+1 Recommend
2 collections

      If you have found this article useful and you think it is important that researchers across the world have access, please consider donating, to ensure that this valuable collection remains Open Access.

      Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisation is published by Pluto Journals, an Open Access publisher. This means that everyone has free and unlimited access to the full-text of all articles from our international collection of social science journals, and the authors don’t pay an author processing charge (APC’s).

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Algorithmic work coordination and workers' voice in the COVID-19 pandemic: The case of Foodora/Lieferando



            The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates the conflictual nature of work in the digital platform economy as if it were ignited under a magnifying glass. In this context, this article focuses on the logic of control of algorithmic labour coordination, adopting a qualitative case study approach. In a situation in which the technical infrastructure of online platforms generally impedes labour protests, it examines the case of Lieferando (formerly Foodora) in Germany, where, unusually, the on-demand workforce is employed. It concludes that in this situation, the algorithmic management of Lieferando facilitates labour protests because of a lack of communication between employer and worker. Furthermore, in the COVID-19 pandemic, institutionalised relationships function as a countervailing power to that of the employer, forcing it to act.


            Author and article information

            Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisation
            Pluto Journals
            1 January 2021
            : 15
            : 1 ( doiID: 10.13169/workorgalaboglob.15.issue-1 )
            : 69-84
            © Jasmin Schreyer, 2021

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Custom metadata

            Sociology,Labor law,Political science,Labor & Demographic economics,Political economics
            Workers' voice,Co-determination,Algorithmic Management,On-demand Workforce,Platform Economy,Algorithmic Work Coordination,COVID-19 Pandemic


            1. Arendt, H. (2017). Macht und Gewalt, Deutsche Erstausgabe, 26 Auflage, München: Piper.

            2. Arendt, H. (2018). Vita activa oder Vom tätigen Leben, München/Berlin/Zürich: Piper.

            3. Chow, L.S. (2020). ‘Foodservice waging war against Covid-19 crisis and the opportunity’, Journal of Tourism, Hospitality & Environment Management, 5 (19):41-49.

            4. Ciesilski, R., S. Khamis, J. Lenz & V. Schälter (2020) ‘Mitarbeiter fühlen sich vom Lieferdienst Lieferando überwacht’, tagesschau.de. Accessed 21 November 2020. https://wwwtagesschaude/wirtschaft/lieferando-arbeitsbedingungen-101html

            5. De Stefano, V. (2016). The rise of the «just-in-time workforce», on-demandwork, crowdwork and labour protection in the «gig-economy» No. 71, Geneva: International Labour Office.

            6. Degner, A. & E. Kocher (2018). ‘Arbeitskämpfe in Der “Gig-Economy”? Die Protestbewegungen Der Foodora Und Deliveroo “Riders” Und Rechtsfragen Ihrer Kollektiven Selbstorganisation’, Kritische Justiz, 51 (3):247-265.

            7. Dijck, J., T. Poell & M. de Waal (2018). The platform society, New York: Oxford University Press.

            8. van Doorn, N. (2017). 'Platform labor: On the gendered & racialized exploitation of low-income service work in the 'on-demand' economy', Information, Communication & Society, 20 (6):898-914.

            9. van Doorn, N. (2020). ‘At what price? labour politics & calculative power struggles in on-demand & food delivery’, Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisation, 14(1):136-149.

            10. DPA (2020). ‘Corona: Immer mehr Restaurants liefern über Lieferando aus’. Accessed 21 November 2020. https://wwwbusinessinsiderde/wirtschaft/handel/corona-immer-mehr-restaurants-liefern-ueber-lieferando-aus/

            11. Duggan, J., U. Sherman, R. Carbery & A. McDonnell (2020). ‘Algorithmic management & app-work in the gig economy: A research agenda for employment relations and HRM’, Human Resource Management Journal, 30 (1):114-132.

            12. FAU (2017). ‘Who's hub? Our hub! - Deliverunion’. Accessed 25 September 2020. https://deliverunionfauorg/2017/11/15/whos-hub-our-hub/.

            13. Frenken, K. & J. Schor (2017). ‘Putting the sharing economy into perspective’, Environmental Innovation & Societal Transitions, 23:3-10.

            14. Giddens, A. (1997). Die Konstitution der Gesellschaft: Grundzüge einer Theorie der Strukturierung, Frankfurt/Main: Campus-Verlag.

            15. Glaser, B.G. & A.L. Strauss (1998). Grounded theory: Strategien qualitativer Forschung, Bern: Huber.

            16. Goods, C., A. Veen & T. Barratt (2019). ‘“Is your gig any good?” Analysing job quality in the Australian platform-based food-delivery sector’, Journal of Industrial Relations, 61 (4):502-527.

            17. Healy, J., D. Nicholson & A. Pekarek (2017) ‘Should we take the gig economy seriously?‘ Labour & Industry: A Journal of the Social &Economic Relations of Work, 27 (3):232-248.

            18. Healy, J., A. Pekarek, & A. Vromen (2020). ‘Sceptics or supporters? Consumers’ views of work in the gig economy', New Technology, Work &Employment, 35 (1):1-19.

            19. Huws, U. (2014). Labor in the global digital economy: The cybertariat comes of age, New York: Monthly Review Press.

            20. Huws, Ursula. 2016. ‘Logged labour: A new paradigm of work organisation?‘ Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisation, 10 (1):7-26.

            21. Huws, U., N. Spencer, D. Syrdal & K. Holts (2017). Work in the European gig economy research results from the UK, Sweden, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy, Brussels: Foundation for European Progressive Studies.

            22. Joyce, S., D. Neumann, V. Trappmann, & C. Umney (2020) A global struggle: Worker protest in the platform economy. ETUI research paper. Policy brief, February.

            23. Kellogg, K.C., M.A. Valentine & A. Christin (2020). ‘Algorithms at work: The new contested terrain of control’, Academy of Management Annals, 14 (1):366-410.

            24. Kirchner, S. & E. Schüßler (2019). ‘The organization of digital marketplaces: Unmasking the role of internet platforms in the sharing economy’, in Ahrne G. & N. Brunsson (eds), Organization outside Organizations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press:131-154.

            25. Knieps, S. (2021). Lieferando-Deutschland-Chefin: ‘Wir sind nicht bloß ein Wimpernschlag in einer Coronaphase’. Accessed 9 May 2021. https://wwwwiwode/unternehmen/dienstleister/lieferando-deutschland-chefin-wir-sind-nicht-bloss-ein-wimpernschlag-in-einer-coronaphase/27036696html

            26. Kuhn, K.M. & T. Galloway (2019). ‘Expanding perspectives on gig work & gig workers’, Journal of Managerial Psychology, 34 (2019):186-191.

            27. Kyriasoglou, C. (2017) ‘So steht es um Foodora’, Gründerszene Magazin, Accessed 24 September 2020. https://wwwgruenderszenede/food/foodora-geschaeftszahlen-2016-delivery-hero-ipo

            28. Lamnek, S. & C. Krell (2010). Qualitative Sozialforschung: Lehrbuch, Weinheim Basel: Beltz.

            29. Lehdonvirta, V. (2018). 'Flexibility in the gig economy: Managing time on three online piecework platforms, New Technology, Work & Employment, 33 (1):13-29.

            30. Leonardi, D., A. Murgia, M. Briziarelli & E. Armano (2019). ‘The ambivalence of logistical connectivity: A co-research with Foodora Riders’, Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisation, 13 (1):155-171.

            31. Levermann, T. (2018). ‘Wie Algorithmen Eine Kultur Der Digitalität Konstituieren: Über Die Kulturelle Wirkmacht Automatisierter Handlungsanweisungen in Der Infosphäre’, Journal Für Korporative Kommunikation, 2:31-42.

            32. Marrone, M. & V. Finotto (2019). ‘Challenging goliath informal unionism & digital platforms in the food delivery sector the case of riders union Bologna’, The Open Journal of Sociopolitical Studies, 12 (3):691-716.

            33. Petter, J. (2020). Corona-Krise bei Lieferando: ‘Wir gehen in den Park, wenn wir aufs Klo müssen’, Spiegel. Accessed 21 November 2020, https://wwwspiegelde/panorama/coronavirus-bei-lieferando-wir-gehen-in-den-park-wenn-wir-aufs-klo-muessen-a-ff05f574-0ffa-4768-922e-3b0fdbf27a12

            34. Rosenblat, A. & L. Stark (2016). 'Algorithmic labor and information asymmetries: A case study of Uber's drivers, International Journal of Communication, (10):3758-3784.

            35. Schreyer, J. (2019). ‘Das Phänomen Sharing Economy am Beispiel des Foodsektors, HBS Working Paper Forschungsförderung 145‘, Düsseldorf: Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.

            36. Schreyer, J. (2020). ‘Sharing ≠ Sharing economy. Ausprägungen Der Digitalen Sharing Economy Im Lebensmittelsektor’, Discussion Paper 2020-03, Stuttgart.

            37. Schreyer, J. (2019). ‘Das Phänomen Sharing Economy am Beispiel des Foodsektors’, Working Paper 145, Düsseldorf: Hans-Böckler-Stiftung.

            38. Schreyer, J. & J. Schrape (2018). ‘Algorithmische Arbeitskoordination in Der Plattformbasierten Gig Economy: Das Beispiel Foodora’, Arbeits Und Industriesoziologische Studien, 11 (2):262-278.

            39. Schröder, M. (2016). ‘Der Markt Hat Nur Platz Für Einen Oder Zwei Anbieter’ | Delivery Hero. Accessed 24 September 2020. https://wwwdeliveryherocom/der-markt-hat-nur-platz-fureinen-oder-zwei-anbieter/

            40. Shapiro, A. (2018). ‘Between autonomy & control: Strategies of arbitrage in the “on-Demand” economy’, New Media & Society, 20 (8):2954-2971.

            41. Slee, T. (2016). Deins ist meins: die unbequemen Wahrheiten der Sharing Economy, München: Verlag Antje Kunstmann.

            42. Spinnler, T. (2021). ‘Lokale Konkurrenz trotzt Lieferando’, tagesschau.de. Accessed 21 May 2021. https://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/lieferando-wolt-lokale-lieferdienste-konkurrenz-101.html

            43. Srnicek, N. (2017). Platform capitalism, Cambridge: Polity.

            44. Tassinari, A. &V. Maccarrone (2020). ‘Riders on the storm: Workplace Solidarity among gig economy couriers in Italy & the UK’, Work, Employment &Society, 34 (1):35-54.

            45. Vallas, S. & J.B. Schor (2020). ‘What do platforms do? Understanding the gig economy’, Annual Review of Sociology, 46 (1):273-294.

            46. Wachter, D. (2020). ‘Streit bei Lieferando: Schützt das Unternehmen seine Fahrer genug vor Coronaviren?‘ Stern.de. Accessed 21 November 2020. https://wwwsternde/genuss/essen/lieferando–betriebsrat-beschwert-sich—fahrer-sollen-keine-hygieneausruestung-erhalten-haben-9183772html

            47. Wewer, G. (2016). ‘Privates Teilen Als Geschäftsmodell? Politische, Wirtschaftliche Und Soziale Probleme Der Sharing Economy’, Leviathan, 44 (1):155-179.

            48. Wirminghaus, N. (2015). ‘Rocket reicht Foodora an Delivery Hero weiter’, Gründerszene Magazin. Accessed 24 September 2020. https://wwwgruenderszenede/allgemein/foodora-delivery-hero

            49. Wolff, S. (2009). Dokumenten- Und Aktenanalyse Flick, U. E. Kardorff & I. Steinke (eds), Qualitative Forschung Ein Handbuch, Hamburg: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag:502-514.

            50. Wood, A.J., M. Graham, V. Lehdonvirta & I. Hjorth (2019). ‘Good gig, bad gig: Autonomy and algorithmic control in the global gig economy’, Work, Employment & Society, 33 (1):56-75.

            51. Zuboff, S. (2018). Das Zeitalter des Überwachungskapitalismus, Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag.


            Comment on this article