Online, on Call: The Spread of Digitally Organised Just‐In‐Time Working and its Implications for Standard Employment Models

17 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2018

See all articles by Ursula Huws

Ursula Huws

University of Hertfordshire - Business School

Neil H. Spencer

University of Hertfordshire - Business School

Dag Syrdal

University of Hertfordshire - Business School

Date Written: July 2018

Abstract

This article questions whether the dominant policy discourse, in which a normative model of standard employment is counterposed to ‘non‐standard’ or ‘atypical’ employment, enables us to capture the diversity of fluid labour markets in which work is dynamically reshaped in an interaction between different kinds of employment status and work organisation. Drawing on surveys in the UK, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands that investigate work managed via online platforms (‘crowdwork’) and associated practices, it demonstrates that crowdwork represents part of a continuum. Not only do most crowd workers combine work for online platforms with other forms of work or income generation, but also many of the ICT‐related practices associated with crowdwork are widespread across the rest of the labour market where a growing number of workers are ‘logged’. Future research should not just focus on crowdworkers as a special case but on new patterns of work organisation in the regular workforce.

Keywords: platform labour, crowd work, standard employment model, survey, online labour, varieties of capitalism, just‐in‐time labour, work organisation

Suggested Citation

Huws, Ursula and Spencer, Neil H. and Syrdal, Dag, Online, on Call: The Spread of Digitally Organised Just‐In‐Time Working and its Implications for Standard Employment Models (July 2018). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 33, Issue 2, pp. 113-129, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3212456 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12111

Ursula Huws (Contact Author)

University of Hertfordshire - Business School ( email )

College Lane
Hatfield, Hertfordshire Al10 9AB
United Kingdom

Neil H. Spencer

University of Hertfordshire - Business School ( email )

College Lane
Hatfield, Hertfordshire Al10 9AB
United Kingdom

Dag Syrdal

University of Hertfordshire - Business School ( email )

College Lane
Hatfield, Hertfordshire Al10 9AB
United Kingdom

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