The Use and Value of Freelancers: The Perspective of Managers

Andrew Burke, Marc Cowling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we provide an overview of the various means through which executives and entrepreneurs in Great Britain perceive freelancers as adding value to their businesses. To this end the paper reviews research on users of freelancers in large and small firms across industries in Great Britain. The evidence comprises a mix of case study and survey data. The results illustrate that managers perceive freelancers as a relatively high value added segment of the labour force which is particularly useful in dynamic and innovative business environments. In essence, freelancers are less of a cheap shadow precariat workforce and more a skilled specialised workforce than enable businesses to reduce: barriers to entry, risk and financial requirements while enhancing: business agility, flexibility and efficiency. Freelancers are viewed as important inputs that enable an innovation driven and entrepreneurial economy to perform.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Review of Entrepreneurship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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