Many organizations are keen on organizing markets. They seek to influence the behaviour of sellers and buyers, influence the design and classification of goods and services, supervise markets, and describe and explain the way markets function. Not only are states involved in these efforts; similar work is carried out by standardisation bodies, voluntary organizations and trade associations.

Within the programme Organizing Markets we develop theories that explain which kinds of organizations try to organize markets, which strategies they use, how they interact with each other and what they accomplish when it comes to the actual organizing of markets. In particular, this programme seeks to develop institutional organization theory, constructivist market theory, and governance theory.

This programme, lasting from 2008 to 2013, is funded by Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

Current book project

The anthology with the working title Organizing Value Plurality in Markets (eds. Tamm Hallström and Alexius) analyses value plurality and value conflicts in markets. The book examines how different values, interests and organisational logics are promoted (but also suppressed) by various stakeholders involved in the organisation of markets. There is a particular focus on markets where clear social interests (often represented by government organisations, but also by social movement organisations and standardisers) are being balanced against economic interests (represented by businesses with interests in market organisation).

Case studies discussed in the book include, for example, the markets for life insurance, gambling, alcohol distribution, accountant services, newspapers, private prisons, banks and stock exchanges, covering both Swedish and foreign cases. Typical of these markets is the somewhat regular occurrence of legitimacy crises, during which several values are pitted against each other, and which are managed through self-organisation of active businesses, government intervention and organising efforts by other stakeholders. The book uses a conceptual framework of organisational theory – often using an historical approach – to explain which actors, interests and organisational logics contribute to the creation, organisation and management of value conflicts in this type of markets, and to explain variations regarding the occurrence of value conflicts and how to deal with them.

The anthology features contributions from researchers in the programme, but also from external researchers from foreign research institutes with which Score collaborates. In February 2011, a first draft of the full manuscript was discussed at an international workshop. Publication is expected by the end of 2011.