What Are the Boundaries to the Expansion of Digital Labour Platforms? Understanding Uberization through a Cognitive Sustainability Lens

  • Frédéric Garcias Maître de Conférences, IAE Lille University School of Management, Université de Lille, Lille, France
  • Lucie Noury Audencia Business School, Nantes, France
Keywords: Uberization, Digital labour platforms, Cognitive sustainability, Knowledge-based theories of the firm


While digital labour platforms are booming, their ability to constitute a sustainable alternative to the managerial firm and to salaried work is questionable. To date, this debate has been approached mainly from legal or political angles, and the organizational sustainability of such platforms remains underexplored. We respond to calls to study more specifically the cognitive capabilities of platforms by mobilizing knowledge-based theories of the firm. We contribute to the literature in three ways: (1) we introduce the concept of ‘cognitive sustainability’, which we define as the capacity to ensure the integration, conservation and creation of knowledge; (2) we develop a set of propositions aimed at identifying the activities that platforms are most likely to carry out in a cognitively sustainable way; (3) we argue for the possibility of an increased hybridization of digital labour platforms to perform complex activities. Mobilizing knowledge-based theories of the firm to explore new objects such as platforms and taking such hybridization processes into account adds to this body of literature by extending its application domain and taking a more dynamic perspective.


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How to Cite
Garcias, F., & Noury, L. (2021). What Are the Boundaries to the Expansion of Digital Labour Platforms? Understanding Uberization through a Cognitive Sustainability Lens. M@n@gement, 24(4), 36–48. https://doi.org/10.37725/mgmt.v24.4544
Original Research Articles