A new research project entitled “Let it Shine: The Emergence and Evolution of Moral Markets” will start in September 2019 at the University of Amsterdam. The project is led by Panikos Georgallis, an Assistant Professor of Strategy at the Amsterdam Business School, who received one of the prestigious VENI grants for young scholars from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for the project.
Source: website NWO
Moral markets, sectors that emerge to foster social, instead of or in addition to economic change, are important for resolving many societal problems. Examples of such sectors include solar and wind energy, fair trade goods, microfinance, green buildings, and plant-based meat alternatives, among others. Instigated by actors motivated by moral considerations rather than by the pursuit of economic interest, the emergence of these sectors has challenged traditional conceptions of markets. As a result, little is known about the conditions that spur and sustain moral markets.
Recent research examines moral markets at their formative stages, and attributes their emergence to bottom-up collective action by ideologically-motivated communities such as social movements. I propose to study how moral markets are driven, both at their formative and more mature stages, by the interaction between core (social movements, industry) and peripheral communities (e.g. elite allies, and rival industries) in a given context. The project goal is to develop a novel framework of the emergence and evolution of moral markets.
Three interlinked projects will advance this goal by:
- establishing the configurations of actors that enable moral market formation (P1);
- analyzing changes over the market’s lifecycle (P2);
- and formalizing the framework and identifying boundary conditions (P3).
Empirically, I will use state-of-the-art methods that are suitable for the study of complex interactions, and extend a unique dataset that tracks the solar photovoltaic sector—a moral market with potential to address climate change, arguably the greatest and most urgent challenge of our times—across 28 EU countries and for nearly three decades.
The project results will enable non-profit organizations and business associations interested in promoting moral markets to allocate their resources more efficiently. Moreover, the results will help governments facilitate the development of moral markets by designing more timely and efficient policies.