Crowdwork from an HRM perspective – integrating organizational performance and employee welfare

In this paper, we take a Human Resource Management (HRM) perspective on crowdwork. Given HRM’s changeful history, we argue that a holistic HRM perspective should consider both a performance and an employee welfare perspective. While the per-formance perspective emphasizes the sourcing of crowdworkers’ work potential and transforming this potential into actual performance according to organizational goals, a welfare perspective highlights the consequences of crowdwork on individuals and the repercussions of crowdwork-related HRM practices on societal level. For each perspective, we suggest various HR-related dimensions through which we explore different forms of online crowdwork. On the side of the performance-view, these include work design, planning and coordination; recruitment and selection; performance management; training and development; and compensation. On the side of the employee welfare-view, we look at the dimensions quality of work, compensation, employment opportunities, and power issues in crowdwork. By integrating performance and welfare perspectives, we uncover a variety of complex, and partly interrelated opportunities and challenges of crowdwork for HRM.

Ellmer, M. and Reichel, A. (2018), 'Crowdwork from an HRM perspective – integrating organizational performance and employee welfare,' Working Paper 1, HRM Group, University of Salzburg, Austria.


  • Research publication, Case study-platform
  • Other
  • Yes
  • professional services
  • Online moderately skilled click work, Online client-determined specialist work, Online contestant specialist work
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk, Upwork, Threadless, InnoCentive
  • work organisation
  • English
  • University of Salzburg (Research institute)
  • Qualitative research
  • 2018
  • Open access
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