A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Freelancing on digital work platforms - roles of virtual community trust and work engagement on person-job fit

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Toth Ilona, Heinänen Sanna, Blomqvist Kirsimarja
Publisher: Emerald
Publication year: 2020
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems
ISSN: 2059-5891
eISSN: 2059-5905
JUFO-Level of this publication: 1
Open Access: Open Access publication
Location of the parallel saved publication: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2020081860989


The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of virtual community trust on work engagement and person–job fit in the context of digital work platforms. The emergence of the platform economy is changing the work environment fundamentally. It has enabled the appearance of alternative work arrangements, such as temporary organizing and the increase of independent contracting, also among highly specialized knowledge workers.


Data were collected with an online survey and used to test the relationships between virtual community trust, work engagement and person–job fit. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling were used to test the goodness of a theoretical model.


Based on the data of 127 experts contracting on digital work platforms, virtual community trust positively affects both work engagement and person–job fit. In addition, the relationship between work engagement and person–job fit in the context of digital work platforms is significant and positive.

Practical implications

This study shows that trust among independent contractors working on digital platforms is important for work engagement and that platform providers can improve work performance through person–job fit by assisting in the creation of trust among members of their platforms.


The research literature on knowledge work in the changing context of work is scarce, and the role of trust in the context of digital work platforms needs clarification. This paper tests a theoretical model on the effects of trust among highly skilled experts working in the digital platform context as independent contractors and provides evidence for the importance of building trust among members of a virtual work community.

Last updated on 2020-18-08 at 13:02