Dr. Carlos DIAZ RUIZ

Professor in Marketing & Consumer studies

Market practices.

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One article about markets that I find fascinating was written by Hans Kjellberg and Claes-Fredrik Helgesson in 2006. The article talks mainly about performativity, but I would like to rescue the section when the authors discuss market practices. The full citation can be found at the end of the text.

Market Practices

Market actors do not only act within their environment, actors shape markets with their everyday practices. Practices are conceived as arrays of human activity centralized around shared practical understandings.  Three market practices are identified: exchange, normalizing, and representational.

Exchange practices are  the ways in which buyers and sellers interact. Participants in a market are equipped with ways of calculating and valuating. For example, airlines use a variable pricing mechanism to optimize price according to both available inventory and expected demand.

Normalizing practices include the rules of the game. Normalizing practices involve others, such as governments, which are not directly involved in exchange. For example,  fishing permits depend on a rule of how much fish can be caught.

Representational practices are concrete activities which contribute to representing economic exchanges as markets. These highlight what is to be considered as a market, or not. Representations are relevant because people take decisions based on what they think they know. For example, yearly category reviews in category management serve to strengthen category boundaries, and determine how the category as a whole will operate in a retail environment.


Kjellberg, H. & Helgesson, C. (2006). Multiple versions of markets: Multiplicity and performativity in market practice. Industrial Marketing Management, 35(7), 839–855.

* In my own work about markets, I reviewed this perspective (and others) in detail.


Author: Diaz Ruiz

Carlos A. Diaz Ruiz is Assistant Professor in Marketing at Kedge Business School in Bordeaux

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