Perspectives on Market: Business Markets as Networks

  • Antonella La RoccaEmail author


In this chapter, we look at how the idea of what a market is and how it works have been treated in disciplines and how these ideas relate to the properties of business markets as they emerged in past research. We focus on the differences in the conceptualisation of markets in economics and in the disciplines that approach markets from an empirical perspective (e.g., sociology or marketing). Discussing the different ideas about what is a market and how it is formed and works, we start with ideas from economics, since it is the discipline with the most elaborate market concept. A common critique, however, has been that economists are more concerned with a normative idea of market rather than with market institutions and practices. This is also the reason why we turn to other disciplines (sociology, anthropology, political science and management) that are concerned with the market as an institution, and discuss the contributions that emphasise the features of market practices that have been neglected in the conception of market that prevails in economics. The purpose of this chapter is to examine how the relationship perspective affects the idea and conceptualisation of the market, and therefore we conclude the chapter by discussing the idea of the ‘market as network’, which tends to summarise the relational perspective on markets and market dynamics.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rennes School of BusinessRennesFrance

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