When is collective action necessary to enable market formation? What are challenges to achieving this?
This project is different from the others in that it starts with a focus on general principles of market formation rather than within a specific context. This project combines our understanding of market formation as developed in those other projects with what we know from the organisational literature on market formation. We focus on the problems of distinct actors joining their efforts in order to contribute to the formation of a new market or to the transformation of an existing market.
A key idea we develop here is that markets require a market infrastructure – general awareness of and agreement on the definition of product categories and of their valuations, resources mobilized, interested actors, physical and social structures for distribution, and sets of norms and rules of the market – whose formation is governed by multiple positive feedbacks cutting across the various actors. Because new markets lack established market infrastructure, collective efforts, to varying degrees explicitly coordinated, are often required for the emergence of a viable market.
Project period: 2013 – ongoing
Key people: Jeroen Struben, Brandon Lee, Chris Bingham
In this project we focus on what makes the formation and success of such collective action more problematic, including the role of actors’ uncertainty about market success, the nature and complexity of the market formation problem, and the different forms of coordination among the actors. In doing this we connect ideas from sociology-based collective action theory and organisational theory research on market formation.
In this project we develop theoretical frameworks and computational models to understand market formation problems across different settings. This work contributes to organisational market formation and sociological collective action theory.