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

Damion Jonathan Bunders*, Agnes Akkerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1007-1026
Number of pages20
JournalEconomic and Industrial Democracy
Volume44
Issue number4
Early online date11 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is part of the research programme ‘Sustainable Cooperation – Roadmaps to Resilient Societies’ (SCOOP). The authors are grateful to the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) for generously funding this research in the context of its 2017 Gravitation Programme (grant number 024.003.025).

Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2022.

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