Table_1_HRM models of online labor platforms: Strategies of market and corporate logics.DOCX (663.11 kB)
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Table_1_HRM models of online labor platforms: Strategies of market and corporate logics.DOCX

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posted on 2023-01-06, 05:48 authored by Jere Immonen

Studies on online labor platforms (OLPs) have revealed that OLPs can have extensive managerial control over independent workers, which affects their autonomy and precariousness. The permeability of the management makes some OLPs' roles as neutral intermediaries in labor exchanges questionable. While there are several platform work studies on the effects of human resource management (HRM) activities, earlier studies have focused more on certain types of OLP companies. Earlier OLP classifications did not make systematic distinctions between HRM activities either. This paper offers a classification to view how HRM activities manifest in OLPs. The study utilizes terms of service and webpage data from 46 multinational and Finland-based OLPs. Based on these data, OLPs have been classified into six models with five governance principles and institutional logic. The study uses the idea of institutional complexity and claims that OLPs balance their operations between the complexity of two institutional logics, market, and corporation, by using varying strategies with their HRM activities. Differently managed OLPs are also often marketed to different worker groups. This indicates that workers' levels and quality of autonomy differ between OLPs. Hence, could be expected that platform workers' expectations toward OLPs, perceptions of fairness, and experiences of wellbeing may be influenced by the HRM activities in which they engage. The results contribute to the ongoing discussions of power asymmetries between OLPs and platform workers, and thus OLPs' roles as either marketplaces or hierarchical corporations. Formed models can be utilized to enrich studies on key issues of platform workers' autonomy, precariousness, and experiences in different types of OLPs.