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EMAC 2023 Annual

1 Freelance Orientation in the Sharing Economy: Evidence from Labor Platforms

Published: May 24, 2023


Avishek Lahiri, University of Stavanger; V. Kumar, St. John's University; Divya Ramachandran, University of Manitoba


Labor platforms face freelance service provider (FLSP) turnover and performance variance that affect project completions and consequently, platforms’ revenue generation and FLSPs’ profile building. As labor platforms exercise no control over performance, the onus is on FLSPs who struggle with low rates and conversions. We conceptualize ‘freelance orientation’ – the degree to which FLSP executes specific ‘orientation’ actions utilizing contextual ‘orientation’ traits, to overcome unique freelancing work challenges, to complete projects effectively. In Study 1, we find FLSP is motivated by work autonomy, work hour ownership, and target income potential, but the effort to meet project deadlines is limited by the individual’s target work hours. We uncover four orientation traits. In Study 2, we confirm that orientation traits lead to work engagement, that drives project completions. In Study 3, we present FLSP orientation actions using these traits to complete projects on labor platforms.