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Constructing and contesting markets through the market object

Finch, John and Geiger, Susi (2011) Constructing and contesting markets through the market object. Industrial Marketing Management, 40 (6). pp. 899-906.

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This paper focuses on the work that market actors undertake in order to stabilize and de-stabilize market objects. We briefly revisit Igor Ansoff's classic product–market strategy matrix to show how marketing management literature typically equates stability in markets with commodification and inertia. To escape this inertia, marketers often ‘warm up’ or destabilize existing market objects by changing the material bases of the object, for instance in incremental product development. But this ‘warming up’ invites other market actors to also question or destabilize the networks that are supposed to hold the market object in its new (market) space. We utilize archival research to trace one case each of market and product development within the pharmaceutical realm, demonstrating: first, the effort market actors put into ‘cooling down’ and ‘warming up’ market objects; second, how contested such efforts can be; and third, how the object's material attachments may limit its symbolic malleability.