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Rating

8 Overall

7 Applicability

7 Innovation

9 Style


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Sarah Mason, a Lyft driver and sociologist, forensically examines management controls in the ride app industry. Based on her personal experience, she shows how companies like Lyft use gamification to motivate drivers. Your driver is actually playing a game – and may be hooked.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why gamification is an important management tool,
  • How it can help worker retention in low-paying industries and
  • Why believing you’re able to trick the system is part of the game.
 

About the Author

Sarah Mason is a Lyft driver and a graduate student studying platform-mediated labor at the University of California.

 

Summary

Before labor rights and a social welfare system protected workers, economic necessity ensured that people worked hard. But once these safeguards were in place, people didn’t start slacking. According to sociologist Michael Burawoy, gamification replaced coercion. Managers framed production, for example, as a set of challenges that motivated workers to overcome obstacles and reach targets. Burawoy observed that gamification also meant that dissatisfied workers no longer felt disgruntled about employers – but rather directed their anger at the colleague who slowed them down.


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