Research

Online Labour Markets research theme

I am part of the ERC-funded project ‘iLabour: The construction of Labour Markets, Institutions and Movements on the Internet‘. This project examines online freelance work and online labour platforms. Labor markets are undergoing a dramatic transformation whereby standard full-time employment is increasingly supplemented by temporary and remote working arrangements that are mediated by online platforms. My research focuses on the technology firms that develop these platforms and how these new private regulators operate their marketplaces. I also study firm adoption of platforms and how they are changing their organizational processes and practices internally to engage online freelancers as part of their external workforce. To this aim, I conducted a one-year ethnographic study inside one of the largest online labour platforms for knowledge work, and of its users. Next to using conventional ethnographic methods of participant observation, in-depth interviews, and document analysis, I also developed novel methods for studying the platform’s online interactional spaces. I’m currently conducting data analysis of this extensive dataset and writing up the findings.

Cross-boundary Collaboration research theme

Acknowledging the changing nature of work, my doctoral research focused on the profound transformations of modern-day knowledge work as organizational boundaries become increasingly permeable and work more temporal-spatially distributed. Enabled by advances in digital information and communication technologies, knowledge work is increasingly executed in collaborative settings that cross organizational, professional, geographic, and cultural boundaries. Such ‘cross-boundary collaboration’ offers an attractive alternative to traditional organizational forms. Yet, they also comprise important challenges related to fostering shared understanding, purpose, and direction among people who hold diverse knowledge, work practices, and interests. My thesis ‘Boundary Work: Addressing the Challenges of Cross-Boundary Collaboration at Mirai Corporation’ focuses the micro-sociological processes of ‘boundary work’ in addressing those challenges, and through which people come to understand and negotiate boundaries between them. Based on an extensive four-year ethnographic study inside a Japanese multinational, it examines the research question: ‘How do people enact boundary work to execute complex knowledge work in cross-boundary collaboration?’ To this aim, I conducted two 12-month periods of fieldwork spanning twelve different locations in Europe and Asia. I combined participant observation with 114 semi-structured interviews, as well as analyzed numerous documents. The thesis advances understanding of how divisional managers, engineers, and research scientists engaged in boundary work in order to jointly create common ground for collaboration, to coordinate their work, and to share knowledge in the context of strategy making, complex engineering projects, and realizing radical technological innovation. It demonstrated that people differentially engage in boundary work, depending on how they perceive the situation, the interests at stake, and competing institutional norms.

PhD Thesis

Corporaal, G.F. (2018). Boundary Work: Addressing the Challenges of Cross-Boundary Collaboration at Mirai Corporation, Ridderprint: The Netherlands

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 Presentations

Corporaal, G.F. and Lehdonvirta, V. (2018). Motivations for platform sourcing: Why do firms adopt online labor markets for knowledge work? Paper presented at Reshaping Work conference, Amsterdam, October 25-26, 2018.

Corporaal, G.F. (2017). Strategic boundary work during the formation of a new management team. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management (All Academy Theme), Atlanta, USA.

Corporaal, G.F., Levina, N., & Ferguson, J. (2016). Implementing radical technological innovation: Crossing the boundary from development to deployment. Paper presented at European Group of Organization Studies Conference, Naples, Italy.

Corporaal, G.F., (2016). Realizing radical process innovation: Moving innovations across the implementation boundary. Paper presented at the 5th European Theory Development Workshop, Helsinki, Finland.

Corporaal, G.F., (2016). When East travels West: Micro-dynamics of collaborative work at the intersections of geographical, cultural, and organizational fields. Paper presented at the Journal of Management Studies Conference, Warwick, UK

Corporaal, G.F., Levina, N., & Ferguson, J.E. (2016). Diffusing windows of opportunity: The transformation of fields to sustain radical innovation when moving toward deployment. Paper presented at the Organization Science Winter Conference, Park City, USA.

Corporaal, G.F., Ferguson, J.E., & Levina, N. (2015). Creating windows of opportunity: Sustaining radical innovation when moving from R&D to production. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management (TIM division), Vancouver, Canada

Corporaal, G.F., Ferguson, J.E., De Gilder, D., Groenewegen, P. (2015). A cross- boundary coordination perspective on managing complexity in multiparty collaboration. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management (OMT division), Vancouver, Canada

Corporaal, G.F., Ferguson, J.E., De Gilder, D., Groenewegen, P. (2015). Paradoxical boundary work in strategy making: Eliminating or shifting boundaries? Paper presented at the UEBS Strategy Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland
* Winner of best paper award

Corporaal, G.F., Ferguson, J.E., De Gilder, D., & Groenewegen, P. (2014).
10, 000 miles across the room? Emergent coordination in multiparty collaboration.Proceedings of the 5th international conference on collaboration across boundaries: culture, distance & technology

Corporaal, G.F., Ferguson, J.E., De Gilder, D., & Groenewegen, P. (2014). The emergence of (inter)organizational routines for cross-boundary coordination in a multi-party collaboration. Paper presented at the EGOS colloquium, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Corporaal, G.F., Ferguson, J.E., De Gilder, D., Groenewegen, P. (2014) 10 000 Miles across the room? A process model of coordination in multiparty collaboration.Paper presented at Journal of Management Studies Conference, Cambridge, UK

Corporaal, G.F., Ferguson, J.E., De Gilder, D. (2013). The perception of boundaries in dispersed collaboration: A sensemaking approach. Paper presented at annual meeting of the Academy of Management (OMT division), Orlando, USA

Corporaal, G.F. (2011). Synergy-seeking versus distinction-drawing: Processes of integration and differentiation in a Japanese-Dutch takeover process. Proceedings of the 10th IACCM Annual Conference and 7th International CMS Conference
* Winner of IACCM best doctoral student paper award

Corporaal, G.F. & Ybema, S. (2010). Engaging cultural boundaries: Intercultural collaboration at Mirai Corporation. Proceedings of the 9th IACCM Annual Conference

Invited Presentations

“The future of work: The role of online labour platforms,” BeyondHR Forum, 14-15 June 2018, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“Online freelancing platforms and the future of work,” 2018 Responsible Business Forum: Economics of mutuality, Said Business School, 18 May 2018, Oxford, UK

“Studying online labour markets: Methodological opportunities and challenges,” Symposium on “Old Wine in New Bottles: Continuities, Disruptions, and The Management of Work in the Sharing/Gig Economy, 15 December 2017, Sussex, UK

“Digitisation of the labour market: The role of online platforms,” ESCO: Connecting People and Jobs Conference, 09 October 2017, Brussels, Belgium

“Boundary work: Doing distinctions in complex organizational work,” Werkgroep Vrouwelijk Talent, March 2016, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“Paradoxical boundary work: Eliminating or shifting boundaries in integrated strategy making,” Strategy as Practice R&R session, Cass Business School, 03 November 2015, London, UK

“Diffusing windows of opportunity: The transformation of fields to sustain radical innovation,” Technology and Innovation Community, 30 October 2015, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“Large-scale collaboration” ERIM Research Seminar, Rotterdam School of Management, 24 September 2015, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

“(De)constructing boundary work in dispersed top-management collaboration,” IS PhD Seminar, University of Illinois at Chicago, 14 November 2014, Chicago, USA

“Dynamics of boundary work in dispersed organizing,” IOMS seminar, NYU Stern School of Business, 04 November 2014, New York, USA

“Japanese-Dutch decision-making: An organization science perspective,” Organized and Presenter at Dutch Japanese Trading Federation Seminar, 13 June 2014, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Media Articles

Corporaal, G.F. (2017). 6 dimensions of value: Comparing platform versus agency-based sourcing OII iLabour BlogCorporaal, G.F. (2017) How the Fortune 500 experiment with platform adoption OII iLabour Blog

Corporaal, G.F. (2017). Organizing for successful platform adoption OII iLabour Blog

Corporaal, G.F. (2017). Organizing with on-demand freelancers in the platform economy: Part Two Open Democracy

Corporaal, G.F. (2017). Organizing with on-demand freelancers in the platform economy: Part One Open Democracy

Check my Research Gate profile for more information

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