Digital Work and the Platform Economy: Understanding Tasks, Skills and Capabilities in the New Era, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Digital Work and the Platform Economy

Understanding Tasks, Skills and Capabilities in the New Era, 1st Edition

Edited by Seppo Poutanen, Anne Kovalainen, Petri Rouvinen


230 pages

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Hardback: 9781138605848
pub: 2019-12-05
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"Uberization," "digitalization," "platform economy," "gig economy," and "sharing economy" are some of the buzzwords that characterize the current intense discussions about the development of the economy and work around the world, among both experts and laypersons. Immense changes in the ways goods are manufactured, business is done, work tasks are performed, education is accomplished, and so on, are clearly underway. This also means that demand for careful, first-rate social scientific analyses of the phenomena in question is rapidly growing.

This edited volume gathers distinguished researchers from economics, business studies, organization studies, medicine, social psychology, occupational health, pedagogics, and sociology to put particular work in both public and private sectors and education in both academic and vocational settings at the focus of the emerging digitalized platform economy. The authors anchor their analyses and conceptual and theoretical work in distinctive empirical developments that are taking place in one of the leading countries of digitalization processes: Finland. Finnish case studies reflect general global developments and show their particular, context-related actualization in multiple ways. This double exposure enables the authors of this multi- and interdisciplinary volume to advance conceptualization and theorization of the key phenomena in digitalizing platform societies in novel, creative, and groundbreaking directions. This book will without doubt be of great value to academic researchers and students in the fields of economics, business studies, work studies, social sciences, education, technology, digitalization, platforms, occupational health, entrepreneurship, and professions.

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

List of Boxes

Contributor Biographies

I Introduction: Digital Work in Platform Economy

Seppo Poutanen, Anne Kovalainen, and Petri Rouvinen

II New facets of work and workers’ life in the digital platform economy

1 Martin Kenney, Petri Rouvinen, and John Zysman: Employment, work, and value creation in the era of digital platforms

2 Anne Kovalainen, Steven P. Vallas, and Seppo Poutanen: Theorizing work in the contemporary platform economy

3 Annina Ropponen, Jari J. Hakanen, Mervi Hasu, and Laura Seppänen: Workers’ health, wellbeing, and safety in the digitalizing platform economy


III Challenges to skills and capabilities in the digital platform economy

4 Kaisa Hytönen and Anne Kovalainen: Vocational education goes to industry: Future skills at work derive from novel models of cooperation

5 Aija Leiponen and Annu Kotiranta: Digital disruption in the making: Digitalization of Finnish employment agencies

6 Maija Vähämäki, Tero Kuusi, Maarit Laiho, and Martti Kulvik: The road to productivity with automatization: Dialogue between the experienced and measured

7 Satu Aaltonen: The digitalization of migrants’ labor market integration services: Boosting or hindering social inclusion?

IV Theoretical opportunities for understanding new emergent phenomena in the digital platform economy

8 Eveliina Saari, Mervi Hasu, Sari Käpykangas, and Anne Kovalainen: Emergence of agentic professional competence in the digitalization of social services and healthcare

9 Laura Seppänen and Seppo Poutanen: Cultural transition in the sharing economy: Introducing platform work with activity concepts

10 Seppo Poutanen: Ontologically sound basis for analyzing academia, digitalization, and entrepreneurship together: A solution to the sociomaterialistic puzzle of "strong relationality"


About the Editors

Seppo Poutanen is Senior Research Fellow and Docent of Sociology at the University of Turku’s School of Economics, Finland.

Anne Kovalainen is Professor at the University of Turku’s School of Economics, Finland.

Petri Rouvinen is Senior Economist at Avance Attorneys Ltd.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Innovation, Organizations and Technology

This innovative series explores the role of innovation and innovation management and technological advances from an organizational perspective. This series brings together theories from a wide range of individual disciplines and examines both the internal understanding and management and also an external, shareholder perspective. Routledge Studies in Innovation, Organizations and Technology (RIOT!) features cutting -edge research addressing all the major issues in business and management today, helping to define and advance the field.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Computer Industry
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Information Management