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Breaking the Managerial Silencing of Worker Voice in Platform Capitalism: The Rise of a Food Courier Network


Nadia K. Kougiannou


This paper examines food couriers’ utilization of voice mechanisms as mobilization against employer silencing within platform capitalism. The concepts of ‘worker silence’ and ‘worker voice’ are used to facilitate an understanding of the way in which workers respond to workplace problems, as well as their capacity to respond within this specific context. Findings illustrate the role of technology as a facilitator but also inhibitor of worker voice. In particular, online food delivery companies’ over-reliance on algorithmic management and their online app drove couriers to silence. However, in reaction to managerial silencing, we show that couriers are not passive recipients of forces beyond their control, and attempt to explore new trajectories and modes of voice in order to influence their working conditions. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


Kougiannou, N. K., & Mendonça, P. (2021). Breaking the Managerial Silencing of Worker Voice in Platform Capitalism: The Rise of a Food Courier Network. British Journal of Management, 32(3), 744-759.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2021
Online Publication Date May 5, 2021
Publication Date 2021-07
Deposit Date May 20, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 20, 2021
Journal British Journal of Management
Print ISSN 1045-3172
Electronic ISSN 1467-8551
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 3
Pages 744-759
Public URL


Breaking The Managerial Silencing Of Worker Voice In Platform Capitalism: The Rise Of A Food Courier Network (378 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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