Martin Kenney

Understanding Work in the Online Platform Economy: A Critical Review

Angela Garcia Calvo
Martin Kenney
John Zysman
2022

The outlines of the impact upon work of the ever more pervasive online platforms are beginning to come into focus. Previously, fairly settled terms such as “jobs”, “employment”, “labor”, and even “work” itself are, for some, being replaced by “income generation” or “value creation”. To capture the difference between platform-organized work or labor and traditional activities, we use the commonly used term “platform work.” This raises the question of whether a different context for the way goods and services are delivered is emerging. This essay reviews the extant understanding of the...

Platform Power and Regulatory Politics: Polanyi for the Twenty-First Century

John W. Cioffi
Martin Kenney
John Zysman
2022

Intensifying concerns about online platform firms’ rapid rise, expansion, and growing asymmetric power have attracted political scrutiny and undermined the legitimacy of a minimalist regulatory regime that is giving way to intense debate and increasingly interventionist governmental policies and enforcement actions. First, we view the rise of, and recent political responses to, the often-predatory power and manipulative conduct of platform firm in terms of a ‘Polanyian’ double movement in which the destabilising and destructive effects of unchecked corporate activities and market...

COVID-19’s Impact Upon Labor and Value Chains in the Agrifood System

Martin Kenney
M. Anne Visser
Mariah Padilla
2021

We explore the impact of automation and digitalization on labor in the US agrifood system during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study considers each of the primary nodes in the system stretching from consumer through grocery stores and restaurants to last-mile delivery, distribution, food processing, farming, and agri-inputs. Not only automation and digitalization, but also the role of platforms such as Amazon, and food delivery firms such as GrubHub, Instacart, and Uber Eats are discussed. For restaurants, we consider not only dinein restaurants, but also “ghost kitchens”. Furthermore, the...

The Challenge of the Digital Agricultural Revolution: A Comparison Between Advanced Economies and Developing Countries

Martin Kenney
M. Anne Visser
John Zysman
2021

The new digital technologies offer remarkable opportunities to make agriculture more sustainable and contribute to the amelioration of inequality at the local and global level. And yet, digital innovations and, in particular, the adoption of platforms risk creating further distortions among and within countries. Digitalization could contribute to the further concentration of agriculture in a few giant firms and also lead to the rapid and unmanaged demise of subsistence farming as it is typically practiced in developing countries. Alternatively, if the implementation of the digital...

The Emerging Regulatory Regime and the Global Expansion Strategy Shifts of Chinese Online Platforms: A Case Tencent in Europe

Kai Jia
Martin Kenney
2021

The rise of the platform economy has triggered regulatory responses globally (Kenney and Zysman 2016; Kenney et al. 2021). In the last year, China has taken a leadership role in imposing regulatory limits on its domestic online platforms. The regulatory change is affecting the platform management strategies as well as the globalization investments of Chinese online giants. Using Tencent as an example, this paper illustrates the relationship between the regulatory change and shifts in platform expansion strategies. As gaming and social networks are increasingly regulated in domestic China,...

Martin Kenney

Co-Director, BRIE; Distinguished Professor, UC Davis
Professor Kenney has been the Senior Project Director at the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy for the last two decades and is now a Senior Fellow at the Research Institute for the Finnish Economy. Starting in 2017, He became an Affiliated Professor at the Instituto di Management at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. He was the Arthur Andersen Distinguished Visitor at the University of Cambridge and has been a visiting scholar at the Copenhagen Business School, Hitotsubashi, Kobe, Stanford, Tokyo Universities, and UC San Diego. Education M.S., UC San Diego Ph.D.,...