Exploring the meaning of work within the sharing economy: A case of food-delivery workers

Pearl M.C. Lin, Wai Ching Au, Vicky T.Y. Leung, Kang Lin Peng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to investigate how the sharing economy has redefined the meaning of work in the food delivery sector. We conducted in-depth interviews with 50 food delivery workers in the sharing economy to identify their work goals and then performed an empirical investigation into the mechanism between the meaning of work, work engagement, and career commitment. Seven work goals were empirically found to fit a bidimensional conceptualization of work goals of intrinsic and extrinsic orientations. Using an instrument developed via qualitative analysis, we found that the relationship between the meaning of work and career commitment varies across dimensions of the meaning of work. Intrinsic orientation was found to generate work engagement and career commitment effectively. The obligation norm appeared to carry unique meaning in the sharing economy. These findings theoretically expand the current understanding of sharing economy employment and provide practical implications for hospitality businesses and the legal sector.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102686
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Career commitment
  • Food delivery
  • Meaning of work
  • Sharing-economy employment
  • Work engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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