HRM practices for value creation and value capture in online labour platform ecosystems: towards an integrative perspective

Anne Keegan, Jeroen G. Meijerink

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Studies of HRM in online labour platforms identify contradictions compared to extant models in HRM scholarship. Platform firms disavow employment relationships with workers, while also controlling worker behaviour using algorithmic management. Scholars draw on institutional complexity to explain contradictory tendencies in platforms' HRM practices and link these with platforms' efforts to avoid challenges that might undermine the dominant independent contractor-based model of gig work. While this may explain the observed dynamism in HRM practices in online labour platform ecosystems, it does not explain why platforms risk complexity and legitimacy threats. We build on this work to offer a complementary explanation for the contradictory approaches taken by corporate platform firms to HRM. We argue that HRM practices in all online labour platform ecosystems are used for two independent though inter-related reasons: (1) To create (use) value; (2) To capture (exchange) value. While all parties to the ecosystem benefit from the role of HRM practices in value creation, corporate platform firms use HRM practices to try and capture value created within the ecosystem. This include value created by workers who platforms treat as competitors and to whom they try and prevent value slippage. The dynamism HRM practices observed in corporate platform ecosystems can be explained by pressures from above (institutional actors, courts) and below (grassroots unions, workers' direct actions) to change how value is captured in such ecosystems. Value creation and value capture provide a valuable lens for understanding the contradictions and hybridity in HRM practices in platform ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Research Agenda for Strategic Human Resource Management
EditorsPeter Sherer
PublisherEdward Elgar
ISBN (Electronic)9781800883802
ISBN (Print)9781800883796
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Online labour platforms
  • Human resource management
  • Algorithmic management
  • Value capture
  • Value creation
  • Dynamism


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