Sub-theme 24: Space, spaces and spacing – order, price and value in organization, society and markets


Nicholas de Weydenthal, University of Melbourne, Australia
Robin Canniford, University of Melbourne, Australia
Marc Lenglet, European Business School Paris, France
Joeri Mol, University of Melbourne, Australia

Call for Papers


In this session we invite all papers that explore the relationship between organization(s), society(ies) and market(s). Recent research on the topics of valuation and evaluation has attempted to entangle and disentangle this relationship by focusing on how practices participate in the shaping of the entities or objects in question (Barry & Slater, 2002; Boltanski & Thevenot, 2006; Callon, 1998; Lamont, 2012; Adkins & Lury, 2012). Much of this research has tried to question analyses that argue in favor of the cultural embeddedness (Bourdieu, 1984, 1993; DiMaggio 1997; DiMaggio & Markus, 2010) of calculative or metrological practices or the structures within which these practices can be found (Carruthers & Stinchcombe, 1999). Instead, these studies took valuation practices as socio-technical-discursive arrangements that assembled heterogeneous actors from different, contested material arrangements. In doing so, particular attention was paid to the formation of markets, organizations and social realities through processes that were contingent and local.

Consequently, this has prompted new theorizing of the ontological status of organization(s), society(ies) and market(s). While some argue that evaluative practices perform or realize certain entities such as the market; these, for example, have hardly been ontologically theorized per se. In this respect, recent work done by Ayache (2010), Roffe (forthcoming) and Verran (2012, 2013) has opened up differences between the market, markets and states of the market as well as between price and value. Such work has tried to make a distinction between a material ordering of entities and its consequent valuing. In theorizing the market as an asocial, general pricing surface and nature as infrastructure running as a correlative, the idea of markets being socially or socio-technically constructed has been questioned on metaphysical grounds.

Across these different approaches to organization(s), society(ies) and market(s), space has been attended to in relation to its Cartesian and topological properties yet questions of how space is not only valued and evaluated but also ordered and priced have not been addressed in detail in organization studies. Such a proposition opens up the opportunity to bring together work on non-representational and affective spaces (Crang & Thrift, 2000; Beyes & Steyaert, 2012) with consumer spaces (Canniford & Shankar, 2013), political spaces (Munro & Jordan, 2013), regulatory spaces (Lenglet, 2011) and organized and organizational spaces (Taylor & Spicer, 2007; Ainsworth, Grant, & Iedema, 2009; Maréchal, Linstead, & Munro, 2013; Deroy & Clegg, 2012) and connect it with previously mentioned work on valuation and markets.

We explicitly invite papers that address the relationship between organization(s), society(ies) and market(s) and the valuation and evaluation of space(s). In that respect, we provide a set of guiding or inspirational themes:

  • different processes of valuing and ordering space.
  • how to bridge sociology of valuation and evaluation with other research perspectives in the study of space
  • conflicts between processes of valuing space and evaluating of formal need
  • valuing space for specific needs
  • valuation and evaluation techniques
  • spaces of the market, markets of space
  • pricing as spatial valuation and ordering
  • the limits of representation in capturing organization(s), society(ies) and market(s)


Nicholas de Weydenthal is a doctoral student based in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies and the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Melbourne. His dissertation examines practices of risk philosophically and ethnographically and is situated between science and technology studies and organization studies. He is a member of the European Group of Organization Studies, Asia Pacific STS Network, Process Organization Studies and the International Sociological Association.

Robin Canniford is Senior-Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Melbourne. His recent research is situated at the intersection of consumer culture, nature/culture and assemblage theory while dealing with the ‘limits of representation’. His work has appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research, Consumption, Markets and Culture, Marketing Theory: an international review and the European Journal of Marketing, among others.

Marc Lenglet is Lecturer in Management at the European Business School Paris. With interests in phenomenology and anthropology, his research focuses on the dissemination of norms within financial practices. His work has appeared in Theory, Culture and Society, among others.

Joeri Mol is Senior-Lecturer in Organization Studies at the University of Melbourne. He is interested in valuation and pricing processes in markets and organizations. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Journal of Management Studies, Social Networks, British Journal of Management, Journal of Economic Issues, and Sociological Methodology amongst others.

Posted On: June 8, 2014
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