Students and faculty of OBU’s Paul Dickinson College of Business recently performed a case study evaluation of the “Gig Economy,” an economic environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short term engagements. Their findings were released in March by “Management and Economics Research Journal.”

Using Upwork Global Inc. as a case study, their research was aimed at widening the contemporary assumptions about strategic thinking for individuals engaging in e-commerce. The publication, “Fueling the Economy: A Case Study Evaluation of,” presents a strategic analysis of Upwork’s role in the “Gig Economy” and the relevance of the “freelance workforce.”

The researchers identified three strategic implications from their findings. They determined that the “Gig Economy” will remain relevant by offering unlimited opportunities to workers across the globe, that the presence of global competition will force freelancers to struggle with insignificant income through independent contractors and that Upwork will need to differentiate itself from its competition to maintain its unique offerings and services.

Dr. Daryl Green, assistant professor of business and Dickinson Chair of Business, coordinated the study.

“Our graduate students are critical thinkers,” he said. “Our business faculty want to have a pulse on what’s happening globally, and if academics do not understand what’s happening in the ‘Gig Economy,’ they are not paying attention to market trends.”

Others involved in the study were Dr. Craig Walker, Wheeler Professor of Economics, and MBA students Abdulrahman Alabulththim, Michele Phillips and Daniel Smith.

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For more information about OBU and the Paul Dickinson College of Business, visit

With its campus in Shawnee, and locations in Oklahoma City and Broken Arrow, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 88 fields of study and five master’s degree programs. The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 2,093, with students from 37 states and 40 other countries. OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 regional colleges in the West by U.S. News and World Report for 26 consecutive years and has been Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 24 consecutive years. OBU is one of three universities in Oklahoma and the only private Oklahoma university listed on Great Value College’s rankings of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest. consistently ranks OBU as a top university in Oklahoma and the Princeton Review has named OBU one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States for 13 consecutive years.