A4 Article in conference proceedings
On-demand work in platform economy: implications for sustainable development

List of Authors: Laura Seppänen, Mervi Hasu, Sari Käpykangas, Seppo Poutanen
Publication year: 2018
Book title *: Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018): Volume IV: Organizational Design and Management (ODAM), Professional Affairs, Forensic
Title of series: Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
Volume number: 821
ISBN: 978-3-319-96067-8
eISBN: 978-3-319-96068-5
ISSN: 2194-5357


The global importance of crowd or on-demand work via digital platforms
is increasing. Platform enterprises create and manage two- or many-sided
markets by enabling suppliers and buyers of services meet in a flexible
and scalable way, creating new economic efficiencies. However, platform
work may also increase invisibility, uncertainty, risks, and
competition for workers.
This paper investigates the sustainability of on-demand work through a
dynamic analysis of the resources available to workers when facing an
abrupt change in their work organization. Our empirical case is a
platform-driven food courier company in the Helsinki region, Finland. We
discuss the resources we found in the light of the immunity, control
and fungibility mechanisms that lead to both opportunities and
vulnerabilities for the on-demand workers.
The paper yields practice-based empirical insights of how immunity,
control and fungibility are experienced by workers, and thus add our
understanding of the often invisible and dark side of on-demand work. At
the end, we present our conclusions regarding research on sustainable

Last updated on 2019-12-04 at 13:38