When people see Jeroen Meijerink in his bright green ‘Uber Eats’ deliveryman outfit, they wonder whether the University of Twente (NL) scientist switched career paths. ‘No,’ answers the Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management, ‘it’s part of my research.’
University of Twente scientist Jeroen Meijerink has signed up with food delivery platforms Uber Eats and Deliveroo. He wanted to experience first-hand what it’s like to work through such platforms and to have your ‘job’ largely dictated not by colleagues or supervisors, but by algorithms.
‘It’s a part of my ongoing research project on Human Resource Management (HRM) in the gig economy,’ says the scientist. ‘It’s a first step to explore what HRM looks like in an environment where there is no employment relationship, no job security, but where many HR activities still occur. The workers still experience certain levels of control, performance evaluation, incentives and so on, but in this case, these activities are performed by algorithms or customers, not by HR staff or line managers.’