Conceptualizing human resource management in the gig economy: Toward a platform ecosystem perspective

Purpose Although it is transforming the meaning of employment for many people, little is known about the implications of the gig economy for human resource management (HRM) theory and practice. The purpose of this paper is to conceptually explore the notion of HRM in the gig economy, where intermediary platform firms design and implement HRM activities while simultaneously trying to avoid the establishment of employment relationships with gig workers. Design/methodology/approach To conceptualize HRM in the gig economy, the authors offer a novel ecosystem perspective to develop propositions on the role and implementation of HRM activities in the gig economy. Findings The authors show that HRM activities in the gig economy are designed to govern platform ecosystems by aligning the multilateral exchanges of three key gig economy actors: gig workers, requesters and intermediary platform firms, for ensuring value co-creation. The authors argue that the implementation of HRM activities in the gig economy is contingent on the involvement and activities of these gig economy actors. This means that they are not mere recipients of HRM but also actively engaged in, and needed for, the execution of HRM activities. Originality/value The study contributes to research by proposing a theoretical framework for studying the design of HRM activities, and their implementation, in the gig economy. From this framework, the authors derive directions for future research on HRM in the gig economy.

Meijerink, J. & Keegan, A. (2019). Conceptualizing human resource management in the gig economy: Toward a platform ecosystem perspective. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 34.


  • Research publication
  • Netherlands
  • Yes
  • transport
  • On-location platform-determined routine work
  • Deliveroo, UberEats
  • autonomy, flexibility and control, employment status, work organisation
  • English
  • Journal of Managerial Psychology
  • Qualitative research, Quantitative research
  • 2019
  • Open access
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