Hatim A. Rahman is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Management Science & Engineering at Stanford University.
RESEARCH AREA: Work, Technology, and Organization
DISSERTATION TITLE: Understanding Social Dynamics in the Digital Economy: An Inductive Analysis of Relationships in an Online Labor Market
Hatim Rahman's dissertation explores the nature of work in the emerging digital economy. In contrast to research that emphasizes the importance of algorithmic matching and technical fit, his research theorizes work in online labor markets as collaborative, relational, and imperfectly defined in nature. He integrates a digital ethnography of an online labor market with a computational textual analysis of users’ discussion on community boards to demonstrate the social dynamics by which reputation systems have become inflated, the process market actors take to build relational contracts, and the different ways in which each actor uses features of the market to exert power. His dissertation has implications for the literature on technology affordances, power and resource dependence, external labor markets, relational contracting, market and platform design, and the emerging nature of work in the digital economy.