Careers 4.0: Success in the Gig Economy

Gig workers (including short-term project workers and freelancers) follow careers independently form single organizations. Gig work is gaining in popularity and relevance worldwide. A trend that is strongly driven by the technological developments of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).

Gig workers are on their own in managing their careers and achieve financial and personal success. Specifically, gig workers need to take the full responsibility for developing relevant career competencies and navigating and managing their careers (e.g. building up a network) across organizational boundaries.

We study what career success means in the gig economy and how gig workers can be enabled to manage their careers successfully. Specifically, we aim to identify relevant capabilities and behaviors to promote success and to develop and test interventions that encourage such behavior and capabilities development. In order to do so, an event-based data collection using mobile devices is planned.

The research project has the potential to make three major contributions. First, the project will illuminate what career success is and how it emerges in the gig economy. Second, the project will identify career behaviors and capabilities that are important to survive and thrive in the gig economy. Third, findings of the project will be of practical use for gig workers by helping them to promote career success.

We are working with a group of ten Citizen Researchers. These are flexible workers and other people with an interest in the topic who support us on a voluntary basis. They share their insights, experience and expertise and are involved in focus setting and study design. We are permitted to mention some of them by name in alphabetical order:

Project Management
Manuela Morf (PhD), Anna Sender (PhD), and Tara Hakverdi form the project team at the Center of Human Resource Management (CEHRM) at University of Lucerne. We cooperate with the Mobile & Smart Systems Research Team (Prof. Dr. René Meier und Michael Handschuh) of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

The project is funded by a Spark grant (No. CRSK-1_190629 / 1) from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). SNSF Spark grants support original and unconventional research ideas so that they can be tested, further developed and implemented.

Lab Notes - Was Erfolg in der Gig Economy bedeutet (in German)
Lab Notes - Empfehlungen für den Erfolg in der Gig Economy (in German)

Project lead: Manuela Morf, PhD (Dr. oec.)
Phone: +41 41 229 58 61