Crowdsourcing and work: Individual factors and circumstances influencing employability

The development of a fast and reliable Internet, new technologies online payment systems, and changes in work structure that enable and demand flexible working patterns have driven a move to a new form of Internet-enabled labour exchange called crowdsourcing. Evidence from an in-depth qualitative study is presented, focusing on selected users’ interactions and experiences of working on two UK-based crowdsourcing platforms. The paper shows that workers engaged in this form of labour exchange need to deploy existing employability skills and networks to effectively meet the challenges, and take advantage of the opportunities, that crowdsourcing presents. Individual factors and circumstances emerge as paramount for workers’ continued engagement in this form of employment. Using selected components from an employability framework, the findings suggest that crowdsourcing can offer new pathways to practising skills and enhancing employability for some workers.

Barnes, S., Green, A. and de Hoyos, M. (2015), 'Crowdsourcing and work: Individual factors and circumstances influencing employability', New Technology, Work and Employment 30(1), pp. 16-31.


  • Research publication, Case study-worker
  • United Kingdom
  • Yes
  • professional services, household tasks
  • Online client-determined specialist work, On-location client-determined higher-skilled work
  • employability and career progression, worker demographics, skills and skills development
  • English
  • New Technology, Work and Employment (Publisher)
  • Qualitative research
  • 2015
  • Subscription
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