Understanding and Designing Sociotechnical Systems to Support the Impression Management Practices of Online Freelance Workers

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Association for Computing Machinery
A growing number of freelancers worldwide are involved in online, project-based knowledge work. Compared to employees in organizations, freelancers face serious challenges securing work and mitigate this by constructing favorable impressions on peers and clients. Sociotechnical systems present new opportunities and challenges to support impression management and two factors that influence it: 1) audience understanding and 2) gender role constraints. The goal of my dissertation is to understand and design sociotechnical systems that support freelancers' impression management. First, I will study and design online feedback exchange (OFE) systems that can help freelancers better understand their audiences by providing feedback on projects and portfolios. Second, I will investigate how gender role constraints influence freelancers' pricing behavior in online labor marketplaces. My research will contribute a novel OFE system for improving the quality of freelancers' portfolios and knowledge of gender differences in freelancers' pricing behavior to guide the design of sociotechnical systems that better support this emerging workforce.