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'Your Driver is Didi and Minutes Away from Your Pick-Up Point': Understanding Employee Motivation in the Gig Economy of China

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  • Mukhopadhyay, Boidurjo
  • Chatwin, Chris

Abstract

In recognition of the importance and expansion of the gig economy, largely in developed and BRICs economies, along with the growing literature surrounding it, this research contributes towards an empirical and conceptual understanding of how employee motivation and retention are managed by the mobile app-based, multiple payment platformenabled, car-pooling Chinese giant DiDi. Both the exponential usage and evidently a diversified range of services offered by Didi has not only transformed the Chinese perception of using cabs, over their personal vehicle, in the 1.4 billion demographics but also invites emerging research in learning the tools for employee retention of a company that has a high regional scale of operations across all provinces in China. While the company employs over a million people at various contractual levels, the objective of this paper is to evaluate how levels of employee motivation, in a gig economy setting, largely affects employee effort and performance of DiDi drivers working long hours in major Chinese cities. The objective of this research is to qualitatively investigate the nature and effectiveness of Didi as a customer customiser using a thematic analysis and a conceptual framework, while also adding contextual knowledge on how a relatively new transport company retain employees in a leading BRICS economy, that is embedded with many faces of the gig economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Mukhopadhyay, Boidurjo & Chatwin, Chris, 2021. "'Your Driver is Didi and Minutes Away from Your Pick-Up Point': Understanding Employee Motivation in the Gig Economy of China," GLO Discussion Paper Series 805, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:805
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gig economy; employee motivation; China; employee performance; ERG theory; Expectancy Theory; innovation; DiDi; mobile app-based enterprises; Emerging Economy; Platform Economy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • M55 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Contracting Devices
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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