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Disconnecting labour: the impact of intra-platform algorithmic changes on the labour process and workers’ capacity to organise collectively

Mendon�a, Pedro; Kougiannou, Nadia


Nadia Kougiannou


This article examines how gig economy platform companies, via algorithmic management, shape working conditions and collective organisation of food delivery couriers. Using qualitative data from one case study operating in a city in the United Kingdom, the study captures real-time intraplatform unilateral changes in algorithmic management to provide increased flexibility for couriers. Findings show algorithmic changes generating a reconfigured, fragmented and compliant workforce. As a result, couriers demonstrate different interests and motivations to work for the company, where disparities in the demands for improved working conditions hindered efforts for collective organising. This article argues that intraplatform algorithmic changes create affordances that companies can exploit to concentrate power over labour even when conceding some control over the labour process.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 20, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 4, 2022
Publication Date 2023-03
Deposit Date Jun 23, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 4, 2022
Journal New Technology, Work and Employment
Print ISSN 0268-1072
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Issue 1
Pages 1-20
Keywords algorithmic management, collective organising, gig economy, labour process, platform work
Public URL


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