Consent and Resistance

The Role of Gamification in Algorithmic Management tf The Work Process (The Case of Food-Couriers in Budapest)

  • Ürmössy Anna
doi: 10.32575/ppb.2024.1.9


This research examines the work organisation of the Foodpanda food delivery firm and the experiences of the bicycle couriers who work for it, particularly their attitudes to the algorithmic management of their work. The focus of the inquiry is the gamification of work, both from-above and from below. Gamification from-above is constructed by the management. Taking part in the games can be a source of pride and satisfaction, but also of addiction and self-exploitation. Gamification from-below includes all kinds of “games” that the couriers initiate. These can be different strategies to earn more money, save energy or sabotage the labour process. The study shows the connection between games and the formation of consent and resistance among the couriers. The analysis differentiates between the games of making do and making out. Games of making do usually bring about consent, as they stay within the boundaries set by the management. In contrast, making out goes against managerial interest and gives agency to the couriers, thus it has the potential to foster resistance.


bicycle couriers digital capitalism food delivery gig economy making out platform work


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