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Regulation and the future of work: The employment relationship as an innovation facilitator


  • Antonio ALOISI
  • Valerio DE STEFANO


Digital transformation and the reorganization of the firm have given rise to new forms of work that diverge significantly from the standard employment relationship. Advocates of digital disruption suggest that the existing legal framework cannot accommodate “innovative” working templates and business models. This article, however, argues that labour regulation can continue to facilitate innovation, presenting the employment relationship as a flexible instrument, and standard forms of employment as the means of achieving efficiencies and cost advantages. First, they allow for the full exercise of managerial prerogative and attendant internal flexibility in workforce deployment, and, second, they constitute an effective device to deliver training and develop skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio ALOISI & Valerio DE STEFANO, 2020. "Regulation and the future of work: The employment relationship as an innovation facilitator," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 159(1), pages 47-69, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:intlab:v:159:y:2020:i:1:p:47-69
    DOI: 10.1111/ilr.12160

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    2. Bakyt Beknazarov & Roza Niyazbekova & Ussen Amirseitov & Aiganym Kokenova & Marzhan Daurbayeva & Madina Aitkazina, 2020. "Development of entrepreneurship and forms of self-employment in the innovative sectors of the economy," Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, VsI Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Center, vol. 8(2), pages 209-228, December.
    3. Valerio DE STEFANO, 2021. "Not as simple as it seems: The ILO and the personal scope of international labour standards," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 160(3), pages 387-406, September.
    4. Paola Tubaro & Antonio A. Casilli & Marion Coville, 2020. "The trainer, the verifier, the imitator: Three ways in which human platform workers support artificial intelligence," Post-Print hal-02554196, HAL.
    5. Melián-González, Santiago, 2022. "Gig economy delivery services versus professional service companies: Consumers’ perceptions of food-delivery services," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    6. Norlander, Peter & Erickson, Christopher, 2022. "The Role of Institutions in Job Teleworkability Before and After the Covid-19 Pandemic," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1172, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. Jacek Lewkowicz & Anna Lewczuk, 2022. "Innovation through Collaboration," Journal of Economics / Ekonomicky casopis, Institute of Economic Research, Slovak Academy of Sciences, vol. 70(1), pages 36-56, January.
    8. Rolf, Steven & O'Reilly, Jacqueline & Meryon, Marc, 2022. "Towards privatized social and employment protections in the platform economy? Evidence from the UK courier sector," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(5).
    9. Moshfique Uddin & Anup Chowdhury & Geoffrey Wood, 2022. "The resilience of the British and European goods industry: Challenge of Brexit," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(4), pages 934-954.

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