Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space
School of Business and Law
Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme
Platform firm in the gig-economy are disrupting work as a social practice, production systems and recasting capital-labour relations. This qualitative study examines worker agency in the Australian food-delivery sector; a segment where platforms actively intermediate both product and labour markets. Within this sector, worker agency poses a potential challenge to platform-organisations; however this study reveals how these platforms’ work organisation and market regulation constrain agency potential. Shaped by the work’s spatio-temporal features, organisational fixes and institutional context, it is shown how food-delivery workers, transiently attached to the labour market, predominantly engage in ‘entrepreneurial agency’ – a low-level agency expression aimed at materially improving individual conditions and aligning with, rather than challenging, platforms’ business models.
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