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Organizing and Reorganizing Markets

While social science has a long tradition of making a sharp distinction between organizations and markets, this project promotes another perspective. Markets and organizations share at least one generic characteristic: they are both organized. The project – also a research theme at SCORE (Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research) – studies the organization of markets, with theoretical aims of both markets and organization.

Background and research questions:

Significant questions in the projects are:

  • What forms of market organization are there, and how can they be explained?
  • How, at what frequency, and why are markets reorganized?
  • How are relations between individual markets handled by organizers, by the use of organization?
  • What are the similarities and differences between the organization of markets and the organization of formal organizations?

Research approach:

These questions have been studied mainly through in-depth qualitative studies of individual markets, often with a longitudinal approach. A broad range of stakeholders of individual markets have normally been interviewed – buyers, sellers, profiteers and others.

Key findings:

  • Individual markets have many different organizational forms, just as formal organizations. The typical response to perceived market failures or other problems, is more organization, often leading to bureaucratized markets (see Brunsson & Jutterström, 2018).
  • As do formal organizations, individual markets represent open systems, with both technical (other markets and actors) and institutional (taken-for-granted and locally new ideas) environments as drivers of market reorganization (see Jutterström, 2018a).
  • Levels of organizational learning represent explanations to both market re-organization, and to more unorthodox organizational characteristics of markets, in relation to the performativity of neoclassical economics (see Jutterström, 2018b)
  • There are strong similarities in the conditions for the organization and reorganization of markets and organizations – emanating from how organization takes place in practice. However, most differences between the organization and reorganization of markets and organizations are connected to ideas and expectations about the two forms – affecting i.e. the distribution of responsibility, the restrictions for organization, and the legitimacy of organization for the two generic forms (see Brunsson & Jutterström, 2018).

Further information:

The project has, so far, been funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and Vetenskapsrådet.

Referenced publications:

Brunsson, N. & Jutterström, M. (eds) (2018). Organizing and Reorganizing Markets. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jutterström, M. (2018a). Markets as Open Systems: organizing and reorganizing a financial market. In: Brunsson, N. & Jutterström, M. (eds). Organizing and Reorganizing Markets. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jutterström, M. (2018b). Experienced-Based Learning and Market Change. In: Brunsson, N. & Jutterström, M. (eds). Organizing and Reorganizing Markets. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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