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Damion Bunders is a PhD candidate in the Business-Society Management department at the Rotterdam School of Management.

With a background in sociology and human geography, his research interests span the interplay of social actors, institutions, and new technologies. Some of his previous research was about the relation between adolescents' online/offline social networks and delinquent behaviour, and about smart city governance in the Netherlands and Hungary.

In his PhD project, Damion investigates the challenges that gig workers face when organising themselves in a cooperative enterprise. In particular, he aims to provide insight into the viability and competitive (dis)advantages of platform cooperatives as one institutional approach for organising decent work in the gig economy by analysing the conditions under which cooperatives of gig workers can become resilient. The project addresses questions on enterprise formation, member commitment, democratic governance, and coordination of collective resources. Damion takes a multi-disciplinary and multi-method approach, combining theory from sociology and institutional economics with interview, survey, and text analysis research. Just as economists have long wondered why firms are usually controlled by capital suppliers instead of by labour suppliers, this research project addresses the puzzle of why platforms are not more commonly owned and governed by workers.


Academic (5)
  • Bunders, D. J., & Akkerman, A. (2022). Commitment issues? Analysing the effect of preference deviation and social embeddedness on member commitment to worker cooperatives in the gig economy. Economic and Industrial Democracy.

  • Bunders, D. J., Arets, M., Frenken, K., & De Moor, T. (2022). The feasibility of platform cooperatives in the gig economy. Journal of Co-operative Organization and Management, 10(1), [100167].

  • Varro, K., & Bunders, D. J. (2020). Bringing back the national to the study of globally circulating policy ideas: 'Actually existing smart urbanism' in Hungary and the Netherlands. European Urban and Regional Studies, 27(3), 209-226.

  • Bunders, D., & Weerman, F. (2020). Social media and delinquency: Exploring the relation between online/offline interaction with friends and online/offline delinquency. . Kriminologie - Das Online-Journal | Criminology - The Online Journal, 2(2), 283-309.

  • Bunders, D. J., & Varro, K. (2019). Problematizing data-driven urban practices: Insights from five Dutch 'smart cities'. Cities, 93, 145-152.

Academic (1)
  • Bunders, D. J. (2021). Gigs of their own: reinventing worker cooperativism in the platform economy and its implications for collective action. In J. Meijerink, G. Jansen, & V. Daskalova (Eds.), Platform Economy Puzzles: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Gig Work (pp. 188–208). Edward Elgar Publishing.