A food delivery service with the help of app-based services is one of the consequences of the “Gig Economy”, which is increasingly expanding in its existence across the globe. Australia also experiences the growing existence of app-based companies taking care of food delivery services. App-based services like those that Foodora, Deliveroo, and UberEats are using different transport means to deliver foods to customers (the Guardian, 2018). These app-based firms hire drivers to take care of their delivery works. To app-based companies such as UberEats, these drivers are independent contractors, not the employees. These companies claim that with this work policy, drivers have the opportunity to work at their convenience. Moreover, they meant that the work nature is very flexible. However, on the other hand, there are no awards like wages, insurance or annual leave for drivers if injured. It means that the job profile have factors producing both a positive and negative impact on the satisfaction level of food delivery drivers.
As opined by Murayama & Kitagami, (2014), rewards such as the compensation benefits help organizations to stimulate a desirable behaviour in its employees. It means that if there are less or no rewards such as in the case of drivers in food delivery services, there can be conflict of thoughts between an employer and its workers. This is exactly what has become a part of the app-based food delivery services in Sydney, Australia. There are a list of issues in this service in Sydney; however, the focus point for the proposed research will be the employee satisfaction level in food delivery services. There have been instances of complaints being raised by food delivery drivers for different service operators they work for. One of the raised complaints is about the minimum wages. It is being reported in ‘The Guardian’ newspaper for Australia that app delivery driver’s claim that they are paid a very low wage for an hour of work. They are paid $6 for an hour (the Guardian, 2018). In addition, those who had opted to work on order-basis, they also complaints the pay fall issue. Earlier, drivers used to get $10 for every single order. However, it has now fallen down to $9 to $8 followed by $7 (the Guardian, 2018).
In addition to pay fall and low minimum wages as discussed in the preceded paragraph, drivers also face the challenge with the workloads. UberEats’ drivers for example, have to deliver a number of orders at one go. The fact does not just increases the workload on drivers but also affects the delivery services. Therefore, few orders get delayed and lose their freshness as well. Both for a late delivery or the quality of food, customers may ask for a refund. A refund will affect the delivery drivers and the partnering restaurants of app-based companies. Drivers who work on order-basis, they will lose their pay for such orders. App-based companies will ask their partnering restaurants to pay the charge-back (ABC News, 2018). Drivers would never wish such things to happen; however, they have no control over such things. They are encouraged to work under scenarios, which are less friendly to food delivery drivers.
Uber along with other companies caught the attention of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for allegedly practicing unfair contract terms (ABC News, 2018). The consumer watchdog has also raised similar concerns about Uber’s contract policies with its drivers and in particularly about Uber’s policies to terminate agreements without the prior cause (ABC News, 2018). As stated by Raziq and Maulabakhsh (2015), working conditions are one of the factors that influence job satisfaction of employees. On contrary to this, UberEats and other app-based services in Sydney have a tight pay structure, which is increasingly becoming poorer with passing days. In addition, drivers those who work on an hourly basis, are allocated with more orders to deliver. Hence, they are under huge work pressure. On the other hand, drivers those who work on order-basis find comparatively less orders to deliver. Hence, they are unable to earn substantial minimum wages. In either of situations, UberEats and other app-based companies are the gainers.
According to Mawdsley & Somaya, (2016), employees are the asset to organization, they needs to be taken care with effective reward policies. Reward policies help to influence employee’s attitudes and behaviours towards jobs. Employees with influenced attitudes in such a way will certainly be more responsible with their job roles. Nevertheless, irresponsibility towards the job is one of the factors that contribute to employee turnover.
Job satisfaction is a topic, which interest employees as well as academic scholars. It is often a part of organizational behaviour and is a core variable in different organizational phenomenon that range from supervision to job design. Traditional model of job satisfaction focusses on each of the factors of job satisfaction. However, job satisfaction may not be just limited to what benefits have been provided to employees but also to what are their expectations of employers. A satisfied employee is, therefore, more honest, dedicated and true towards their jobs (Cheema, Akram & Javed, 2015). On contrary to this, app-based service providers in Sydney have been able to allocate their tasks; however, not so in terms of influencing the attitudes of employees. Understanding the feelings of drivers appear as if a far-from-reach a concept to UberEats, Deliveroo and others. They rather seem like losing their drivers’ faith on their business. Few drivers in Sydney opted to move away from an hourly basis payment to an order-basis payment seeking a more flexible job schedule. However, it did cost their earning potentials as they only get a few orders whereas most orders are normally allocated to drivers in an hourly basis payment (the Guardian, 2018).
There are a separate set of variables to judge whether employees are satisfied. However, these variables are feasible only with the traditional model of job satisfaction. Employees with high satisfaction level will come early to the work, work for overtime as well, achieve high work goals and beat the deadlines. On contrary to this, dissatisfied employees are measured with absenteeism, lateness, low productivity and low morale at work. As argued by Ristic, Selakovic & Qureshi, (2017), instead motivating factors can be used to measure the level of employee satisfaction. Few motivating factors are such as training, compensation, working conditions and recognition. It is rather difficult to assess the satisfaction level in employees. A few comments from a few drivers cannot be made a basis to say that job satisfaction level is very low in food delivery drivers. On the other hand, it cannot either be said that job satisfaction level is high in food delivery services. This is why a research work on identifying the satisfaction level of food delivery drivers is important.
The research will focus on identifying the level of satisfaction in drivers those who work for Gymea Branch of Domino’s in Sydney. Since, few food delivery drivers working for UberEats, Foodora and others are found as unsatisfied with the work conditions, policies and pay schemes, it is important to know whether delivery drivers have the same concerns with Domino’s in Gymea Branch in Sydney. This is important because the outcome will communicate whether dissatisfaction in few delivery drivers is restricted just with UberEats and the likes of or it is concerned also with every single operating business in the delivery market. Moreover, this will also communicate the level of satisfaction in drivers in food delivery services that occupies a larger market of delivery business.
Research Aim and Objectives
The aim of the research is to identify the level of satisfaction in drivers who are engaged in food delivery services.
- To find out the challenges faced by the delivery drivers in their day to day work, their income level, work life balance, career growth opportunities etc.
- To reveal the satisfaction level of delivery drivers
Justification of the Project
Food delivery services are increasingly growing with passing days. People those at homes or working in offices or are at any other places find this a convenient mode to get their desired foods delivered to them. The trend is increasingly growing with passing days. This has attracted fast-food restaurants and app-based delivery service providers towards the market. Fast-food centres have found this as an opportunity for those to reach to a wider consumer base. On the other hand, app-based delivery companies also has an opportunity to be benefitted from the ‘gig economy’. With passing days, customer base for this kind of business is increasing making it a potential market sector. Since, customers have a highest-degree of bargaining power, they sometime go for a refund due to many reasons that also include late delivery and average food quality. In all such critical circumstances, the entire process of refund is an interesting fact to identify. The process of refund is not although the focus of the research, indeed this will shed light on how food delivery drivers in particular are harassed in the entire process of refund. They make a lot of physical work to a delivery and in return when a delivery is cancelled from customer side, it affects their income. Drivers those who work for an order basis, they will be highly affected of this. Keeping all these in mind, this is indeed an important topic to research as this will identify and produce some useful data on drivers’ satisfaction in food delivery services.
Following are a few benefits of this research proposal:
- This will produce some useful data, which will further the knowledge on whether working as a food delivery person is all that good or what.
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will also get to know a bit more about the ongoing scenario in food delivery business in Sydney. Moreover, they will be able to understand that what strategies should be adopted to make it a fair practice market for all.
Expected Research Output
All objectives, which have been designed for this research would be fulfilled by the end of this research work. In addition, the research will produce data, which will be educative to aspirants those who are willing to work as part-timers or full-timers as food delivery drivers. This will also attract more research works to be done on this topic in future.
As opined by Nguyen, Mai & Nguyen, (2014), commitment-based organizations consider that committed staffs are resource to workforce stability, it boost the business performance as well. The fact is critical as well for the business in delivery market. Those that conducts fair practices will be appreciated by workers, customers and the respective governing bodies. The article also says that the role of human resource management is critical in improving organizational commitment into employees. In context to food delivery business, if the HRM takes care of pay policies, work pressure, work life balance, leave and compensation policies, there will be more numbers of satisfied drivers.
As stated by Fu & Deshpande, (2014), caring climate impacts directly on organizational commitment, job-performance and job satisfaction. Researchers have used a structural equation modeling (SEM) for examining both direct and indirect impact of caring climate on organizational commitment, job satisfaction and job performance. Muda, Rafiki & Harahap, (2014) opines that three factors such as job stress, motivation and communication influence employees’ performance. Communication cause a partial impact on the performance of employees.
According to Platis, Reklitis & Zimeras, (2015), a large number of factors affect the performance of employees such as work environment, work satisfaction, compensation policies etc. It means that monetary rewards and work environment is very critical for employees to show a commitment to organizational practices. In the opinion of Malik, Butt & Choi, (2015), extrinsic rewards influence the intrinsic motivation in employees that enhance the level of creativity and performance in employees. It clearly suggest an adaptability to extrinsic rewards or monetary benefits.
According to Shin et al., (2015), ethical leadership support the development of an ethical and justice-oriented climate at the organizational level. Such an organizational climate is friendly with employees. Hence, there will be a high level of satisfaction within employees under such a climate. Osibanjo et al., (2018) supports the views of Shin et al., (2015) by saying that strong work ethics results in excellent work outcomes. The article says that work ethics need to be promoted at the organizational level to attain a maximum satisfaction level in employees.
As observed by Naranjo-Valencia, Jim?nez-Jim?nez & Sanz-Valle, (2016), organizational culture does not only stimulate but also restrain innovation, which ultimately affect the organizational performance. It means that culture needs to be promoted at the organizational level, so that, employees understand it and adapt to it to make a difference to their career and the company’s performance. Atmojo, (2015) opines that transformational leadership does influence the organizational commitment and job satisfaction. The article also concludes that job satisfaction and organizational commitment have an impact over employee performance. As opined by Anastasiou & Papakonstantinou, (2014), the performance of secondary education teachers has an influence of environmental factors such as ethical rewards, motivation from the school’s principal, working conditions, opportunities to participate into decision making and school administration.
Conceptual Framework and Research Hypothesis
Job satisfaction, which is a dependent variable depend on four independent variables and one intervening variable. Four independent variables are as listed below:
Compensation: According to the equity theory, employees have a strong need for a balance between their perceptions for their inputs to the jobs and the rewards that they receive (Vismara, 2016). For example, if someone feels as being underpaid, this will definitely affect his or her work nature through various forms of work-specific casualness.
Working conditions: Working conditions are one of the priorities, which employees in particular millennials have with their jobs. Shimazu et al., (2015) opines that there can be a set of definition for a working environment as different employees can certainly have a distinguished set for preferences for work conditions. To some, working conditions are more than sufficient enough to work under less work pressure whereas some can also perceive beyond this such as by looking also to a work life balance policy.
Recognition: Recognition means acknowledging someone’ work through verbal messages or by giving him or her some form of extrinsic and intrinsic benefits. A promotion and tangible rewards are respectively the example of intrinsic and extrinsic benefits. According to Platis, Reklitis and Zimeras, (2015), recognition is given to employees’ achievement to let them feel like being a part of the system.
Training: As opined by Dugguh and Dennis, (2014), training is not just a way to impart organizational and process-related fundamentals to employees but also a way to enquire into what their challenges are and what improvements they need. Training is, therefore, a platform where both trainers and trainees fulfil their distinguished purposes. Trainers purposefully examines the level of satisfaction in employees whereas trainees communicate their expectations and challenges of their jobs.
Government policy: Government policies is a mediating factor between independent and dependent variables. Government policies such as employment act and wage policy can affect both employers and employees. For example, The Fair Work Act 2009 governs that there are no issues faced by employees, which is related to their health and safety, work, discrimination issues etc. (Legislation.gov.au, 2018)
Basis the problem statement and research objectives, following are the Research Hypothesis:
- H (1): Delivery drivers do not face challenges in regards to their day to day work, their income level, work life balance, career growth opportunities etc.
- H (2): Satisfaction level of delivery drivers cannot be revealed.
Both primary and secondary methodologies will be followed to analyse the aim, which is set for this research proposal.
Data series and Surveys will be analysed to grab an idea of the challenges, which delivery drivers in their day to day work (Lewis, 2015). Moreover, needs and expectations of their work will also be identified.
Questionnaires will be prepared and handed over to Domino’s at Gymea Branch in Sydney. This will help to gather the employer’s views on statement, which is being escalated in this research proposal as a problem. Questionnaires will include questions covering the entire variables chosen in the conceptual framework section of this research proposal.
For secondary methodologies, a thematic analysis of relevant literature will be conducted (Smith, 2015). The process will be followed to check the impact of chosen variables in the conceptual framework section on the satisfaction level of delivery drivers.
Methods for Data Analysis
Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used for data analysis. Quality analysis will include surveys and online forums. Quantitative analysis will go for figures, excel sheets, pie charts and scholarly articles (Fletcher, 2017).
Organisation of the Study
- ‘Chapter One’ will be an ‘introduction’ to the research.
- ‘Chapter Two’ will talk about the ‘case study of Domino’s at Gymea Branch in Sydney’.
- ‘Chapter Three’ will be a detailed discussion on ‘methodology’ as outlined in this research proposal.
- ‘Chapter Four’ will cover a discussion on ‘findings’ and ‘analysis’ of the proposed research work.
- ‘Chapter Five’ will summarize the findings and discuss future implications of these findings on the level of satisfaction in delivery drivers.
The following table describes the timeline for the whole project to be completed:
Name of the Task
Duration (in Days)
Submission of Final Report
Project Budget and Budget Justification
The expected budget for the proposed research is approximately $4500, so that, the project is completed within the defined time frame.
These are the following reasons for the budget:
- Textbooks, online resources and journal articles will be required for conducting the Literature Review. These resources are not definitely free of cost. This will cost around $1500.
- Surveys and questionnaires will require printing works, travelling and mailing of these documents. In case where travelling is difficult, posting services will be availed. These all will cost approximately $2000.
- Some of the budget must also be allocated to tasks such as accessing to tables, charts, and government figures and statistics to support the data analysis section. A $1000 will be sufficient for this purpose.
Estimation of Total Budget
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