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(2021) Jiang, YuchaoThesisSupport from peers and experts, such as feedback on research artefacts, is an important component of developing research skills. The support is especially helpful for early-stage researchers (ESRs), typically PhD students at the critical stage of learning research skills. Currently, such support mainly comes from a small circle of advisors and colleagues. Gaining access to quality and diverse support outside a research group is challenging for most ESRs. This thesis presents several studies to advance the fundamental and practical understanding of designing systems to scale support for research skills development for ESRs. First, we conduct a systematic literature review on crowdsourcing for education that summarizes existing efforts in the research and application domain. This study also highlights the need for studies on crowdsourcing support for research skills development. Then, based on findings from the first study, we conducted another systematic literature review study on crowdsourcing support for project-based learning and research skills development. The third study explores the qualitative empirical understanding of how ESRs leverage current socio-technical affordances for distributed support in their research activities. This study reveals opportunities afforded by socio-technical systems and challenges faced by ESRs when seeking and adopting support from online research communities. The fourth study explores quantitative empirical understandings of the most desired types of feedback from external researchers that need to be prioritized to offer, and the challenges that need to be prioritized to solve. Building on the findings from the four studies above, we proposed a theoretical framework -- Researchersourcing -- that guides the understanding and designing of socio-technical systems that scale the support for research skills development. Accordingly, in the fifth study, we design and evaluate a crowdsourcing pipeline and a system to scale feedback on research drafts and ease the burdens of reviewing research drafts.
(2022) Prester, JulianThesisAll work is seemingly becoming digital: office, manufacturing, service, and even agricultural work. Despite the prevalence and far-reaching implications of the digitalisation of work, few studies have examined how digital work is performed in practice. This dissertation investigates digital work that is performed nomadically. Existing organisational and information systems research on the changing nature of work suggests that the essential qualities of work remain unchanged, with only secondary characteristics undergoing transformations. However, this dissertation reveals that in digital nomad work, the meaning of work—as well as by whom, where, when, and how work is performed—is continuously in becoming. To unpack and theorise digital configurations of work, I carried out a multi-sited ethnographic study of digital nomads. Digital nomads are a group of highly skilled professionals who leverage digital technologies to work remotely and lead an independent and nomadic lifestyle. Using participant observation, interviews, and online fieldwork, I examined how people become digital nomads and traced the practices and processes involved in performing digital nomad work. In Chapter 2, I trace people’s journeys of becoming digital nomads by revisiting the concept of identity. In Chapter 3, using the concept of leading, I shift to the community aspect of digital nomadism and explore a prominent community to unpack emerging directions for organising the global digital nomad movement. In Chapter 4, I analyse a set of digital nomad work practices and show how they are performed as appropriate in practice by elaborating on the concept of legitimation. In Chapter 5, I trace my own journey in becoming a process-oriented information systems researcher by reflecting on five methodological moves that I have followed to study digital nomad work. This dissertation aims to extend our understanding of new forms of digital work by reimagining organisational concepts via the performative process perspective. First, I develop an in-depth understanding of digital nomad work that goes beyond the existing research on digital work in conventional organisational settings and precarious gig work. Second, I propose the idea of “working as becoming” based on the performative process perspective, according to which work is always changing and does not have an underlying core or essence that remains stable. Third, by experimenting with several novel methodological practices grounded in the performative process perspective, this dissertation contributes to the development of process-sensitive research methods.