The Market and the System of Sign Value Creation: New Frontiers in Value Discourse

In this EACR presentation, the focus is on how markets create value – value defined broadly as a set of economic, social and cultural benefits accruing to the members (humans as well as institutions) of a social/economic system. The presentations follows the ongoing debates on markets and marketing (see Penaloza and Venkatesh 2006; Venkatesh, Penaloza and Firat 2005; Lusch/Vargo 2006) and thus this is both a continuation and departure from previous work. In the last two or three years, marketing scholars have raised the following critical issues that concern us here: a) how our field (i.e. marketing) has ignored the discourse on markets as a set of historically constituted institutional arrangements as well as sites of business/marketing activities, b) how the exclusive focus on marketing as a set of activities (e.g. 4Ps) limits our ability to comprehend the institutional processes especially in the global arena, c) how other disciplines(e.g. sociology) have wrested the opportunity and come up with some central ideas, and d) why we should return to “markets” as our focus. In this paper, our attention focuses on the relationship between markets and the creation of value. At a more micro-firm level this is also presumably the goal of marketing. We begin with the notion that markets are institutional arrangements that create value for their constituencies and the legitimacy of markets arises out of their value creating potential. The purpose of this paper is to elucidate three value paradigms – exchange value, use value, and sign value -- and demonstrate that the dominant discourse in marketing has paid greater attention to the issues concerning exchange and use paradigms, and opportunity now arises for us to fully explore the system of sign value and integrate it into our discourse.


Alladi Venkatesh (2011) ,"The Market and the System of Sign Value Creation: New Frontiers in Value Discourse", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9, eds. Alan Bradshaw, Chris Hackley, and Pauline Maclaran, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 44-45.


Alladi Venkatesh, University of California, Irvine, USA


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 9 | 2011

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