Living one’s calling outside of employment: The role of Gig Work Platforms

Affolter, Lorenz Frédéric; Straub, Caroline; Spurk, Daniel (8 August 2023). Living one’s calling outside of employment: The role of Gig Work Platforms In: 83rd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. Boston, Massachusetts, USA. 04-08.08.2023.

Being able to live one’s calling at work allows people to experience their work as deeply meaningful and is considered the highest form of subjective career success (Hall & Chandler, 2005). The research on calling has shown that particularly living a calling is related to higher job and life satisfaction (Duffy, Allan, Autin, & Bott, 2013; Duffy, Bott, Allan, Torrey, & Dik, 2012; Duffy, Douglass, Gensmer, England, & Kim, 2019), whereas having a calling and not being able to live it is associated with a decrease in job satisfaction and well-being (Duffy, Spurk, Perez, & Dalla Rosa, 2022; Gazica & Spector, 2015). Therefore, understanding how individuals can enact and live their calling has found growing interest among scholars (Berg, Grant, & Johnson, 2010; Cinque, Nyberg, & Starkey, 2021; Lysova & Khapova, 2019; Schabram & Maitlis, 2017). An important topic that recently has attracted research is how workers can live their calling outside of traditional employment (Lysova & Khapova, 2019). Gig work platforms (GWPs) have played an important role in the trend towards more flexible work arrangements by enabling self-employed workers to find project-based, temporary work by digitally matching them to clients (Kuhn, 2016; Duggan, Sherman, Carbery, & McDonnell, 2020; Spreitzer, Cameron, & Garrett et al., 2017). Meaningful work in the gig economy has been controversially discussed (Fayard, 2021) as studies have found that gig work is related to work alienation, the feeling of being separated from one’s work, oneself and others (Anwar & Graham, 2021; Bucher, Fieseler, Lutz, & Buhmann, 2021; Glavin, Biemann, & Schiemann, 2021; Wood, Graham, Lehdonvirta, & Hjorth, 2019). Despite this, researchers emphasize that the trend towards more flexible work arrangements also offer opportunities for certain groups of workers and more research is needed to investigate how those unfold (Ashford, Caza, & Reid, 2018; Spreitzer et al., 2017). In this study, we examine how gig workers use GWPs to live their calling outside of employment. Hereby, we aim to better understand which role GWPs play for living one’s calling. By the means of this study, we answer the following research question: Why and how do gig workers with a calling use GWPs to live their calling outside of employment?

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


Business School > Institute for New Work
Business School > Institute for New Work > Achtsamkeit und Positive Leadership
Business School


Affolter, Lorenz Frédéric;
Straub, Caroline and
Spurk, Daniel


B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology




Lorenz Frédéric Affolter

Date Deposited:

12 Jul 2023 08:02

Last Modified:

12 Jul 2023 08:02

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