Technology and outsourcing in last-mile delivery
This study will provide a much-needed window into the sorts of labor processes that are coming to dominate an increasingly important industry: package delivery. It will examine how workers experience new technological and outsourcing practices. It will focus on new technologies in three categories—communication and monitoring, algorithmic planning and management, and the surveillance of delivery by customers—that are used to manage workers and how workers respond to these technologies in the context of outsourcing.
This large qualitative project involves 2 years of ethnography and 100 interviews. It will provide ethnographic insights into Amazon.com, Inc. delivery workers, in particular women, workers of color, and immigrants—all of whom will be a particular focus of the interviews. This research will be a valuable contribution, given the lack of attention by researchers on this burgeoning and quickly changing segment of the industry.