Significance of Task Significance in Online Marketplaces for Work

Date
2022-01-04
Authors
Ren, Yuqing
Curley, Shawn
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Abstract
Online marketplaces for work like Amazon Mechanical Turk facilitate the sourcing of low expertise tasks in a fast and cost effective way. In this study, we explore the impact of task significance on work quality by informing workers of the purpose of the task and who benefits from it. Results from a laboratory experiment and a field experiment showed that perceived task significance improved work quality, but only for participants who recalled the purpose statement. In contrast, increasing monetary payment by 50% had no impact on work quality. A majority of participants who received the purpose statement were not able to recall it. Further analysis showed worker attributes such as English ability and personality traits influenced the likelihood of recall whereas rich media format had no effects. Overall, our work highlights the promise of task significance as a way to motivate online workers and the challenge of promoting task significance online.
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Crowdsourcing and Digital Workforce in the Gig Economy
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