Ertel, M, Pech, E, Siegrist, J, Ullsperger, P & Von Dem Knesebeck, O 2005, ‘Adverse psychosocial working conditions and subjective health in freelance media workers’, Work & Stress, vol. 19, no. 3, pp.293-299
Utilising an existing methodology, with some changes, this study seeks to identify the the associations of work stress with subjective health in freelance workers. The study takes the form of a previously tested questionnaire that was mailed to members of the union of media workers, mainly in the region of Munich Germany. Working from an existing questionnaire ensured that the research situated itself within a body of investigation which have documented associations of effort-reward imbalance at work with self-rated health. However, this study was unique in that it focused upon freelance workers. The questionnaire was remodelled to ensure it was specific to the role of freelance workers rather than those working in traditional business models. Although consistent results were drawn from this study, the incredibly low response rate of questionnaires means that this study only accounts for a small portion of the industry. Without comparable studies, it is hard to ascertain the bias of these results. All of these concerns were acknowledged in the article and possible areas of further research were proposed. Ultimately the study tested distinct hypotheses that centred around workload, commitment and reward in relation to worker’s subjective health. The findings demonstrated strong associations of effort-reward imbalance with poor subjective health in men and, to a lesser extent, in women. This poor subjective health was linked to a greater amount of stress due to job instability. Situated with the broader context of the Freelance Media Worker this article proves to key starting point into looking at the wellbeing and lifestyle of these workers. Although conducted on a very specific group of Freelance workers this article provides a starting point to compare and relate further studies and writing on workers’ health and wellbeing.
Ferrier, MB 2013, ‘Media Entrepreneurship: Curriculum Development and Faculty Perceptions of What Students Should Know’, Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, vol. 68, no. 3, pp. 222-241.
Kitching, J & Smallbone, D 2012, ‘Are freelancers a neglected form of small business?’, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 74-91.
Platman, K, Salaman, G & Storey, J 2005, ‘Living with enterprise in an enterprise economy: Freelance and contract workers in the media’, Human Relations, vol. 58, no. 8, pp. 1033-1054.
This Article is both situated in the sphere of media studies but is also within the fields of occupational sociology and industrial sociology. Published in the the journal Human Relations it tends to focus upon ideas around the shift in the markets’ traditional work forms to more market-based, enterprising organisational forms and relationships. Specifically, the article seeks to explore how freelance work is interpreted, evaluate and sustained particularly framed by the concept of enterprise; both in relation to their work, but also their self identities. The bulk of the article responds to a detailed study of numerous media professionals who had all worked in traditional media business hierarchies. The professionals were interviewed for approximately 80 minutes with their responses recorded. Interviewees included trade union leaders, clients (of freelance workers), talent managers and freelance media workers. However, the discussion of the study mainly comprised of the responses of those who were working as freelancers. The article is split into a section of reports about prevailing practises and then a main section which examines the what had been reported by the freelance workers. Within this section aspects and quotes of the interviews conducted were deconstruction and analysed. In these instances anecdotal evidence provided by interviewees was discussed in relation to the broader industry. An interesting aspect of the study’s discussion was the ways in which freelancers are paradoxically thinking of themselves as micro businesses whilst also removing themselves from their work to maintain mental health and form a separate identity. Inherently Freelancing is a social profession, relying upon network skills and existing social circles but conversely in is reliant upon resilient worker who can separate their social identify from their profession.