Topic status: We're looking for students to study this topic.

Crowd work is a rapidly expanding form of employment or income-generating activity in the global, digital economy. Also known as microwork or crowdsourcing, examples of crowd work include the use of platforms such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk, MicroWork and Blur Group. Tasks undertaken range widely from very simple micro-tasks (data-entry, copy-and-paste) to developing new designs for homes, for example.

Crowd working, according to the popular press, offers substantial benefits and a competitive advantage to companies in terms of access to a flexible and virtually limitless workforce. At the same time, crowd working is said to offer workers a number of benefits including flexibility, geographical freedom and increased choice. Another view is that crowd working is highly problematic in terms of lack of regulation, the replacement of traditional employees and propensities for worker exploitation, among other things. Some suggest that this form of work is set to become the norm. One thing is clear: As far as crowd working goes, we are largely working in the dark.

Required skills and experience

Students interested in the critical examination of crowd working and its social and employment consequences are encouraged to apply. Suitable research areas include, but are not limited to:

  • intersections of globalisation and crowd work
  • gendered dimensions
  • worker rights
  • geographies of crowd work
  • employee relations
  • motivations and worker identity.
Study level
PhD, Masters
Organisational unit

QUT Business School

Lead unit

School of Management

Research areas
crowd-working, digital economy, micro-work, gig economy

Contact the supervisor for more information.