ISBE 2018: Freelancing, Solo Self-Employment and Gig Economy Working


Professor Andrew Burke,Trinity College Dublin & the Centre for Research on Self-Employment

Professor Marc Cowling, Brighton Business School, University of Brighton

Launching in 2018, this new track will consider the impact of freelancers and solo self-employment on the transformation of careers, entrepreneurship and organisations.

Aims of the track:
• To attract contributions that will advance knowledge and understanding of freelancers and the self-employed
• To uncover the forces that have caused the growth in independent working
• To shed light on the economic and innovative value the self-employed may have on modern economy
• To identify gaps in current research on self-employment

These aims will be fulfilled through the following objectives:
Self-employment being part of entrepreneurship studies as there is synergy between the two. Helping expose/provide avenues to explore a research agenda that is at the centre of research and policy debates to:

• overcome the challenges for public policy, as well as business and HR practice that have resulted from them under-research of the self-employment sector;
• inform companies on the developments of the changing labour market and thus allow them to adapt their business strategies accordingly and benefit from the changing labour market;
• examine the theoretical expectations of entrepreneurial economy which highlights the need for businesses to be flexible and innovative and to analyse the relationship between this need and the increasing rise of freelance workforce;
• examine the role of freelancers as enablers and providers of entrepreneurship in both large and small businesses;
• explore the varied dimensions in the roles of freelancers in the modern economy including:
o freelancers as sources of innovation
o freelancers as promoting efficiency-driven economic performance
o freelancers as enabling the de-risking of some of the uncertainties of the market
o freelancers as liberating businesses from the limits of their internal resource base and enable the use of exceptional talent that would otherwise not be economically feasible to hire on employee contract