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The 23rd EGOS Colloquium 2007  

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Postdoctoral pre-colloquium workshop

PhD pre-colloquium workshop

Roland Calori Prize

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Sub-theme 29:
Framing technologies for market value: The generative dance of collectives



Peter Karnøe, Copenhagen Business School (Denmark)

Petter Holm, University of Tromsø (Norway)

Fabian Muniesa, Ecole des Mines de Paris (France)

Call for papers

Framing Technologies for market value: The generative dance of collectives

This theme explores the multiple entanglements between markets and technologies, with an emphasis on two crucial problems that are here tackled together: how technologies are framed for market transaction - from the first 'packaging of ideas for management till the technology is transformed into a set of valued product properties that become transacted'.

Markets frame technologies and technologies frame markets. Markets are outcomes, but technologies are outcomes too. Far from being a mere stopgap or a cumbersome double-bind, this remark can constitute a call for promising research and interdisciplinary dialogue, particularly between economic sociology (which has become particularly attentive to market technologies, in a wide sense) and innovation studies (which can provide deeper understanding of the functioning of markets for technologies). Path creation, path dependence, irreversibilization views may be used, but we mainly invite papers that build upon empirical studies and address these issues (separately or together).

Markets for technologies have been insistently scrutinized in the social sciences. Studies on the emergence, diffusion and evolution of technologies have opened the black box of innovation and showed the limits of standard notions of the market. Recent approaches point to phenomena of co-production and co-evolution of technologies and institutions. However, most theories stick to notions such as users, early adopters, new adopters or network externalities that often take for granted the capacities of market actors or the processes that transform a technology into a commodity. But these questions need more attention and we are particularly interested in:

  • How are the qualities of technologies stabilized and objectified in a market? and what is stability and robustness 'made off'?

  • What sort of tools, metrics, and instruments contribute to qualify, to legitimize and to price a particular technology in its career?

  • How are usages and users configured?

  • How are prices framed?

  • What is the role of public policies?

Conversely, technologies for markets have been taken into account by many economic or sociological approaches. The technological architectures underpinning exchanges have become a research topic of acknowledged interest. Recent studies have pointed to the impact of electronic media in market microstructure or to the crucial role of technological equipments in framing market actors’ rationalities (or irrationalities) and their valuation capacities. But the analysis often stops there and takes these ‘market technologies’ for granted.

  • Can these studies go deeper into the analysis of how such technologies are formed?

  • How are technological paths created and followed in this jungle of market equipments?

About the convenors

Peter Karnøe is Professor at the Department of Organization and Industrial Sociology, Copenhagen Business School. His main research interests include innovation and the co-evolution of technologies, markets and institutions. For more information, see:

Petter Holm is Professor at the Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø. His main research interests include organizational theory and the sociology of science. For more information, see:

Fabian Muniesa is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation, Ecole des Mines de Paris. His main research interests include social studies of finance and technology. For more information, see: