Autonomy at Work in the Gig Economy: Analysing Work Status, Work Content and Working Conditions of Independent Professionals

14 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2019

See all articles by François Pichault

François Pichault

University of Liege - HEC Management School

Tui McKeown

Monash Business School

Date Written: March 2019

Abstract

This paper offers a critical perspective on the debate surrounding autonomy at work for a specific category of non‐standard workers: independent professionals. The increasing numbers now working this way as well as their spread into all sectors, industries and occupations, mean that their work arrangements can no longer be dismissed as non‐standard or atypical. Defining them by what they are not is quite simply no longer an option. Our paper examines the various components intertwined behind the taken‐for‐granted concept of autonomy. Drawing on debates from the legal through to the sociological and HR literatures, we identify three underlying dimensions to autonomy. When combined, they provide the basis for an analytical matrix that may assist policy makers, practitioners and individual workers to understand the challenges and opportunities linked to new ways of working.

Keywords: autonomy, independent professionals, work status, work content, working conditions, future of work

Suggested Citation

Pichault, François and McKeown, Tui, Autonomy at Work in the Gig Economy: Analysing Work Status, Work Content and Working Conditions of Independent Professionals (March 2019). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 34, Issue 1, pp. 59-72, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3349342 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12132

François Pichault (Contact Author)

University of Liege - HEC Management School ( email )

Boulevard du Rectorat 7 (B31)
LIEGE, Liege 4000
Belgium

Tui McKeown

Monash Business School ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3168
Australia

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