Riding against the algorithm: Algorithmic management in on-demand food delivery

Research output: Chapter in Book › Chapter › peer-review

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ABSTRACT | In many countries, on-demand food delivery platforms (e.g. Deliveroo, Wolt, Uber Eats) have become an inseparable part of the hospitality and tourism ecosystem. A key area of interest in technology research has been how platforms algorithmically manage the interaction between task requesters (e.g. customers, tourists) and task fulfillers (e.g. restaurants and delivery couriers). However, there is a lack of research on how such algorithmic management practices impact workers and what strategies workers adopt to counteract the algorithm. To that end, this qualitative study explores forms of expressing algoactivism in the context of on-demand food delivery platforms by conducting interviews with delivery couriers (n = 5) and restaurant workers and managers (n = 7). It is found that both couriers and hospitality employees adopt specific behaviors to optimize and game the platforms’ algorithms, and that some algorithmic management practices are perceived more negatively than others. Implications for e-tourism management and research are discussed.

Keywords: platform; algorithmic management; algoActivism; food delivery

Tuomi, A., Jianu, B., Roelofsen, M., & Ascenção, M. P. (2023). Riding against the algorithm: Algorithmic management in on-demand food delivery (pp. 28-39). In: B. Ferrer-Rosell, D. Massimo, & K. Berezina (Eds.), Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2023. Proceedings of the ENTER 2023 eTourism Conference, January 18–20, 2023. Cham: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-25752-0_3

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