Title: Microwork platforms as enablers to new ecosystems and business models: the challenge of managing difficult tasks

Authors: Jean-Michel Dalle; Matthijs Den Besten; Catalina Martínez; Stéphane Maraut

Addresses: Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France; CRG-i3, Ecole Polytechnique, France ' Montpellier Research in Management, Montpellier Business School, Montpellier, France ' Institute of Public Goods and Policies (CSIC-IPP), Madrid, Spain ' Madrid, Spain

Abstract: We explore how microwork platforms manage difficult tasks in paid crowdsourcing environments. We argue that as human computation becomes more prevalent, notably in the context of big data ecosystems, microwork platforms might have to evolve and to take a more managerial stance in order to provide the right incentives to online workers to handle difficult tasks. We illustrate this first through a name disambiguation experiment on Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT), a well-known microwork platform, and second through direct analysis of the dynamics of task execution in a dataset of real microwork projects on AMT. We discuss the emergence of more specialised microwork platforms as an attempt to facilitate a better management of difficult tasks in the context of paid crowdsourcing.

Keywords: crowdsourcing; online labour markets; human computation; microwork platforms; task difficulty.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2017.085704

International Journal of Technology Management, 2017 Vol.75 No.1/2/3/4, pp.55 - 72

Accepted: 26 Jul 2016
Published online: 08 Aug 2017 *

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