A consilience framework: Revealing hidden features of the independent contractor

Tui McKeown
  • Journal of Management & Organization, November 2016, Cambridge University Press
  • DOI: 10.1017/jmo.2016.44

What is it about?

This paper presents the results of a consilience framework developed and tested to reconcile the varying definitions, methodologies and purposes of the data collected on independent contracting within Australia. The result is a multilayered profile of the self-employed contractor which draws together official labour market statistics, taxation office liabilities and marketing-based consumer data sources. The framework sees independent contractors emerge as a dynamic, entrepreneurial and complex group who defy many of the age, gender and industry stereotypes that law and policy makers confine them to. While these initial results are limited to Australia, the challenge independent contractors present to established systems of legal, social and government regulation are embedded within the wider contexts of self-employment and small business. These contexts are universal and the sooner these challenges are answered, the sooner the opportunities they also present can be realised

Why is it important?

There is a wealth of data available on small businesses - we just need to find and decode it into formats we can use!


Dr Tui Mckeown
Monash University

Small businesses are often time poor and hard to study but there are sources of information out there that we can use to provide feedback and insight - not the least of which should be back to small businesses themselves.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Tui Mckeown

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