Journal of Business Ethics 161 (1):19-33 (2020)

Abstract
The advent of the sharing/gig economy has created new forms of employment embedded in new labor practices. Advocates of the sharing economy frame it in salutary terms, lauding its sustainability, decentralization, and employment-generation capabilities. The workers of the gig economy are seen as independent contractors under law rather than employees, and the owners of the gig economy platforms celebrate this categorization as a form of entrepreneurship. In this paper, we use insights from the entrepreneurship literature to examine this claim critically. Taking Uber as an exemplar, we look at the arguments behind the company’s contention that its drivers are actually “partners” who are engaged in entrepreneurship, and demonstrate why these claims are problematic. We utilize a stakeholders’ theory framework that initiates a dialogue between ethics and entrepreneurship in order to focus on the mechanisms that help ensure ethical practices in the sharing economy and to examine the efficacy of these mechanisms. We also discuss the role of the entrepreneurship literature in promoting entrepreneurial behaviors that lead to income inequality. We conclude by arguing that the sharing economy reflects the intensification of an ongoing neoliberal trend that misuses the concept of entrepreneurship in order to justify certain forms of employment practices, and make a case for regulatory oversight.
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-018-3975-2
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References found in this work BETA

The Stakeholder Theory of the Firm.Steven N. Brenner & Philip Cochran - 1991 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 2:897-933.
Stakeholder Value Equilibration and the Entrepreneurial Process.S. Venkataraman - 2002 - The Ruffin Series of the Society for Business Ethics 2002:45-57.

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Citations of this work BETA

Algorithmic Domination in the Gig Economy.James Muldoon & Paul Raekstad - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory.

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