Breaking the managerial silencing of worker voice in platform capitalism: the rise of a food courier network

Kougiannou, N. ORCID: 0000-0002-6422-3831 and Mendonca, P. ORCID: 0000-0001-7035-6246, 2021. Breaking the managerial silencing of worker voice in platform capitalism: the rise of a food courier network. British Journal of Management. ISSN 1045-3172

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: British Journal of Management
Creators: Kougiannou, N. and Mendonca, P.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 5 May 2021
ISSN: 1045-3172
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1111/1467-8551.12505DOI
1433502Other
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 22 Apr 2021 15:50
Last Modified: 19 May 2021 08:13
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42751

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