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Postdoc on Quantitative Analyses of Platform Worker Autonomy

Posted 18 May 2024
Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Job function
€3,226 - €5,090 per month
Degree level
Required language
Dutch (Fluent)
30 Jun 2024 00:00

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A growing number of people works through platforms such as Fiverr, Uber, or UpWork. They are part of the platform, or gig, economy. The viability of the platform economy for workers is heavily debated. Proponents are excited about the independence and flexibility that platforms afford. Detractors of the platform economy instead emphasize that platforms help create situations of precarity and overall platform dependence.

At the root of those discussions lies the question of how much autonomy platform workers have over the work they do. However, beyond anecdotal accounts of platform workers, there is hardly any research on how workers actually behave on platforms. Without such insight, policymakers are in the dark about the exact impact of platforms on the work landscape. This postdoc project aims to generate such insight by conducting studies of actual worker behavior using platform data.

We are looking for a candidate to fill this postdoc position for a duration of two years. The postdoc will work under the supervision of dr. Joey van Angeren and dr. Mark Boons. The starting date is flexible throughout 2024 and will be agreed upon with the suitable candidate.


  • You will design and conduct quantitative and possibly mixed methods studies of platform worker behavior.
  • You will be working with platform data, collecting additional archival data, interacting with platform workers and platform representatives, writing research papers for conferences and journals, and presenting research at conferences.
  • You will make a moderate contribution to teaching.
  • You will collaborate with industry partners and disseminate your research findings during workshops for practitioners.

Your profile

  • Hold a PhD in Business Administration, Human Resource Management, Information Systems, Management, Organizational Psychology, or another social science discipline. Candidates close to completion of their PhD are also invited to apply.
  • Extensive experience with quantitative research methods and working with archival datasets; strong data analytics skills are a plus.
  • The potential to conduct impactful academic research, for instance demonstrated by the quality of publications or working papers.
  • Motivated to conduct high quality and impactful quantitative research.
  • Strong communication skills required to collaborate with industry partner(s).
  • Excellent English skills; Dutch language proficiency is a significant advantage with view on the interaction with industry partners.

What do we offer?

A challenging position in a socially involved organization. At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, you contribute to education and research for a better world. In return for your efforts we offer you:

  • A salary of minimum € 3.226,00 (Scale 10) and maximum € 5.090,00 (Scale 10) gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile Researcher 4. The exact salary depends on your education and experience.
  • A position for at least 0.8 FTE. Your employment contract will initially last 1 year. Afterwards, the possibility of extension for another year exists.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:

  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Solid pension scheme (ABP).
  • Optional model for designing a personalized benefits package.
  • Contribution to commuting expenses.

About us

KIN Center for Digital Innovation
KIN is one of the departments of the School of Business and Economics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. KIN researchers study the development, use, and business value of innovative organizational processes and technologies. Our research contributes to an international field that is relatively new and multi-disciplinary. We collaborate closely with faculty and researchers from other universities and cooperate with an extensive network of business partners. The KIN department is also responsible for several courses in the Business Administration curriculum at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and facilitates the Master’s program Digital Business and Innovation. Researchers at KIN regularly publish and hold editorial positions in leading journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, and Management Information Systems Quarterly.

School of Business and Economics
We at the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at VU Amsterdam bring together socially relevant teaching and research in the areas of business administration and economics. We focus on real-life issues that have a huge impact on society, economics and ecology: from robotics to big data, and from job market participation to change management.

Collaboration and cooperation, transparency and social responsibility are four keywords that embody our approach. Students, researchers and staff at SBE share real-world knowledge in order to devise solutions together to global economic and social challenges. In order to make a positive impact on the world, society and the lives of others.

Are you interested in joining SBE? You will work in a stimulating, dynamic and international environment with motivated colleagues dedicated to helping society make informed choices. SBE employs roughly 600 staff, with 7,250 students enrolled in the Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes and 1,700 executive students.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely - a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility. Over 5,500 staff work at the VU and over 30,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.


Are you interested in this position? In that case, we encourage you to submit your application. Please submit a short letter (maximum one page) in which you describe your abilities and motivation, accompanied by a curriculum vitae, a sample paper that is representative of your work, and two references (names and e-mail addresses).

Submitting a diploma is part of the application process.

The position will stay open until filled with the most fitting candidate.

Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.

At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, we attach great importance to the societal impact of our education and research. Personal development and social involvement are key parts of our vision on education, in which individual differences are seen as a strength. This allows us to develop innovations and insights that contribute to a better world.

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