Author ORCID Identifier
European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Over 61% of the world’s population lives and works in the informal economic sector. However, workers in the informal economy are conspicuous by their relative absence in work psychology research and practice. Policy agendas inspired by economic research often combine skilled and unskilled workers into a single category, lacking the voice of the poor worker and a psychological understanding of work in the informal sector. Using grassroots-level field data from highly skilled artisans in rural India, this study unearths the person-centric inner experiences of informal work, and examines the psychological foundations of Decent Work in a heretofore unexamined population of workers in the informal economy. Using inductive and abductive approaches, results reveal the affective, attentional, task and culturally-embedded contextual characteristics of work in the informal economy, along with the psychological nuance behind key tenets of economic ideas around decency and choice in Decent Work. These experiences reveal core facets of well-being in the world of work in the informal economy, and an operational definition of psychologically sustainable work that is aligned with local values, aspirations and capabilities. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for incorporating psychology and the study’s evidence-based findings into the International Labour Organization's Decent Work agenda.
Saxena, M. (2021, May 17). Cultural skills as drivers of decency in decent work: A field investigation of skilled workers in the informal economy. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 30(6), 824-836. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2021.1918760
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