On-Demand Work

In a study forthcoming in the Journal of Applied Psychology, my co-author Dr. Gary Ballinger and I found that intrinsic motivation may play a much more pivotal role in contingent forms of work such as on-demand work.  On-demand work is a type of freelance arrangement where workers work on short-term contracts that may be repeated over and over (think Uber or Lyft).  What is fascinating about this type of work is that while contracts are short (minutes even), the relationship between the on-demand worker and the on-demand firm can last over many months or years.  While we might think that in such an arms-length relationship $$ would lead to greater identification with the firm, we found this not to be the case.  Across two studies we found that controlling for $$ it is the intrinsic value in the work that predicted identification with the firm.  This suggests different selection criteria for on-demand firms and different models of managing on-demand work than are perhaps currently in use.