Algorithms, Future of Work/Gig Economy, Contemporary careers, Financial well-being, Lower-skilled work, Field research
Upwork. Caviar. Uber. In less than a decade the on-demand economy, a labor market characterized by short-term assignments where work is coordinated through algorithms, has radically reshaped the nature of work and workers’ experience. Long-standing organizational theories suggest that the rise of algorithmic management systems will tighten the iron cage, estranging workers by ever increasing comprehensive, instantaneous, real-time, and opaque levels of control. This dissertation, however, reveals the multiple ways workers find and express individual agency in such an environment. In my first paper, I examine how, in the absence of such traditional organizational scaffolds (e.g., managers, socialization practices), do individuals make meaning of their work in a way that fosters investment into the work? I find that through interactions the customer and the app individuals turn their work into games that they find meaningful, can control, and ‘win’ each with divergent implications. In the second empirical paper, I examine the relationship between algorithmic management and autonomy finding they are not necessarily antithetical. I describe how algorithms structure the work and, how at the site of each human-algorithm interaction, workers are able to express autonomy. At these micro-moments of autonomy, consent to the work is continually produced and reproduced; however consent is fragile and can be withdrawn at any time. This dissertation has implications for theories around meaning-making, workplace games, and algorithmic management.
Committee: Jerry Davis (Chair), Jane Dutton, Seth Carnahan (Strategy), Tawanna Dillahunt (Information Science), Beth Bechky (NYU, Stern)
- Cameron, L. 2021. “(Relative) Freedom in Algorithms: How Digital Platforms Repurpose Workplace Consent.” In Sonia Taneja (Ed.), Proceedings of the Eighty-first Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. Online ISSN: 2151-6561.
- Cameron, L*. & Rahman, H.* 2021. “(Not) Seeing Like an Algorithm: Managerial Control and Worker Resistance in the Platform Economy” In Sonia Taneja (Ed.), Proceedings of the Eighty-first Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. Online ISSN: 2151-6561.
- *Shared First Authorship
- Cameron, L. 2020. “Allies or Adversaries?: Making Meaning of Work in the ‘New’ Gig Employment Relationship.” In Guclu Atinc (Ed.), Proceedings of the Eightieth Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. Online ISSN: 2151-6561.
- Hafenbrack, A.* Cameron, L.*, Spreitzer, G., Noval, L., Zhang, C. & Shaffakat, S. “Helping Others by Being in the Present Moment: Mindfulness and Prosocial Behavior at Work” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
- *Shared First authorship
- Cameron, L., Garrett, L.E, Spreitzer, G.M. (2019) Contingent, Contract, and Alternative Work Arrangements. Oxford Bibliographies in Management.
- Kamaswaren, V., Cameron, L., Dillahunt, T. (2018) Support for Social and Cultural Capital Development in Real-time Ridesharing Services. Computer-Human Interactions. CHI 2018: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. [Acceptance Rate 25%]
- Spreitzer, G.M., Cameron, L., & Garrett, L.E. (2017). Alternative Work Arrangements: Two Images of the New World of Work. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 4: 473-499.
Manuscripts Under Review and Working Papers
- Cameron, L. & Anteby, M. (Revise & Resubmit Requested). “Heroes from Above and Below: Workers Responses to the Moralization of their Work.”
- Cameron, L. (Revise & Resubmit Requested). “The Good Bad Job: Autonomy and Control in the Algorithmic Workplace.
- Cameron, L. (Revise & Resubmit Requested). Allies or Adversaries?: Meaning-Making of the ‘New’ Gig Employment Relationship
- Cameron, L. & Rahm, H.* (Revise & Resubmit Requested). “Resistance in the Age of Algorithms: A Comparative Ethnography of Workers’ Resistance in Two Online Labor Markets”.
- *Shared First Authorship
- Cameron, L., Thomason, B., Conzon, V. (Revise & Resubmit Requested). “Ideal Worker Image and Job Crafting During the COVID-19 Pandemic”.
- Cameron, L. & Meuris, J.* (Working Paper). “The Perils of Paycheck Dispersion: When Fluctuation in Compensation Jeopardize Retention”.
- *Shared First Authorship
- Nurmohamed, S, McCluney, C., Cameron, L., Mayer, D. (Working Paper) “Show me the money?: The Business vs. Ethical Case for Diversity in Corporations.”
- Cameron, L. (Working Paper). “The Sound, Smells, and Tastes that Bind Us: Materiality in the Process of Organizational Identification in Diverse Communities”
Practitioner Publications and Podcasts
- Cameron, L. 2021. The Gig Economy and the Pandemic from Work and Life Podcast with Stew Friedman. Released on 11 February 2021.
- Cameron, L., Rosenblat, A. 2020. Gig Work Used to Be a Recession-Proof Safety Net. Not Anymore. Fast Company. Published on 10 August 2020.
- Cameron, L. (as interviewed by Cross, M.). 2019. The New Uber Law’s Ripple Effect. Kiplinger’s. Published on 15 November 2019.
Research in Progress
- Cameron, L., Thomason, B. & Occhiuto, N. (Data Analysis/Writing). “The Platform is Not Neutral: Examining Regulatory Disputes in a Multinational Ethnography of the RideHaling Industry”.
- Cameron, L. (Data Collection). “The Gig Worker and the Pandemic”.
- I have short essays under review at literary magazines and am featured in several books including, Young Women of Achievement: A Resource for Girls in Math, Science, and Technology (by Frances Karnes and Kristen Stephens).