Commitment issues? Analysing the effect of preference deviation and social embeddedness on member commitment to worker cooperatives in the gig economy

  • Damion Jonathan Bunders (Creator)
  • Agnes Akkerman (Creator)
  • Damion Jonathan Bunders (Creator)



As enterprises that are owned and governed by workers themselves for their mutual benefit, worker cooperatives are currently re-emerging as a promising antidote against precarity and economic dependence in the gig economy. Considering the social and geographic fragmentation of gig workers, it remains unclear whether cooperatives can count on the member commitment necessary to survive. This study investigates whether preference deviation and social disembeddedness stifle the commitment of gig workers to such cooperatives. A cross-sectional survey was used to gather data from members of four interconnected cooperatives in Italy that consist of gig workers in the cultural, ICT and education sectors (n = 425). The results show that members with more deviating preferences and less social embeddedness among fellow members have a lower commitment towards their cooperative. These findings demonstrate the conditions for gig workers’ commitment to cooperatives, being a key factor in cooperative longevity.
Date made available2022

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