The Algorithm as your Boss?

The Algorithm as your Boss? – Platformization and Decent Work

The growth in platform-based employment requires a deeper understanding of the role of algorithms in work environments. Digital platforms which organize work (such as Helpling, Foodora or Uber) often act as a ‘boss’ exerting control over a large number of decentralized employees. Algorithms are used to distribute tasks, optimize work process and evaluate workers. The use of these novel forms of workforce management is growing, but there is little research dedicated to its implementation and impacts.

In this research project supported by the Hans Böckler Stiftung, we examine the role of algorithms by food delivery platforms in Berlin from an interdisciplinary perspective. We examine legal, social and technical aspects of algorithmic management in order to understand the novel dynamics of autonomy and control that they generate. We want to understand if current labor laws and policies provide adequate protection of workers or if and how they should be adjusted to fit the realities of the digital economy.

Research team

Funding

The research is supported by the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung in the context of “Forschungsverbund Digitalisierung, Mitbestimmung, gute Arbeit”.

Project description in German on the website of  European University Viadrina.

Detailed project description on the website of Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.