Seizing the Hybrid Areas of work by Representing self-Employment

Seizing the Hybrid Areas of work by Representing self-Employment (SHARE) logo

Project overview

Seizing the Hybrid Areas of work by Representing self-Employment (SHARE) is a transdisciplinary and multi-method study of the hybrid areas of work, with a particular focus on the work arrangements that destabilise traditional employment relations.

SHARE is a five-year research project funded by the European Research Council. The project will be carried out at the University of Leeds under the direction of Annalisa Murgia, Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change (CERIC) at Leeds University Business School. The project team includes four postdoctoral researchers (2018-22) and one PhD student (2018-21). 

Research approach

The project takes the case of solo self-employed workers. This is an emblematic category within the hybrid areas of work because it undermines the classical employment/ self-employment opposition, by comprising very heterogeneous subjects, who differ by gender, age, national origin and education: from highly skilled independent professionals, able to manage entrepreneurial risk, to ‘fake self-employed’ workers, hired on a self-employed contract only because this was the cheapest option for the employer.

The study involves two main phases of data collection. The first phase combines a multi-sited and cross-national ethnography, to be conducted within unions and solo self-employed associations in six European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, the Netherlands and United Kingdom), with a comparative labour law perspective and quantitative research methods. In the second phase of the research, the focus will shift from cross-national comparison to the broader European context. The project aims to explore:

  • How the growing of solo self-employment, across different European countries, is producing consequences at the level of social protection, as well as at the level of collective representation.
  • How solo self-employment is regulated, measured and represented at the European level.
  • How these work arrangements are challenging the theoretical framework used so far to interpret work and employment.

The project leading to this application has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement N. 715950).

Research team

Dr Annalisa Murgia is the Principal Investigator of the ERC Starting Grant 2016 project SHARE – Seizing the Hybrid Areas of work by Representing self-Employment.

She is leading a team composed of one PhD student (starting date 1st October 2018) and four postdoctoral researchers - Paolo Borghi, Rossella Bozzon, Petr Mezihorák, Mathilde Mondon-Navazo - with competences ranging from organisational ethnography to statistical and labour law analysis.

Dr Murgia was previously based at the University of Trento, Italy, where she coordinated the FP7 project GARCIA – Gendering the Academy and Research: Combating career Instability and Asymmetries (2014-2017). 

Contact us

Dr Annalisa Murgia
26 Lyddon Terrace, Room 1.09
+44 (0)113 343 8292