Stan Metcalfe and Alan Warde
There has been increasing interest and debate in recent years on the instituted
nature of economic processes in general and the related ideas of the market
and the competitive process in particular. This debate lies at the interface
between two largely independent disciplines, economics and sociology, and
reflects an attempt to bring the two fields of discourse more closely together.
In many ways this is to return to a previous age when the study of institutional
arrangements was at the centre of the study of
Markets, embeddedness and trust:
problems of polysemy and idealism
In this paper I develop a critique of certain approaches to markets and firm
behaviour in economics and economic sociology. There are two main targets
of the critique. The first concerns some common approaches to markets and
the nature of firms in relation to them. Here I argue that the diverse uses of the
term ‘market’ in contemporary lay and academic discourse cause confusion.
Also problematic in both mainstream and institutional economics is the
tendency to treat
and Oughton, 1999).
More recently, two further peculiarities of professional football leagues
have become apparent. The first concerns the nature and role of match-going
supporters in the production of live football matches and issues in corporate
governance, while the second concerns the vertical production relationship
between football clubs and, on the one hand, the league and, on the other,
In the UK, football, the largest professional league sport, has traditionally
been regulated by the Football Association, the Football League and
whose markets for software were linguistically fragmented. This slow growth of software demand delayed a full-fledged arm’slength market in package software from emerging in the UK despite
considerable national strengths in computing and related sciences.
When a market started to emerge for traded software in the 1980s, niche
market strategies, driven by heterogeneous demand, had an important
impact both on the evolution of firm competences and on the nature of competition and competitive advantage in the UK software sector. While outsourcing of software has been an
There has been increasing interest and debate in recent years on the instituted nature of economic processes in general and the related ideas of the market and the competitive process in particular. This debate lies at the interface between two largely independent disciplines, economics and sociology, and reflects an attempt to bring the two fields of discourse more closely together. This book explores this interface in a number of ways, looking at the competitive process and market relations from a number of different perspectives. It considers the social role of economic institutions in society and examines the various meanings embedded in the word 'markets', as well as developing arguments on the nature of competition as an instituted economic process. The close of the twentieth century saw a virtual canonisation of markets as the best, indeed the only really effective, way to govern an economic system. The market organisation being canonised was simple and pure, along the lines of the standard textbook model in economics. The book discusses the concepts of polysemy , idealism, cognition, materiality and cultural economy. Michael Best provides an account of regional economic adaptation to changed market circumstances. This is the story of the dynamics of capitalism focused on the resurgence of the Route 128 region around Boston following its decline in the mid-1980s in the face of competition from Silicon Valley. The book also addresses the question of how this resurgence was achieved.
The discussion that follows traces key aspects of this governance mix for
the constitution of a cultural economy, as the contingent nature of cultural
products, cultural markets and cultural work puts into question certain
established frames for analysing economic organisation.
Cultural industries make slippery analytic objects:1 sectoral boundaries can
be hard to define; ‘firms’ can be only loosely integrated, hidden, short-lived or
very mobile (and often are all of these); product design, labour processes and
work practices can change very rapidly
provide a distinctive basis for collaboration and competition in the former by establishing industry-wide common standards. In
Britain, in contrast, in the absence of specified quality and technical standards,
quality and cost can more easily become opposing objectives of competition.
Likewise, contractual law, a propensity to litigate, and the fostering of trust
have been analysed as being central to different forms of inter-firm relations
which fundamentally affect the nature and focus of competitive forces in
Britain, Germany and Italy. Institutional and legal
discomfort. If we can find no way of accommodating it to our cognitive
Brian J. Loasby
categories we are conscious of a failure to understand, which is at least
disconcerting and may be dangerous; we therefore feel an urgent need to
find a new way of making sense of our environment. ‘Wonder, therefore, and
not any expectation of advantage from its discoveries, is the first principle
which prompts mankind to the study of Philosophy, of that science which
pretends to lay open the concealed connections that unite the various
appearances of nature’ (Smith, 1980, p. 51
which things are stabilised as social
materialities, or destabilised, reconfigured, problematised. If ‘dematerialisation’ has any meaning it is not as a condition of becoming ‘merely a sign’;
rather it is a condition in which the social agencies and processes that previously held an object stable – held it together as both physical entity and as
meaning, inseparably – no longer do so. And it is the reasons for the changes
in these conditions – not supposed changes in the nature of social objects
themselves – that needs to be understood.
Hence, the third section of the
that interpretation will lead to the wrong conclusions about the remedies.
Relevance of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act 1999
Resolving many years of controversy about the nature of financial competition and regulation, the 106th Congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) by overwhelming majorities in November 1999, and President Clinton signed the legislation a few days later. The Act is very comprehensive, addressing affiliations of banking, insurance, securities firms and regulation of the resulting organizations