Just Another Voice in the Crowd? Investigating Digital Voice Formation in the Gig Economy
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Scientific articles 
Voice is crucial for workers as it enables them to better their organizations and exert some degree of control over managerial decision-making. Yet, as workers increasingly find jobs on digital platforms in the gig economy, traditional channels of voice are being replaced by digital voice channels, such as online communities. To add knowledge on how voice takes form on such channels, we collected conversation data from two online communities, which function as official (Upwork community) and unofficial (Reddit community) digital voice channels for gig workers active on Upwork. Based on a qualitative analysis of both communities, we discovered that when gig workers voice in digital channels, they tend to frame their voice¸ including signals of status and group membership. This voice framing creates different factions, which then engage in voice modulation, amplifying in-group members and muting outgroup members. Thereby, our study teases out how voice takes form in digital channels and how it differs from voice in traditional organizations. Our study contributes to the growing research at the intersection of voice and digital platforms.