The Freelancer: A Conceptual Review


  • Abdul Ghafoor Kazi Faculty of Management (FM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Rosman Md Yusoff Faculty of Science, Technology, and Human Development, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia , 86400 UTHM, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia
  • Anwar Khan Faculty of Management (FM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Shazia Kazi Faculty of Management (FM), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia



Entrepreneur, freelancer, contractor, boundary-less worker, portfolio-worker


This paper provides a detail review of  conceptualization of a freelancer, describing its history, jobs, earnings, top hiring, freelancer countries, popular websites those serves as broker between employer and freelancer. Study also elaborate differences between an entrepreneur and a freelancer. Study supported by empirical evidences through a non-systematic narrative review of the existing literature. Study exposed facts about freelancers. Firstly, it was found that current organizational structure is changing to support labor market and technological changes, this shows sustainable growth in individual contractors, now referred as freelancer. Secondly, literature review shows that the freelancing is rooted back to 1970s and started growing continuously since 1980s. Thirdly, study distinguished  that the entrepreneur is a person who engages service or product of someone’s to establishes a business; whereas a freelancer is a person who engages own-skills to serve client(s), he/she serves multiple clients for multiple job types. Lastly, empirical evidence shows that freelancing is still considered as a new and different area, researchers and policy makers may explore it further.


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How to Cite

Kazi, A. G., Md Yusoff, R., Khan, A., & Kazi, S. (2014). The Freelancer: A Conceptual Review. Sains Humanika, 2(3).