IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Rise of the “Gig Economy†and Implications for Understanding Work and Workers


  • Kuhn, Kristine M.


Bergman and Jean (2016) include freelancers as one of the categories of workers who are understudied in the industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology literature. This neglect is particularly striking given the attention paid by the popular media and by politicians to the rise of the “gig economy,†comprising primarily short-term independent freelance workers (e.g., Cook, 2015; Kessler, 2014; Scheiber, 2014; Warner, 2015). This may be due in part to challenges involved in accessing and researching this population, as discussed by Bergman and Jean, but it may also arise from complexities in defining and conceptualizing freelance work, as well as from misunderstandings about the nature of the work now performed by many people who are considered freelancers. Major topics of interest to I-O psychologists such as organizational attraction, job satisfaction, and turnover may seem at first glance to lack relevance to the study of workers who are officially classified as self-employed. But there is substantial opportunity for I-O psychologists and other behaviorally oriented organizational researchers to contribute to our understanding of the growing number of people who earn all or some of their income by freelancing.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuhn, Kristine M., 2016. "The Rise of the “Gig Economy†and Implications for Understanding Work and Workers," Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 157-162, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:inorps:v:9:y:2016:i:01:p:157-162_00

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to article abstract page
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bihary, Zsolt & Kerényi, Péter, 2020. "Haknigazdaság - egy dinamikus megbízó-ügynök modell [The gig economy: a dynamic principal-agent model]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 748-761.
    2. Gleim, Mark R. & Johnson, Catherine M. & Lawson, Stephanie J., 2019. "Sharers and sellers: A multi-group examination of gig economy workers' perceptions," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 142-152.
    3. Zsolt Bihary & P'eter Ker'enyi, 2019. "Gig Economy: A Dynamic Principal-Agent Model," Papers 1902.10021,
    4. Anmari Viljamaa & Elina Varamäki & Sanna Joensuu-Salo, 2017. "Best of Both Worlds? Persistent Hybrid Entrepreneurship," Journal of Enterprising Culture (JEC), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 25(04), pages 339-359, December.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:inorps:v:9:y:2016:i:01:p:157-162_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.