Intrinsic Motivation and Organizational Identification Among On-Demand Workers

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Abstract

On-demand firms provide services for clients through a network of on-demand workers ready to complete specific tasks for a set contractual price. Given such on-demand work is defined by payment on short-term contracts with no obligation for continued employment, there is little reason to believe on-demand workers experience more than extrinsic motivation and a transactional relationship with the on-demand firm. However, using self-determination theory, we argue that to the degree that on-demand work fulfills innate psychological needs individual on-demand workers will develop intrinsic motivation, which further leads to organizational identification with the on-demand firm. Across 2 survey-based studies we find support for this path to organizational identification. This adds to the literature on motivation and identification by strengthening the link between individual needs and the individual–organizational relationship. Implications for theory and for the management of on-demand workers are discussed.

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