MY CYBER BOSSES: THEY SAY I’M INDEPENDENT, BUT THEY RULE ME EVEN HARDER
THE AFFLICTION OF GOJEK’S DRIVER-PARTNERS
As a renowned and leading platform-based on-demand ride-hailing decacorn in Indonesia, Gojek, owned and run by PT. Aplikasi Karya Anak Bangsa, operates a sharing economy business model. The model promotes rhetorical promises i.e., participation, self-organization, and collaboration. The novel business concept attracts a large degree of the workforce to enter the ecosystem as driver-partners. Users also celebrate the enchanting application (app) in fulfilling their daily needs with plenteous promos. On top of that, the Government welcomes and endorses the platform for providing employment and alternative transportation mode and drives the Indonesian digital economy at a time. Using a qualitative approach and gathering data through in-depth interviews and observation, the paper reveals how the platform works as cyber bosses to its driver-partners by lurking, controlling, and ruling the driver-partners through the harnessing of gamification and algorithms at the same time. The study also argues that in the context of Gojek's business, driver-partners are loyal to the corporation not solely for the fulfillment of their financial needs, but because of the way it articulates power with affective values e.g., flexibility, freedom, involvement, and autonomy wrapped through an app designed by the platform.