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Platform Economy Puzzles
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Platform Economy Puzzles

A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Gig Work

9781839100277 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Jeroen Meijerink, Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management, Giedo Jansen, Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Victoria Daskalova, Assistant Professor of Law, Governance and Technology, Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences, University of Twente, the Netherlands
Publication Date: 2021 ISBN: 978 1 83910 027 7 Extent: 256 pp
Searching for paid tasks via digital labour platforms, such as Uber, Deliveroo and Fiverr, has become a global phenomenon and the regular source of income for millions of people. In the advent of digital labour platforms, this insightful book sheds new light on familiar questions about tensions between competition and cooperation, short-term gains and long-term success, and private benefits and public costs. Drawing on a wealth of knowledge from a range of disciplines, including law, management, psychology, economics, sociology and geography, it pieces together a nuanced picture of the societal challenges posed by the platform economy.

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Critical Acclaim
Contributors
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Searching for paid tasks via digital labour platforms, such as Uber, Deliveroo and Fiverr, has become a global phenomenon and the regular source of income for millions of people. In the advent of digital labour platforms, this insightful book sheds new light on familiar questions about tensions between competition and cooperation, short-term gains and long-term success, and private benefits and public costs. Drawing on a wealth of knowledge from a range of disciplines, including law, management, psychology, economics, sociology and geography, it pieces together a nuanced picture of the societal challenges posed by the platform economy.
 
Chapters present a comprehensive, multidisciplinary overview of the rise of gig work, reflecting on long-term developments in the gig economy and incorporating contemporary developments into the rich theoretical and empirical literature on the topic. Charting new research territory, the book addresses key academic and policy challenges, arming readers with relevant analytical tools and practical solutions to face common problems. This book comprises a key reference for future research on the topic as well as critical policy measures for addressing challenges relating to gig work.
 
Offering an integrated outline of the latest insights, this book is crucial reading for scholars and researchers of the platform economy and gig work, outlining academic insights and empirical research, and illustrating a research agenda for future scholarship. The book’s comprehensive approach will also benefit policy-makers, managers and workers as they confront the platform economy’s wide variety of legal, economic and management challenges.
Critical Acclaim
‘Only a level playing field will make the platform economy work for everyone. Getting there requires a deep interdisciplinary understanding of the challenges – and potential solutions – involved. In bringing together a diverse group of scholars from a broad range of disciplines Platform Economy Puzzles provides a wide range of excellent perspectives of interest to anyone interested in understanding how we got here – and what should happen next.’
– Jeremias Adams-Prassl, Oxford University, UK

‘The platform economy debate is characterized by an ignorance of fundamental questions and differences in (national) contexts. A multidisciplinary approach is needed to understand and respond to the challenges that the platform economy brings about. The latter is precisely what the authors of Platform Economy Puzzles have done very well. They have made a valuable contribution to the development and interpretation of the platform work phenomenon.’
– Martijn Arets, Independent Platform Expert, Author and Researcher, the Netherlands

‘This timely collection offers a stimulating, rigorous and multidisciplinary perspective on a socioeconomic phenomenon that has reignited academic and regulatory debates. Going beyond the mainstream accounts, the scholars involved in the project offer insightful analyses of the platformisation of work, through a decisively pragmatic approach. They provide an essential compass to navigate the insidious waters of the changing world of work.’
– Antonio Aloisi, IE University – Madrid, Spain

‘This book is a must-read collection of unique writings, that in integration, provide an excellent account on conceptual, empirical, and policy research and practice of platform-enabled gig work. The authors address wicked and interesting challenges – platform economy puzzles – such as the “insider–outsider” problem and inconsistencies between narrative and reality to be found about gig work. Scholars, practitioners and students will enjoy a distinctive multidisciplinary conjunction of insights from law, sociology, history, human resource management, and psychology.’
– Tanya Bondarouk, University of Twente, the Netherlands

‘The platform economy opens up many new job opportunities, brings flexibility and the possibility of a greater work–life balance, while lowering labour market barriers for many workers. Nevertheless, a consensus was emerging that many of these workers found themselves in a vulnerable position in the labour market and needed greater protections. Policy-makers now face an urgent task, but the solutions are not simple. Platform Economy Puzzles brings a very important and timely contribution to this debate, providing a much-needed multidisciplinary toolbox to address the issues at hand.’
– Stijn Broecke, Senior Economist and Lead of the Future of Work Initiative at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), France

‘Platform-enabled gig work is a game changer in a world where innovation and agility are more important than ever before. However, given the maze of articles, reports and commentaries about gig work, it is difficult to see the forest for the trees and see cross-disciplinary links regarding this topic. Platform Economy Puzzles solves this issue and paves the way for future research to come, as exploration is, and will be, key to keep track in this fast paced world.’ – Marcel Brouwer, former Global Procurement Talent Acquisition Manager at EY (Ernst & Young) and the GigNow Platform

‘The Platform Economy Puzzles book is a must read for every professional with an interest in platform work. It offers a solid overview of the opportunities and challenges of platform-mediated gig work, from both practical and academic perspectives. It is through this integration that the book offers a multisided view on how to realize the benefits of platform work, while limiting its drawbacks.’
– Pim Graafmans, Managing Director YoungOnes, the Netherlands

‘The organization of work in the platform economy is among the key challenges of our age. This is a timely and well-crafted book by leading scholars, covering the topic of the “gig economy” from multiple angles. A must-read for academics and policy-makers alike.”
– Koen Frenken, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

‘The volume brings together an interesting combination of interdisciplinary research. Taking a more critical perspective, some chapters discuss the explosive nature of platform urbanism and data extraction, while others outline the challenges the platform economy poses to labor law. Moreover, the volume directs attention to unique sociotechnical contours of the gig economy such as algorithmic management, multi-party working relationships, and the institutional complexity of human resource management couched in labor platforms. Overall, the book presents helpful implications for various stakeholders, including researchers and practitioners of the gig economy as well as policy-makers.’
– Mohammad Hossein Jarrahi, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, US

‘Masterfully balancing gig work’s historic precedents and future potential, Platform Economy Puzzles offers a candid and pragmatic introduction to the critical challenges facing society, industry, workers, and policy-makers today. This multi-disciplinary collection by respected scholars not only provokes the reader with critical questions about the state of platform-mediated gig work, but also offers a rare discovery: potential solutions.’
– Gemma Newlands, MSc, PhD candidate, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Doctoral Stipendiary Fellow, BI Norwegian Business School, Norway.

‘This timely edited volume offers a fascinating read for scholars, students and practitioners alike. In particular, it focuses on what drives the various opportunities of platform-enabled gig working. It also points to the challenges in this context, such as (i) the status of gig workers, (ii) labour market opportunities, and (iii) ecosystem management. The book neatly unpacks how these challenges can be addressed and points to future research opportunities in a multidisciplinary manner. In my view, the most notable aspects of the book are that it grasps that the future of work is intimately linked to gig working and it also does so by appreciating the ecosystem of work organisation.’
– Juani Swart, University of Bath, UK
Contributors
Contributors: Adam Badger, Damion Jonathan Bunders, Ronan Carbery, Victoria Daskalova, James Duggan, Giedo Jansen, Paul Jonker-Hoffrén, Anne Keegan, Shae McCrystal, Anthony McDonnell, Jeroen Meijerink, Annarosa Pesole, Aaron Shapiro, Ultan Sherman, Jim Stanford, Niels van Doorn, Masako Wakui
Contents
Contents:

Preface

PART I SETTING THE STAGE –
PLATFORM-MEDIATED GIG WORK IN CONTEXT
1 Platform economy puzzles: the need for a multidisciplinary
perspective on gig work 2
Jeroen Meijerink, Giedo Jansen and Victoria Daskalova
2 Understanding the prevalence and nature of platform work:
the measurement case in the COLLEEM survey study 19
Annarosa Pesole
3 The past, present and future of gig work 46
Jim Stanford
4 Labour protection for non-employees: how the gig
economy revives old problems and challenges existing solutions 68
Victoria Daskalova, Shae McCrystal and Masako Wakui

PART II UNPACKING PLATFORM ECONOMY
PUZZLES – ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
EXCHANGES IN PLATFORM-MEDIATED GIG WORK
5 Platform urbanism and infrastructural surplus 101
Aaron Shapiro
6 Dual value production as key to the gig economy puzzle 123
Niels van Doorn and Adam Badger
7 Online labour platforms, human resource management and
platform ecosystem tensions: an institutional perspective 140
Anne Keegan and Jeroen Meijerink
8 Multi-party working relationships in gig work: towards
a new perspective 162
James Duggan, Ultan Sherman, Ronan Carbery and
Anthony McDonnell

PART III SOLUTIONS AND CONCLUSIONS
9 Gigs of their own: reinventing worker cooperativism in the
platform economy and its implications for collective action 188
Damion Jonathan Bunders
10 The politics of platform work: representation in the age of
digital labour 209
Paul Jonker-Hoffrén and Giedo Jansen
11 Conclusion: solutions to platform economy puzzles and
avenues for future research 229
Giedo Jansen, Victoria Daskalova and Jeroen Meijerink

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