Paradoxical Tensions as a Double-Edged Sword: Analysing the Development of Platform Cooperatives in the European Gig Economy

Damion J. Bunders*, Tine De Moor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Platform cooperatives promise to provide an alternative organizational model of worker ownership and governance to heavily criticized investor-owned gig platforms, but have until now remained relatively rare. This study examines the development of platform co-ops to gain insight into the reasons and mechanisms behind their slow but steady growth in Europe. Using desk research on 48 platform co-ops and 16 in-depth interviews with founders of platform co-ops, we build on paradox theorizing to analyze how founders of platform co-ops manage competing demands during the start-up phase. Extending recent studies on interorganizational paradoxes, we show how systemic tensions in the gig economy motivate the creation of platform co-ops as a way of coping and that interactions between tensions on different levels during actual development can result in failed market entry. Hence, this study also addresses the counter-intuitiveness to the establishment of organizations permeated with paradoxical tensions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

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