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Exploring market society of tomorrow

In 2020, the Department of Marketing and Strategy launched a new research initiative to probe what the future market-based economy will look like, the changes it will bring for incumbent firms, entrepreneurs, regulators, and consumers, its societal consequences, and the challenges associated with the various transformations that are currently underway.

 Three broad and long-term societal trends motivate this initiative.

  • Climate change: (1) alters fundamental conditions for economic activity, for instance long-term resource supply; (2) presents several sector specific challenges, e.g. in agriculture, tourism, energy; (3) gives rise to new and/or different patterns of demand for products and services.
  • Geopolitical instability: (1) causes mounting critique against and reduced confidence in key institutions in market society; (2) challenges and changes the reach of existing market regulations; (3) sets new migration waves in motion that alter labor market conditions; (4) triggers new protectionist and colonialist initiatives around the world.
  • Digitalization: (1) creates opportunities for the formation and transformation of markets and industries; (2) creates new ways of socializing that alters social and economic power structures; (3) allows for increased automation, efficiency gains, improved matching and augmented decision support; but also (4) offers increasingly sophisticated means of monitoring and data collection that threatens privacy, security and potentially decreases societal resilience.

Against this backdrop, we developed our research initiative to probe the future of market society. This initiative seeks to understand current strategic efforts to shape markets and marketing undertaken by individual actors as well as collective effort, and to assess their societal consequences. The initiative consists of three complementary research themes:

  1. Exploring the platform economy: platform giants and the market society they build;
  2. Understanding transformations in market ecosystems: strategies for a digital and sustainable   world; and
  3. Shaping the future of marketing: strategic marketing in the age of influencers, nudges and algorithms.

These themes draw on our unique (and necessary) combination of competences in strategic management, market dynamics and marketing. They also rely on our engagement with stakeholders involved in shaping our future market society, including platform providers, incumbents, entrepreneurs, consumer interest groups, authorities, and NGOs.