The ‘gigification’ of work in the 21st century

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Contemporary Work and the Future of Employment in Developed Countries

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Taylor and Francis


School of Business and Law


Veen, A., Kaine, S., Goods, C., & Barratt, T. (2020). The ‘Gigification’of Work in the 21st Century. In Holland, P. & Brewster, C. (Eds) Contemporary Work and the Future of Employment in Developed Countries (pp. 15-32). Routledge-Cavendish. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351034906-2


© 2020 Taylor & Francis. The emergence of work in the ‘gig economy’ has been driven by new developments in information technologies and computing power. Digitalised gig work is described by a range of terms, and has been defined in various ways. The spatial characteristics of both types of gig work have important implications for the experience of work and opportunities for gig workers to voice issues related to their work, negotiate better conditions and collectively organise. The different forms of gig work, whether cloud-work or on demand, retain some similarities with each other for workers. Gig workers in on-demand services are thus increasingly resorting to more traditional means to combat some of the exploitative features of these new forms of work organising, engaging in grassroots campaigns and instigating litigation on behalf of workers. The primary beneficiaries of the emerging gig economy have been consumers, who have access to a wide array of low-cost services.



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