Crowdsourcing: Libertarian Panacea or Regulatory Nightmare?


  • Royce P. Williard, MS, BS Independence University


Part-time workers, Contingent workers, Employment law, Ethics, Labor markets, Work environment


Crowding is arguably the largest paradigm shift in the labor market since the industrial revolution.  Existing in a largely unregulated market, the emerging industry is changing the traditional employee-employer relationship. In this staffing model, no longer is the employee and employer in a one-to-one relationship, the new paradigm is often characterized by a one-to-many relationship with some relationships measured in minutes versus years. The industry enables organizations to scale up and down quickly, while providing access to a diverse, inexpensive workforce. For the crowd worker, it means the freedom to set their own hours while deciding for whom and when they work. However, this freedom comes with a cost, typically the wages are long, there is no social safety net, no traditional employer benefits, and no job security. Therefore, the industry is under a great deal of scrutiny by governmental agencies and the justice system. This paper examines both sides of the question when asking is Crowdsourcing: Libertarian Panacea or Regulatory Nightmare?






Peer-Reviewed Articles