19 research outputs found

    “We don't need no (higher) education” - How the gig economy challenges the education-income paradigm

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    The empirical relationship between educational attainment and pay levels has been widely acknowledged in the labour-economic and labour-sociology literatures. While the causalities underlying this relationship are not conclusively established, researchers broadly agree that higher educational attainment leads to higher income levels in dependent employment, temporary hiring, and freelancing alike. The ‘gig economy’, where workers complete jobs mediated by online platforms, challenges this paradigm as gig workers can access jobs without any educational certificates. Building a theoretical framework based on agency-driven accounts, we investigate whether we can empirically observe a relationship between educational attainment and wage levels in the gig economy. Our OLS regression analyses of 1607 gig workers in 14 Western economies illustrate no statistically significant correlation. Instead, the platform's review system as well as the gig workers' level of previous job experience serve as the major signalling mechanisms that help to reduce information asymmetry. Qualitative insights gained from in-depth interviews explain this finding by revealing how gig workers gain the necessary qualifications for their jobs, most importantly, through self-study, learning-by-doing, and trial-and-error processes. Our findings therefore point out that advanced educational credentials are only of limited use for gig workers

    The right kind of people : Characteristics of successful ideators' online behaviour

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    Open online idea calls are an increasingly popular way to crowdsource ideas. Such calls tend to attract a diverse crowd who suggest a variety of ideas. To detect the most promising from this mass of ideas, we identify online behavioural characteristics of successful ideators, i.e. those who suggest ideas that are implemented. Our study is based on binary logistic regression analyses of a dataset from a call for ideas crowdsourced by the city of Munich. We found that characteristics linked to suggesting possible solutions and to showing positive attention towards other ideas are key features of how successful ideators behave online. We also found that the first is a characteristic of ideators who are likely to suggest an idea that is implemented but not novel. The latter is a characteristic of ideators who are likely to suggest an idea that is implemented and novel. Paying attention to other ideas before suggesting one's own and providing constructive input to other ideas are not found to be characteristic for successful ideators. The findings contribute to a better understanding of successful ideators' online behaviour and thereby open up new opportunities for the detection of ideas that the idea-seeker wants to implement

    Coping with coopetition—Facing dilemmas in cooperation for sustainable development : The case of the Dutch smart grid industry

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    This paper is amongst the first to examine coopetition strategy for sustainable development at the network level. Companies who want to successfully implement complex innovative technologies that support sustainable development need to collaborate with other actors of the innovation ecosystem, including their competitors, so that they can develop standards, interoperable products, pool knowledge, and resources and bundle forces to compete against other technologies. Collaboration with competitors brings benefits, but also many risks. We investigated how firms cope with these risks when establishing an innovation ecosystem to implement a new technology in society. We conducted research in the Dutch smart grids sector and explored how these firms minimize inherent risks of coopetition. We found that system-building actors in the Dutch smart grid field not only minimize inherent risks, but from the start of their collaboration they implement so-called enablers to prevent these risks upfront

    Knowledge sharing in smart grid pilot projects

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    The major role that the electrification of the energy system is projected to play in the transition to a sustainable economy increases the pressure on the electricity grid and thereby creates a demand for the implementation of smart grid technologies. The interdependencies present in the electricity system require, and have led to, the wide-scale adoption of pilot projects to develop knowledge about the application of these technologies. While the knowledge sharing that stems from these projects is one of the justifications for subsidising these projects, it has remained largely a black box. Based on the analysis of interviews with the project leaders of sixteen smart grid pilot projects, complementary secondary data sources and a survey, we studied knowledge sharing at four levels: intra-organisational, intra-project, inter-project and project-external knowledge sharing. At each level we observed specific sublevels, mechanisms and barriers, resulting in complex knowledge sharing dynamics. While the projects succeeded in developing knowledge, knowledge sharing between projects run by different consortium partners rarely occurred and project-external knowledge sharing was primarily unidirectional and involved generic knowledge. Based on the results a set of recommendations was developed that can stimulate the knowledge sharing and thereby increase the value generated by these projects

    An overview of factors for the adoption of energy efficient eco-innovation: The cases of the Dutch brewing and paper industry

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    This study develops a framework of internal and external factors that influence the adoption of eco-innovation. We studied 80 adoption processes in the Dutch brewing industry and the Dutch paper industry and analysed the relative importance of different factors. We find that internal factors were more important than external factors. The analysis also shows differences between the industries. The financial advantage was important for both industries, but especially for the paper industry. For the brewing industry, ethical responsibility and stakeholders played a more important role in the adoption. The analysis also revealed differences for small and large firms. Ethical responsibility and stakeholders are relatively more often mentioned by small firms, whereas clear objectives and regulations were mentioned more by large firms. Our study highlights that the adoption of eco-innovation is a complex process and the position in the supply chain as well as the size of a firm influence what is important in the adoption of eco-innovation

    Managing strategic system-building networks in emerging business fields : A case study of the Dutch smart grid sector

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    Companies that wish to launch innovative sustainability technologies can collaborate in strategic networks of actors from industry, government and research institutes to pro-actively build a business ecosystem around their new technology. This is called collective system building. In this paper, we examine how to effectively manage networks for collective system building. Based on a review of the literature, we identify the key factors of effective network management and we propose a conceptual framework for network management at the network level. Subsequently, we conduct a multiple-case study in the Dutch smart grid sector to examine how these key factors are implemented by system-building networks. We find differences with the existing network management literature regarding network composition, network management structure, governance modes, decision-making processes, project management, the free-rider problem and trust-building mechanisms. Our study contributes to a better understanding of effective management of system-building networks, which in turn can lead to greater success in establishing new business fields. We contribute to the literature on strategic business networks, specifically on emerging business networks building new business fields

    Strategic collective system building by firms who launch sustainability innovations

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    The implementation of innovative sustainability technologies often requires far reaching changes of the macro environment in which the innovating firms operate. Strategic management literature describes that firms who want to commercialize an innovative technology can collaborate in networks or industry clusters to build up a favourable environment for their technology. This increases the chances of successful diffusion and adoption of the technology in society. However, the strategic management literature does not offer advice on how to strategically build up this supportive external environment. We fill this gap with complementary insights from the technological innovation systems literature. We introduce the concept of strategic collective system building. Collective system building describes processes and activities networks of actors can strategically engage in to collectively build up a favourable environment for their innovative sustainability technology. Furthermore, we develop a strategy framework for collective system building. To underpin the theoretical analysis empirically, we conducted a case study in the Dutch smart grids field. The resulting strategy framework consists of four key areas for strategy making: technology development and optimization, market creation, socio-cultural changes and coordination. Each of these key strategic areas is composed of a set of system building activitie
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