The Growth Of Freelancing

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The growth of freelancing/contracting, its causes, its consequences and the impact on government and wider society

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<ul><li><p>THE RETURN OF THE FREELANCER </p><p>IN THE ECONOMY</p><p> J.A. van den Born</p></li><li><p>THE FREELANCER IS OLDER THAN THE WAY TO ROME</p></li><li><p>IN THE MIDDLE AGES ENTREPRENEURS STARTED ORGANIZING THEMSELVES IN GUILDS</p><p>TO ENSURE QUALITY CONTROL, INNOVATION AND EDUCATION</p></li><li><p>BUT IN THE 16TH CENTURY ECONOMIES OF SCALE </p><p>STARTED TO KICK IN</p><p>LEADING TO LESS SELF-EMPLOYMENT</p></li><li><p>WITH INDUSTRIALISATION MOST PEOPLE LOST THEIR CRAFT AND THEIR SKILLS</p><p>AND POWER WENT TO THE CAPITALIST</p></li><li><p>LABORERS STARTED UNIONS IN THE </p><p>BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY</p></li><li><p>ECONOMIES OF SCALE LED TO THE ARRIVAL OF THE MODERN ORGANIZATION</p></li><li><p>NEW COMPLEX ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES EMERGED</p></li><li><p>AND FREELANCERS AND OTHER SELF EMPLOYED PROFESSIONALS SLOWLY DISAPPEARED IN THE ECONOMY</p></li><li><p>SINCE THE EARLY 90S THE NUMBER OF </p><p>FREELANCERS IS GROWING AGAIN (AND FAST)</p></li><li><p>BECAUSE OF TECHNOLOGY THE FREELANCER </p><p>DISAPPEARED, AND BECAUSE OF </p><p>TECHNOLOGY THE FREELANCER WILL </p><p>REEMERGE</p></li><li><p>INTERNET AND MODERN COMMUNICATION </p><p>TECHNOLOGY HAVE FACILITATED THE SEARCHING </p><p>AND FINDING OF THE RIGHT PROFESSIONAL SKILLS</p></li><li><p>THIS ALL HAPPENED IN THE LAST 20 </p><p>YEARS</p></li><li><p>AND THE ARRIVAL OF E-COMMUNITIES IS </p><p>JUST STARTING TO HAPPEN</p></li><li><p>THE ARRIVAL OF STANDARDTECHNOLOGIES </p><p>MAKES IT EASIER TO SWITCH BETWEEN </p><p>EMPLOYERS</p></li><li><p>TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE VERY HEART OF THE ECONOMY</p><p>NEW PROFESSIONS EMERGE IN WHICH INNOVATION AND </p><p>CREATIVITY ARE KEY</p></li><li><p>BUT WORK IS PERFORMED BY TEMPORARY TEAMS </p><p>WORKING TOGETHER IN PROJECTS</p></li><li><p>... THE PROFESSIONAL IS BECOMING MORE </p><p>IMPORTANT THAN THE MANAGER</p><p>BECAUSE PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE IS RAPIDLY </p><p>BECOMING THE SOURCE OF COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE</p></li><li><p>AND ORGANIZATIONS ARE BECOMING SMALLER AGAIN </p><p>BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF ECONOMIES OF SCALE IN THE </p><p>KNOWLEDGE BASED SERVICE ECONOMY</p></li><li><p>FREELANCERS ARE HAPPIER THAN </p><p>EMPLOYEES</p></li><li><p>AND THE ECONOMY BENEFITS FROM MORE INNOVATION </p></li><li><p>MORE AGILE AND FLEXIBLE</p></li><li><p>THE VARIETY OF ALL THOSE SMALL </p><p>ENTREPRENEURS</p></li><li><p>IS ALSO MUCH MORE INTERRESTING THAN ALL THOSE </p><p>LARGE CORPORATIONS</p></li><li><p>AS INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE IS THE ULTIMATE YARDSTICK IN </p><p>THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY</p><p>WHETHER YOU ARE AN FREELANCER OR AN EMPLOYEE</p></li><li><p>AND BECAUSE EMPLOYERS ARE SWITCHING FROM OLD </p><p>HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURES...</p></li><li><p>...THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EMPLOYERS AND </p><p>FREELANCERS IS ALSO DISAPPEARING</p><p>...TO NEW AND FLEXIBLE NETWORK STRUCTURES...</p></li><li><p>LEADING TO ONE UNIFIED NETWORKECONOMY</p><p>WITH PLENTY OF LOOSE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ACTORS WHO </p><p>COOPERATE ON A PROJECT BY PROJECT BASIS</p></li><li><p>AND EVERYONE IN THIS NETWORK IS AN </p><p>ENTREPRENEUR</p></li><li><p>BUT IS THIS AN IDYLLIC WORLD?</p></li><li><p>FREELANCERS HAVE MORE STRESS</p></li><li><p>THE AVERAGE INCOME OF FREELANCERS IS LOWER THAN </p><p>THAT OF EMPLOYEES</p></li><li><p>MANY FREELANCERS ARE NOT INSURED</p><p>AND BARELY SAVE FOR RETIREMENT</p></li><li><p>AND THE FREE MARKET IS NOT ALWAYS THE OPTIMAL </p><p>SOLUTION</p></li><li><p>MANAGERS STILL MAKE MORE MONEY THAN </p><p>PROFESSIONALS</p></li><li><p>HOW CAN THIS ALL BE TRUE?</p></li><li><p>THE FREELANCER HAS TO MAKE IMPORTANT DECISIONS </p><p>IN A COMPLEX WORLD</p></li><li><p>MARKETS WITH PLENTY OF SUPPLY AND LITTLE DEMAND </p><p>ARE NOT HEALTHY</p><p>AND PROFESSIONAL FEES IN THESE MARKETS ARE VERY LOW</p></li><li><p>IN SOME MARKETS THERE IS ONE LARGE PLAYER</p><p>WHICH LEADS TO MONOPOLY ABUSE</p></li><li><p>INDIVIDUALS WITH LIMITED SKILLS WILL FIND IT HARD </p><p>TO EARN A LIVING</p></li><li><p>SOME FREELANCERS ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN </p><p>EARNING FAST MONEY</p></li><li><p>CAPITAL REMAINS AN IMPORTANT </p><p>PRODUCTION FACTOR</p></li><li><p>THE WORLD IS BECOMING LESS STRAITFORWARD</p></li><li><p>THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY NEEDS SPACE</p></li><li><p>AND VULNARABLE GROUPS NEED PROTECTION</p></li><li><p>THESE ARE NOT </p><p>CONFLICTING </p><p>GOALS</p></li><li><p>BECAUSE KNOWLEDGE CREATION NEEDS COOPERATION</p></li><li><p>AND A SENSE OF TRUST AND MUTUAL </p><p>UNDERSTANDING</p></li><li><p>PARADOX: IN THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY </p><p>INDIVIDUALS NEED TO OPERATE TOGETHER</p></li><li><p>DO NOT JUDGE THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY ON THE </p><p>NUMBER OF LARGE COMPANIES</p><p>...BUT ON THE SIZE AND INNOVATION POWER OF NETWORKS</p></li><li><p>FOSTER </p><p>DIVERSITY, </p><p>INNOVATION &amp; </p><p>CREATIVITY</p></li><li><p>INVEST IN KNOWLEDGE</p></li></ul>