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Designing Reputation Mechanisms for Online Labor Platforms: An Empirical Study


Reputation mechanisms are commonly used on digital platforms to reduce information asymmetry, increase trust, and facilitate transactions between users. Despite extensive research on the design challenges of such mechanisms, the specificities of online labor platforms, like the evolution of skills or the heterogenous context in which transactions take place, are not fully addressed in the current literature. Thus, this work aims at determining how to design suitable reputation mechanisms for online labor platforms. The research follows the Action Design Research approach and is conducted in cooperation with the providers of the online labor platform “Scrambl.”. First, a synthesizing analysis of design features of state-of-the-art reputation mechanisms of a sample of 21 existing online labor platforms is conducted. Second, a systematic literature review is performed along with ten semi-structured interviews with potential users of Scrambl. to identify and evaluate relevant design requirements. Seven design requirements emerge from this work, which may serve as a guideline for researchers and practitioners in the labor market industry to design adequate reputation mechanisms.

Alexandre Bagnoud, Lena-Marie Pätzmann, Andrea Back


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