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The International Journal of Human Resource Management







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Taylor & Francis


Does supervision from technological platforms alter gig workers’ motivation and perceptions of control? We address this question with two field studies set in the passenger livery (pick up and drop off) industry. A between-subjects field survey (n = 50) finds that UberX drivers perceive significantly greater organizational control compared to taxi drivers, but do not report significantly different levels of intrinsic motivation, needs satisfaction, or enjoyment of work. In a follow-up within-subjects field experiment (n = 79), we identify the causal impact of technological supervision on drivers’ perceptions of control and motivation. Black car limousine drivers who sometimes work on the UberBlack platform are randomly assigned to respond to questions about their perceptions while driving either for Uber or their limousine company. Limousine drivers in the Uber condition report greater market control and enjoyment of the work. We draw several conclusions: 1) large differences between gig workers and incumbent workers are selection effects, and 2) Uber’s platform modestly increases perceptions of market control and task enjoyment with 3) no impact on motivation or needs satisfaction. This article contributes to the literature on the classification of gig workers, the gamification of work, and studies of technology, management, and organizations. We call for greater theoretical attention to how workers experience technological supervision and discuss how platforms change the future of employment relationships and human resource management.


Author Posting © Taylor & Francis, 2021. This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in The International Journal of Human Resource Management. Norlander, P., Jukic, N., Varma, A., & Nestorov, S. (2021). The effects of technological supervision on gig workers: organizational control and motivation of Uber, taxi, and limousine drivers. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 32(19), 4053–4077. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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