea y sindicatos que consideran la variable cualificación, se conocen poco sus ventajas/desventajas. Mientras que las de baja cualificación están en boca de medios/investigación reciente (Uber y "trucos psicológicos" (Scheiber & Huang, 2017), Lime y " juicers" (Plaza, 2018), o Eurofound (2018c), con ejemplos de baja cualificación en España), apenas se ha investigado sobre las plataformas cualificadas (algunas excepciones serían Upwork (Green et al., (2018), Haier, (Hamel & Zanini, 2018) o de subcontratación de plataformas (Corporaal & Lehdonvirta, 2017)). Sin embargo, las plataformas cualificadas y su conexión con el trabajo autónomo/freelance son de creciente interés como sugieren los más de 500 comentarios en un día al artículo de Whippman (2018). ...
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Resumen La presente investigación trata de abordar la caracterización de las plataformas de alta cualificación. El objetivo del estudio es identificar tendencias y variables claves para la comprensión del fenómeno de plataformas para el trabajo cualificado. Las perspectivas utilizadas son la de administración de empresas y la de condiciones de trabajo. La aproximación metodológica es cualitativa y de carácter exploratorio a partir de una revisión de la investigación reciente (académica y empresarial) y de casos de estudio, integrados en la llamada literatura gris y/o en artículos periodísticos. Algunos resultados que podemos anticipar destacan Un marco original sobre la "plataformización" creciente que afecta en distintos niveles (mercado, sector, empresa) con distinta adopción (tradicional, híbrida o plataforma pura), 2) La importancia de segmentar los tipos de trabajadores para entender las distintas problemáticas y elaborar las políticas adecuadas (i.e. trabajo a tiempo completo, tiempo parcial o aficionado). 3) La necesidad de crear nuevos recursos para proteger al trabajador de plataforma y 4) de generar instrumentos de medición externos a los sistemas de gestión de las plataformas para estudiar la evolución del fenómeno e introducir ciertos mecanismos de vigilancia (lo que es bueno para el mercado puede no ser bueno para el trabajador). Summary The objective of the study is to identify trends and key variables for understanding the phenomenon of platforms for skilled work. The perspectives used are business administration and working conditions. The methodological approach is qualitative and exploratory based on a review of recent research (academic and business) and case studies, integrated into the so-called gray literature and / or journalistic articles. Among the results that we can anticipate stand out 1) an original framework which addresses that the increasing "platformization" trend affects different levels (market, sector, company) and with different adoption levels (traditional, hybrid or pure platform), 2) The importance of segmenting the types
... В последние годы сформировалась целая система трудовых отношений, для которой характерно привлечение организаций и работников к краткосрочным трудовым договорам -гиг-экономика [3]. Тенденцией последних лет является возможность совмещения стандартной занятости с фрилансом [4]. Например, в США 36 % 3 рабочей силы является частью гиг-экономики, а к 2027 г. это значение достигнет 50 % 4 . ...
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Introduction. The study was motivated by the ambiguity in assessing the impact of self-employment on economic growth, especially in terms of non-observed self-employment. According to the research hypothesis, informal self-employment contributes to economic growth. Based on the results of the study conducted, the article summarizes and systematizes the theoretical views of scientists on the assessment of the nature of the impact of informal self-employment on economic growth. Materials and Methods. Scientific papers published in 2000–2020 in journals indexed by Scopus and Web of Science formed the theoretical basis of the study. The choice of this time period was justified by significant changes in the labor market caused by the increase in the number of self-employed people. The key method employed was meta-analysis of empirical research papers on the issues under study. This method makes it possible to generalize, evaluate, and analyze the results of empirical research, objectively identifying the regularities existing between research results and sources of disagreement. Results. An analysis of the essence of the concept of non-observed economy has been presented; the peculiarity of informal self-employment, as part of the non-observed economy, has been revealed. The points of view on the impact of the non-observed economy on economic growth have been considered; arguments from both points of view and the results of research on different countries, including Russia, have been presented. It has also been shown which research methods were used by various authors to assess the dependence of shadow self-employment. The studies that have the greatest effectiveness and universality in terms of possible practical use of the results obtained have been highlighted. The prerequisites and features of the formation of informal self-employment have been identified, its impact on economic growth has been estimated. Discussion and Conclusion. Recommendations for further theoretical and methodological research of the considered issues have been produced. The conclusions and results obtained can be useful in the further development of the Russian system of regulating the activities of self-employed people, since its effective construction requires scientific study and methodological substantiation of various options for its development using the experience of other countries.
... Online freelance marketplaces provide a space for gig economy to thrive. Gig economy is a market system in which people market themselves, whether as unskilled labors or as skilled professionals (Green, Walker, Alabulththim, Smith, & Phillips, 2018). This market system is characterized by the competitive labor market, direct contract with clients, and no responsibility from clients and online platforms regarding ones' working condition (Woodcock & Graham, 2020). ...
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The growing number of freelance marketplaces allows students to earn extra money as tutors. The hyper-competitive nature in the marketplaces forces students to compete with non-student tutors in order to get clients (Popiel, 2017). Non-student tutors may be better equipped with a lot of experiences. However, all freelance tutors need to post impressive ads to get their clients, particularly in a niche subject such as Japanese language. The present study explores the differences of information put in ads between student tutors and non-student tutors on a tutor marketplace, Superprof. Content analysis (Cohen et al, 2011) was used to identify categories of information in the ads. The results show that there were 11 categories of information including tutors’ name, origin, current employment status, education background, language proficiency certificate, course level, course type, rhetoric, experience in Japan, coverage area, and availability. The data were then analyzed statistically to find the categories of information with a significant difference. It shows that both groups have difference in putting information related to their current employment status (t = 3.88, p < 0.001, d = 1.05) and their education background (t = 2.78, p < 0.005, d = 0.75). The implication of the study is that student tutors tend to value their relationship with academic institutions and make it as a bargaining power to market their skills in the marketplace.
... Selama masa pandemi ini pemerintah harus memperhatikan keberadaan para pekerja lepas di sektor kreatif khususnya animasi. Meningkatnya jumlah pekerja lepas di sektor animasi dipengaruhi oleh munculnya tren bekerja secara remote melalui fasilitasi teknologi internet yang semakin maju (Green et al., 2018). Dalam survei yang sama disebutkan bahwa 70% pekerja dari 120 studio animasi berada di rentang usia 20-30 tahun, 20% berada di usia 30-40 tahun, 8% berada di bawah usia 20 tahun, dan sisanya sebesar 3% berada pada usia 40-50 tahun (Wilson et al., 2020). ...
ABSTRAKMunculnya covid-19 tidak hanya berimbas pada aspek kesehatan saja. Namun disaat yang sama juga menyangkut pada aspek sosioekonomi dari para pekerja yang memiliki posisi sangat rentan di masa pandemi ini. Pada penelitian sebelumnya memperlihatkan banyak sekali dampak yang dirasakan oleh para pekerja di sektor pendidikan, kesehatan, sektor non-formal, pariwisata, dan pekerja migran. Namun sayangnya masih belum menyentuh secara mendalam dalam melihat dampak pandemi pada pekerja kreatif khususnya di bidang animasi. Disisi lain sektor animasi dianggap sebagai salah satu sektor industri yang dianggap mampu bertahan pada masa pandemi ini. Sehingga mengetahui seperti apa dampak pandemi pada pekerja di sektor animasi menjadi sangat penting. penelitian ini akan menggunakan pendekatan studi kasus dengan mewawancarai 120 pekerja animasi di 23 kota di seluruh Indonesia. Dari penelitian ini ditemukan bahwa dampak pandemi covid-19 ini terdiri dari 2 aspek, yaitu aspek internal dan eksternal. Para pekerja animasi seringkali dianggap sebagai pihak yang bisa beradaptasi pada masa pandemi karena kemampuannya dalam memanfaatkan teknologi terbaru. Faktanya tidak semua pekerjaan di bidang animasi dapat dikerjakan secara jarak jauh atau remote, karena masih dibutuhkan proses kerja secara onsite untuk memudahkan proses komunikasi dan koordinasi.
... Inspired by the literature examining the effect of proximity on the innovation output of firms and economies (Green 2018;Klepper 2010), we introduce the digital proximity construct and its measurement, which captures the closeness of a firm's products and services to digital industries. We examine the relationship between digital proximity and intangible value over the past several decades by constructing an industry space that shows how firms' proximity to digital industries evolves over time. ...
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During the last four decades, digital technologies have disrupted many industries. Car control systems have gone from mechanical to digital. Telephones have changed from sound boxes to portable computers. But have the firms that digitized their products and services become more valuable than firms that didn’t? Here we introduce the construct of digital proximity, which considers the interdependent activities of firms linked in an economic network. We then explore how the digitization of products and services affects a company’s Tobin’s q—the ratio of market value over assets—a measure of the intangible value of a firm. Our panel regression methods and robustness tests suggest the positive influence of a firm’s digital proximity on its Tobin’s q. This implies that firms able to come closer to the digital sector have increased their intangible value compared to those that have failed to do so. These findings contribute a new way of measuring digitization and its impact on firm performance that is complementary to traditional measures of information technology (IT) intensity.
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Digital media not only transforms advertising content and format but also influences the actors of the industry and the way they work. One of these influences is the increase of freelance work in advertising. This study aims to examine the freelance model in advertising and related marketing communications by focusing on procedures, creativity, productivity, labor, and entrepreneurship and to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the model. We adopted the qualitative approach for the research and conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with ten (four females and six males) freelancers, aged 22 to 36. The sample represents the creative, data-driven, and project managing aspects of advertising practices. The research reveals the prevalence of freelance work in terms of both business size and sectoral diversity. Some of the main findings highlight the importance of digital technologies, online labor platforms, heterarchical organization, and ephemerality of the work. Social isolation and intense competition on digital platforms stand out among the primary problems of freelance work. In terms of labor economics, freelancers depict themselves in a journey from the labor side to entrepreneurship.
Rapid digitization has disrupted withinside the labour marketplace. The economy is witnessing a paradigm shift in the team of workers, places of work and working systems withinside the age of Tech Next- Gen. Technology performed an essential role in galvanizing the scope of unbiased working systems regardless of the geographical boundaries. Independence & Flexibility became the brand-new mantra that has redefined that means of labour. This so-called GIG economy system has continually been prevailing, however, it grabbed eyeballs short growth during the last couple of years. The new tech worm ioT has caused a transformation in work area arena. This has caused clean demarcation among a conventional and non-conventional quarter of employment. The evolving desires of today’s operating populace, the struggle fare for the expertise and the globalization of the team of workers are only a few motives to kick largely begin the GIG economy system. However developing swiftly in Indian Labour marketplace and higher recognize its structure, operating preparations and advise a coverage alternate to any organizations that the authorities need to act as a facilitator and be a part of Industry and Academia via way of means of permitting numerous new platform in understanding gig economy.
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The use of remote working options has saved jobs and reduced health risks inherent to the rise of COVID-19. The opportunity to use telework has allowed organizations to engage in operational activities by leveraging virtual teams' potential. Organizations offering workers to work remotely have become financial salvation for many workers during the pandemic, significantly since the pandemic impacted the U.S. economy so severely that more than since more than 57 million American workers have filed for unemployment government benefits in just 2020. While having a telework option is an assurance of organizational sustainability or continual employment, it represents a unique opportunity for exploration for employees, supervisors, and organizations attempting to adapt to this evolving level of complex change. This paper uses applied qualitative focus group research from a process consulting to explore the values and barriers that telework for a real estate title organization called XRO.
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A growing number of American workers are no longer employed in ‘jobs’ with a long-term connection with a company but are hired for ‘gigs’ under ‘flexible’ arrangements as ‘independent contractors’ or ‘consultants,’ working only to complete a particular task or for defined time and with no more connection with their employer than there might be between a consumer and a particular brand of soap or potato chips. While the rise of this ‘gig’ economy is praised by some as a response to the wishes ofa more entrepreneurial generation, it is more likely that it is driven by the concerns ofbusinesses to lower wages and benefit costs during business down-turns while also reducing their vulnerability to unfair dismissal lawsuits. The rise ofgig labor calls for new initiatives in social policy because it shifts more ofthe burden ofeconomic risk onto workers even while removing gig workers from many ofthe employment-bound New-Deal-era social insurance programs.
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This paper explores the nexus of contemporary leadership theory and postmodern worldview influences within the public sector with special emphasis on the staffing challenges of the federal government. The postmodern values embraced by the replacement cohorts (Millennial and Generation X) for the retiring baby boomers are in direct conflict with traditional leadership theories reducing the attractiveness of governmental employment. The paper concludes with a series of specific recommendations to more closely align federal human capital development strategies with employee values and organizational needs including generational diversity education, strategic value alignment approaches, values-based recruiting and selection, more systematic mentoring programs, both traditional and reverse mentoring (younger employees coach older workers on technology issues), and a full range of work/life benefits.
We examine how the entry of gig-economy platforms influences local entrepreneurial activity. On the one hand, such platforms may reduce entrepreneurial activity by offering stable employment for the unemployed and underemployed. On the other hand, such platforms may enable entrepreneurial activity by offering work flexibility that allows the entrepreneur to redeploy resources strategically in order to pursue the nascent venture. To resolve this tension, we examine the entry of the ridesharing platform Uber X into local areas. We use two measures of entrepreneurial activity: crowdfunding campaign launches at Kickstarter, the world's largest reward-based crowdfunding platform, and levels of self-employment from the Current Population Survey. Results indicate a negative and significant relationship between platform entry and both measures of entrepreneurial activity. Importantly, the effect manifests primarily amongst unsuccessful Kickstarter campaigns and unincorporated entrepreneurial ventures, suggesting that gig-economy platforms predominantly reduce lower quality entrepreneurial activity, seemingly by offering viable employment for the unemployed and underemployed. These relationships are corroborated with a first-hand survey conducted with gig-economy service providers.
When evaluating an applicant online, individuals are often concurrently exposed to a diverse cross-section of self- and other-generated information with varying relevance to the candidate’s actual job skills. Moreover, these various data may not always be internally consistent. Utilizing profiles on the microtask site Fiverr, a fully-crossed 2 × 2 × 2 experiment (N= 92) tested main and interaction effects of exposure positively- and negatively-valenced (1) self-generated task-relevant, (2) self-generated task-irrlevant photographic, and (3) other-generated task-relevant information, all within the same stimulus. Contrast analyses results support significant interactions among cues on perceptions of an applicants’ employability and person-job fit. The significant two- and three-way interactions are discussed with respect to warranting theory and the halo effect, and practical implications for applicants and employers are presented.
Paper available at: The so-called “gig-economy” has been growing exponentially in numbers and importance in recent years but its impact on labour rights has been largely overseen. Work in the “gig-economy” includes “crowd work”, and “work-on-demand via apps”, under which the demand and supply of working activities is matched online or via mobile apps. Whilst these forms of employment present significant differences among themselves, they also share striking similarities. They can provide a good match of job opportunities, allow flexible working schedules and potentially contribute to redefining the boundaries of the firm. However, they can also pave the way to a severe commodification of labour. This paper discusses the implications of this commodification and advocates the recognition of activities in the gig-economy as work, as the risk of labour being hidden under catchphrases such as “gigs”, “tasks”, “rides” etc. is currently extremely high. It shows how the gig-economy is not a separate silo of the economy and how it is part of broader phenomena such as casualization and informalisation of work and the spread of non-standard forms of employment. It then analyses the risks associated to these activities with regard to Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, as they are defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and addresses the issue of misclassification of the employment status of workers in the gig-economy, based on existing service agreements, business practices and litigation in this sector. Current relevant trends are thus examined, such as the emergence of forms of self-organisation of workers. Finally some policy proposals are critically analysed, such as the possibility of creating an intermediate category between “employee” and “independent contractor” to classify workers in the gig-economy, and other tentative proposals are put forward such as advocacy for the full acknowledgment of activities in this sector as work, extension of fundamental labour rights to all workers irrespective of employment status, and recognition of the role of social partners in this respect, whilst avoiding temptations of hastened deregulation. This paper is to be presented at the seminar on Crowd-Sourcing, the Gig Economy, and the Law, hold at the Wharton School – University of Pennsylvania, on 7 November 2015. Contributions presented at the seminar will be published, after review, in a special issue of the Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, in 2016.
Are millennials failing to develop important work skills? Sage Business Researcher 26th
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Why the digital gig economy needs co-ops and unions. Open Democracy UK 15th
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