University of Twente Student Theses


Protecting workers in the platform economy, an analysis of tactics used by labor unions

Schapers, V.J. (2018) Protecting workers in the platform economy, an analysis of tactics used by labor unions.

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Abstract:The internet has given rise to the sharing economy. Part of this sharing economy are online labor platforms, which are organizations acting as matchmakers between supply and demand. In the Netherlands, the way these platforms manage their human resources, the platform workers, has been a topic of debate. Like other organizations, platforms conduct their human resource practices in line with their strategic objectives. For platforms these objectives seem to be growth and cost reductions. Consequently, this results in a lack of job security as well as customer performance management for platform workers. Labor unions, who are established to protect workers, have found themselves against a new type of organization protecting a new type of employee. This research aims to uncover the tactics labor unions in the Netherlands adopt to protect platform workers. To answer the research question, a multiple stage research is conducted. The first stage is a document analysis uncovering how a specific platform conducts their human resource practices. In the second stage these findings are presented in interviews to labor union representatives, uncovering their opinion and how they aim to protect the platform workers. Furthermore, the difference between the power of labor unions to protect platform workers versus traditional employees is discussed. The results provide an insight into the power balance and provide the basis for the labor union influencing model.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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