Archives mensuelles : mai 2017

Why coffee and not honey – untangling the limits and opportunities for certifying the ‘moral quality’ of products, by Jan-Christoph Janssen

PhD thesis defended the 29th may 2017, under the supervision of Sigfrid Quack and Christine Trampusch, Universität zu Köln

Why did Fair Trade take momentum in some industries within certain national contexts and not in others? In this thesis, I apply the arguments of H. C. White, Tilly, Fligstein and McAdam in order to understand the success and failure of applying similar standards to various product markets through one certificate. Four national settings and seven product categories are compared – coffee, cocoa, bananas, sugar, rice, wine, and honey in Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the USA are chosen and analyzed between the years 2002 and 2011. The effects of the discourse and structural preconditions (i.e. oligopolies) are analyzed in concert through the application of fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA). I investigate the role of firms and social movements in the process of change. Two equifinal paths to change in markets are theorized and analyzed. One of those paths is driven by institutional entrepreneurship, the other by social movements. The findings of the fsQCA back the perspective of social movements and institutional entrepreneurship as substitutive drivers of change in markets and the two paths. Less successful attempts to penetrate markets though certification lack the discourse and the focus of single firms or entrepreneurs within the discourse. In addition, the evidence pinpoints to changing processes over time and the need to move beyond static analyses. This study contributes to the current state of the art by offering a comparative perspective on the effect of social movements and institutional entrepreneurship on mature markets. In this vein, fsQCA is applied deductively and the concepts and paths are disentangled in a compelling manner. INUS conditions are theorized as constitutive parts of paths to change. Finally, this study compares the opportunities and fallacies of penetrating markets through certification in general – and Fair Trade certification in particular.

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The Concept of Development Conventions: Some Suggestions for a Research Agenda

David Dequech (2017)

Journal of Economic Issues, 51:2, p. 285-296.

Abstract. Development conventions are broadly defined as socially shared systems of rules of thought or behavior (institutions) regarding development, with the properties of conformity with conformity and arbitrariness. Conformity with conformity means that the fact that others have adopted a convention, or are expected to adopt it, plays a role in leading someone else to adopt it. Arbitrariness means that a non-inferior alternative exists or is conceivable. This article identifies several social mechanisms through which the conformity of others leads one to conform. It also relates arbitrariness to the possibility of assessing development from various viewpoints, to the inconclusiveness of evidence, and to uncertainty about future consequences.

Link to the article via JIE

Link to the article via ResearchGate

Meat your enemy. Animal rights, alignment, and radical change

Glen Whelan & Jean-Pascal Gond (2017)

Journal of Management Inquiry, 26(2), pp. 123–138.

Abstract. Radical change can be conceived in terms of the reconceiving of ontological distinctions, such as those separating humans from animals. In building on insights from French pragmatism, we suggest that, while no doubt very difficult, radical change can potentially be achieved by creating “alignment” between multiple “economies of worth” or “common worlds” (e.g., the market world of money, the industrial world of efficiency). Using recent campaigns by animal rights organizations as our case, we show how the design of “tests” (e.g., tests of profitability, tests of efficiency) can help align multiple common worlds in support for radical change. Our analysis contributes to the broader management and organization studies literatures by conceiving radical change in terms of changing ontological categorizations (e.g., human/animals vs. sentient/ non-sentient), and by proposing that radical social change agents can be helpfully conceived as opportunistically using events to cumulatively justify the change they desire overtime.

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Marketing and compromising for sustainability. Competing orders of worth in the North Atlantic

John H. Finch, Susi Geiger & Rachel Joy Harkness (2017)

Marketing Theory, 17(1), pp. 71-93.

Abstract. The purpose of our article is to propose that compromising is a constitutive characteristic of those marketing systems that entail matters of public interest or concern. In such markets, actors design compromises as they encounter criticisms of and contending justifications for the market’s products, as these refer to price, efficiency in production and use, regulatory compliance or ecological sustainability. Tests and justifications are vital in order to determine what is valuable and by which measure. As a theory framework, the economic sociology of conventions provides a basis for assessing these contests, compromises, and justifications over the issue of worth in a marketing context. Through an ethnographic study of the regulated activities of chemicals service companies supporting the upstream petroleum industry, we assess how actors evaluate and justify the market’s products and services in this environmentally sensitive setting by means of tests drawing from different orders of worth: the green, the industrial and the market order. Our contributions show that by artful and pragmatic compromising around exchanges, actors in marketing systems can balance several conflicting orders of worth over the question of worth without needing to converge on an overriding institutional logic.

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Panel « Convention » at the upcoming AFEP congress

At the AFEP congress 2017 (5-7 July) at Rennes 2 (Campus Villejean) there will a session devoted to (applications of) convention theory.

The session « Conventions » will take place Wednesday 5th of July (14-15.30, Room 1.147) and it will be headed by Nicolas Da Silva (CEPN, University of Paris 13)

  • Christian Bessy (IDHES, Ecole normale supérieure de Cachan)
    Conventions de valorisation des brevets et intermédiaires du droit
  • Pierre Robert (Clersé, U. Lille 1)
    Une analyse conventionnaliste de la pauvreté énergétique à partir de l’action publique sénégalaise dans l’énergie
  • Alain Herscovici (CNPq, U. Federal do Espirito Santo)
    L’historicité du capital : quelques considérations d´ordre épistémologique

Registration is possible until 1st of June, see congress home page

https://afep2017.sciencesconf.org/

 

Proposition d’un sujet de thèse en économie dans le cadre du Concours d’accès aux contrats doctoraux des établissements d’enseignement supérieur

Directeur de thèse : Christian Bessy, IDHE.S ENS Paris-Saclay,
Contact : bessy@idhe.ens-cachan.fr

Titre : Le rôle des conseils en propriété industrielle dans la valorisation des brevets et la construction des marchés de technologie

Mots-clefs : Conseil en brevet, marchés de technologie, évaluation, politique d’innovation

Il existe aujourd’hui une littérature abondante sur le rôle des intermédiaires dans la construction des marchés de technologie, littérature qui se renouvelle aujourd’hui du fait du développement de plateformes numériques d’innovation ouverte. Mais peu est dit sur la place des conseils en propriété industrielle dans la construction de ces marchés de technologie et des différentes fonctions qu’ils accomplissent allant bien au-delà de la rédaction et du dépôt de brevet : mise en relation et rédaction des accords de licence, évaluation des titres de propriété industrielle, règlement des litiges en contrefaçon. Suivant une approche institutionnaliste en économie, ils participent à l’équipement des marchés en contribuant à la définition des catégories juridiques mais aussi des conventions en matière d’évaluation des titres de propriété industrielle et de langage de description des inventions techniques. Cette analyse pourrait s’inscrire dans l’écriture d’une histoire économique contemporaine du droit de la propriété industrielle prenant pleinement en compte le rôle de ces intermédiaires à côté de celui des juristes et des économistes (et des ingénieurs). Il s’agit de comprendre plus précisément depuis les années 1980 l’hyper valorisation que connaît le système de brevet et sa critique récente en matière d’innovation, au nom d’un « retour des communs », en examinant une voie explicative autre que celle qui repose sur le laxisme des offices de propriété industrielle conduisant les examinateurs à accorder des brevets de mauvaise qualité.

Le travail empirique commencerait par une série d’interviews auprès de ces intermédiaires avec la visée de déboucher sur une enquête statistique concernant leur mode d’organisation. Le doctorant pourrait s’appuyer dans un premier temps sur l’annuaire des Conseils en propriété industrielle qui permettrait de réaliser une première cartographie de ces intermédiaires (taille du cabinet, région d’implantation, activités (brevet, marque, dessin et modèle)). Dans un deuxième temps, l’idée serait de construire un échantillon représentatif de ces cabinets de conseil pour leur adresser un questionnaire statistique permettant d’appréhender les formes d’organisation et de gestion de leurs activités, ainsi que leurs stratégies de développement.

Différents indicateurs statistiques permettraient d’éclairer l’action collective de régulation de cette profession et de sa fusion éventuelle avec la profession d’avocats qui existe dans différents pays européens mais qui n’a pas vu le jour en France, malgré des tentatives allant de ce sens depuis une douzaine d’années.

The role of the industrial property attorneys in the valuation of patents and the construction of technology markets

Key words: Patent agents, markets for technology, valuation, innovation policy

Today there is an abundant literature on the role of intermediaries in building markets for patented technology. But little is said about the role of industrial property attorneys in the construction of these markets for technology and different functions they perform well beyond writing and filing of patent: matching between licensor and licensee and design of licensing agreements, assessment of industrial property titles, infringement litigation. Following an institutionalist approach in economics, they participate in the equipment of markets for technology contributing to the definition of the legal categories but also conventions of valuation of the titles of industrial property. This analysis could register in writing a contemporary economic history of the law of industrial property taking full account of the role of these intermediaries beside that of lawyers and economists (and engineers). It comes to understand more precisely since the 1980s the hyper development that knows the patent system and its recent criticism, on behalf of a ‘return of the Commons’, by examining one explanatory path other than that based on the laxity of the industrial property offices driving examiners to grant patents of poor quality. The empirical work would begin with a series of interviews with these intermediaries with the aim to lead to a statistical survey regarding their mode of organization, the way they develop their activities and they manage different resources or assets.

The Theoretical Connection Between John R. Commons and Regulation and Convention Theories

Hiroyuki Uni and  Takayuki Nakahara (2017)

In: Uni, Hiroyuki (ed.) (2017): Contemporary Meanings of John R. Commons’s Institutional  Economics. Singapore: Springer, pp. 141-163.

Abstract. After discussing the uniqueness of Dewey’s philosophy in relation to (1) the world’s plurality and multiplicity, (2) the primary significance of multifarious interactions, and (3) the interrelation between habit and intelligence, we clarify the uniqueness of Commons’s institutional economics: (1) value theory based on multiple causation; (2) transactions as the ultimate unit of analysis; and (3) the interrelation between habitual assumption and collective action. We examine the theoretical connection between Commons and regulation and convention theories. The former partly shares and develops the first characteristic listed above, multiple causation, while the latter shares and develops the third characteristic, the interrelation between habitual assumption and collective action. In Institutional Economics (Commons, J.R., Institutional economics: Its place in political economy. Macmillan, New York, 1934), applying the idea of “multiple causation,” Commons approached macrodynamics based on the expansion of some key concepts and studies on income distribution and demand growth. This was a prototype of growth analysis based on the cumulative causation model with various forms of coordination, later formulated as regulation theory. Commons, following and developing Dewey’s theory of habit and intelligence, created the concept of “habitual and customary assumptions” and discussed a collective process for achieving “reasonable values,” such as the common-law method. Two-layered coordination in convention theory attempted to explain the psychological means and social mechanisms involved in the persistence of customs and institutions, which Commons briefly mentioned. Using Commons’s theory as a medium, it may be possible to articulate the macrodynamics developed by regulation theory and the micro theory of human interaction developed by convention theory.

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Dispositiv und Ökonomie. Diskurs- und dispositivanalytische Perspektiven auf Märkte und Organisationen

Rainer Diaz-Bone & Ronald Hartz (eds.) (2017)

Wiesbaden: Springer VS

Der vorliegende Band bietet einen aktuellen Überblick über die Vielzahl neuerer sozialwissenschaftlicher Forschungen zur Bedeutung, Funktion und Theorie von Dispositiven in und für die Ökonomie. Denn die Ökonomie ist „instrumentiert“ – Organisationen und Märkte sind durchzogen und ausgestattet mit Objekten, Materialitäten, Technologien, Diskursen und Subjektivierungsweisen, deren spezifische Verknüpfungen die Ökonomie hervorbringen. Für die Analyse der Dispositive muss „Ökonomie“ daher notwendig transdisziplinär gefasst werden, gerade um die bisher weitgehende Ausblendung von Dispositiven in der Analyse von Märkten und Organisationen zu überwinden und diese durch neuartige theoretische aber auch vielfältige methodologische Zugänge zu erschließen. Diese Erschließung der materiellen und immateriellen Ausstattung der Ökonomie erfolgt nun nicht nur transdisziplinär, sondern auch international. Der Band präsentiert Beiträge von Forschenden aus Deutschland, Frankreich, Großbritannien und der Schweiz.

Link to the book