Digital Transformation and the Future of Work research theme

I am the principal investigator of the BA-funded project ‘iWork: Investigating the Future of Work and Organizing in the Digital Platform Economy’.

Digital technologies are implicated in profound changes in the nature of work. One realm of ‘knowledge work’, historically conducted by full-time professionals in the office, is increasingly technology-mediated and executed by remote independent contractors. Platforms operating online labor markets are the harbingers of these changes, yet knowledge on the social and organizational implications of platform utilization by firms is scant. The iWork project addresses this gap, answering the fundamental question how ‘work’ is changing when firms use digital platforms to bring remote independent contractors into the workplace.

The iWork project stands at the intersection of Organization and Management, Economic Sociology, and Information Systems Research. It builds upon and extends my previous work by answering substantially different questions and making novel contributions: My previous work on online labour markets adopted an ‘institutional’ lens to answer the question how – as new intermediaries – online platforms design and operate their marketplaces, thereby developing new labor market institutions. Developing such insight, I realized the significant importance of understanding the social and organizational implications of using platform technologies and associated remote working models to engage ‘online freelancers’ in the workplace. Hence, the focus of the iWork project is to advance understanding of how ‘work’ itself is changing in the digital economy and its social and organizational implications. For this, I will adopt a ‘sociology of work’ lens.

Through an ethnographic study inside the world’s largest platform for knowledge work, the project is the first to document how the platform itself engages online freelancers, thereby shaping at origin the future of work. Connecting scholarship on organizations, work and occupations, and the digital economy, the project will offer novel theoretical and methodological approaches to studying 21st century work and organizations. I will also use this fellowship to translate research findings into novel teaching offerings.

Research Reports

Corporaal, G.F. and Lehdonvirta, V. (2017). Platform Sourcing: How Fortune 500 Firms are Adopting Online Freelancing Platforms. Oxford Internet Institute: Oxford

Peer Reviewed Conference Papers and Proceedings

Cameron, L.D., Karunakaran, A., Rahman H.A., & Corporaal, G.F. “Technology and the Changing Nature of Work: What, if Anything, is Actually Changing?” Proceedings of the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. ISSN (online): 2151-6561

Working Papers and Projects

Corporaal, G.F., Windwehr, S. and Lehdonvirta, V. (2021). “Impartial or Captured? How Online and Offline Intermediaries Handle Workplace Disputes” (Under Review)

Corporaal, G.F., Ozcan, P., and Lehdonvirta, V. (2021). “Explaining Variation in Firm Adoption of Digital B2B Platforms: How Different Platform Adoption Paths Impact the Networked Capabilities of Online Labor Platforms” (Manuscript in Preparation)

Corporaal, G.F. and Lehdonvirta, V. (2021). “How the Flexible Firm Expands with Online Labor Platforms: Theorizing Online Labor Platforms as a New Model for Sourcing High-Skilled Knowledge Work” (Manuscript in Preparation)

Corporaal, G.F. and Pan, L. (2021). “Digital Orchestration for Achieving Industry-Wide Strategic Change: The Case of Open Assembly” (Data Collection in Progress)

Corporaal, G.F. and Narayan, D. (2021). “The Rise of New Work and Business Models among Cloud Computing Complementors: The Case of Virtasant and the ESW Ecosystem” (Data Collection in Progress)

Media Articles and Appearances

Corporaal, G.F. (together with Eero Vaara) 2020. Oxford Answers Webinar: “The Future of Recruitment”. Published on November 12, 2020.

Corporaal, G.F. (as interviewed by Paul Estes) 2020. Talent Economy Podcast: “How the Covid-19 Pandemic has Impacted Work in the Online Gig Economy”. Published on 19 August 2020.

Corporaal, G.F. (as interviewed by Paul Estes) 2020. The Talent Economy Podcast: “The importance of Learning How to Learn”. Published on 6 January 2020.

Invited Presentations

March 2021  University of Oxford, Saïd Business School (Dean’s Research Seminar)

Jan 2021 University of Oxford, Saïd Business School (SIM Research Seminar)

2021 Economic Innovation Group; Distribute for Dynamism: Harnessing Remote Work to Boost Entrepreneurship and the Economy

2021 European Commission; European Research and Innovation Days: Research and Innovation for the Future of Work — From Principles to Actions

2021 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and TASK Platform Webinar; Towards Work in 2030: Virtual Expert Work on Platforms

2020 GBSN Beyond: Virtual Conference Reimagined

2020 FOW Connect Summit

2020 Open Assembly Global Summit: The Future of Work and the Talent Economy

June 2020 University of Oxford, Saïd Business School (Platform Economy Research Seminar)

Check my Research Gate profile for more information