Chapter 17: Platform work inside organisations: an exploration of tensions in intra-organisational labour platforms
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This chapter examines a new labour platform type - an intra-organisational labour platform (IOLP) - that is disruptive to the structure and functioning of organisations. While this new phenomenon yields several disruptive possibilities, such as enhanced workforce autonomy and mobility, we find that it also introduces new organising tensions that obstruct this value proposition. We show that tensions originate from three distinct affordance-based mechanisms: (a) from incongruences between platform participants’ enacted affordances, (b) from endogenous incongruences between participants’ enacted affordances and platform designers’ intended affordances, and (c) from exogenous incongruences between participants’ enacted affordances and designers’ intended affordances. We find that IOLPs can effectively defuse tensions through interventions in the material and social platform dimensions of the IOLP, but that tensions originating beyond the platform remain hard to solve. We discuss the implications for knowledge of contemporary organisations, platform labour and human resource management.

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