Cfp_Provoking business: the experimental condition of marketing, management, and finance

Call for papers, Workshop Provoking business: the experimental condition of marketing, management, Escuela de Sociología, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile, 19 April 2016. Invited participants: Fabian Muniesa (Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, Mines ParisTech, France) & Catherine Grandclément (Researcher at EDF R&D – Science and Technology Studies & Social Studies of Markets, France). Organizer: Tomas Ariztia (Escuela de Sociología, Universidad Diego Portales). We invite interested researchers to submit a short abstract of their proposed case before January 29 to

  1. Overview

This workshop focuses on exploring different means and manners trough which business objects are provoked. We understand “business” in the all-encompassing, vernacular sense of activities related to money, commerce and enterprise, represented in particular through the craft of marketing, management, finance and related specialties. By “objects” we mean whatever it is that is under consideration through a business angle: products and services, but also markets and organizations, users and consumers, but also businesspersons and their particular concerns. With “provoked” we signify the pragmatist, constructivist view of a performative, ongoing process in which business reality is seen as enacted.  But with this notion we also have in mind the intensification of the challenging, if not critical, potentials of surprise and breakdown in the realization of business. We aim particularly at interrogating different moments of experimenting, valuing, testing, organizing and simulating that shape what business reality (whatever this means) is or should be about – or not. We seek empirical work – especially ethnographic – exploring some of the following topics:

  • Experiments, tests and simulations through which consumers are produced, brands articulated, preferences elicited and profiles provoked: e.g. consumer datasets and analytics, consumer intelligence, market research techniques, brand visualization techniques, business typologies, quality tests.
  • Valuation techniques and apparatuses through with prices are assessed, profits estimated, assets priced and prospects depicted: e.g. strategy charts, evaluation rankings, credit scores, industry benchmarks, financial formulas, capital appraisals.
  • Organizational instruments that systematize flows, arrange solutions, shape visions and establish actions: e.g. management software, business models, strategy models, marketing protocols, policy guidelines, juristic arrangements.
  1. Methodology

The workshop is organized around the discussion of short empirical papers (5 pages) presenting a particular angle on a particular case that ought to contribute to our collective examination on the experimental condition of marketing, management, finance. More than a closed argumentation, we look forward to work-in-progress that opens up a particular moment of effectuation. In doing so, we aim to create an open space for reflecting on the implications of a performative take on business reality.

Funded by FONDECYT Project number 1140078.

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