The Cooperative Model to the Rescue of the Platform Economy: What Innovations Against Work Precariousness?
Une étude de cas au Québec
Keywords:platform cooperativism, platform capitalism, uberization, work precariousness, autonomy, paradoxical tensions
The paradox perspective is gaining in popularity among management scholars because it does justice to the increasing complexity of the environment in which organizations operate. We borrow the concept of paradoxical tensions to better understand the ambiguity of some cooperatives' attempts to address the challenges of the platform economy. The precariousness and heteronomy of work in this sector are widely documented phenomena. Platform cooperativism is then posed as an emancipatory alternative to platform capitalism. This article presents the results of a case study focusing on the Eva platform, which competes with Uber in Quebec. Initially constituted as a solidarity cooperative, Eva Coop is controlled by its members and includes drivers in its governance. The field investigation explores the capacity of the cooperative model to prevent workforce casualization. The results suggest that the strong constraints exerted by the harsh competitive environment and the financial ecosystem create paradoxical tensions between the social and economic goals of the organization that are hard to solve without structural changes.
Copyright (c) 2022 Olivier Rafélis de Broves
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