Configuring Value Conflicts in Markets

Configuring Value Conflicts in Markets

Edited by Susanna Alexius and Kristina Tamm Hallström

Based on fourteen empirical case studies, this far-reaching book explains why and how markets are organized, through examining the role of values and value work in markets.

Chapter 4: Trust in transparency: value dynamics and the reorganization of the Baltic financial markets

Sebastian Botzem and Matilda Dahl

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory


Values influence the organization of markets. Not only do they guide the exchange of physical or financial products and services, they also structure the interaction between individuals and organizations engaged in these markets. As this edited volume shows, however, values do not come in the singular; rather, markets are places where multiple values are at stake, and the relation between values and markets is manifold and not always easily recognized. Extreme events, such as crises, however, accentuate the value dimension of markets. The financial crisis of 2008-where public discourse highlighted the individual misbehavior of managers, excessive bonuses and the immoral behavior of greedy bankers-can serve as an example of how crises are interpreted through the lens of values. Such attempts to moralize market actors and activities point to the relevance of studying value configurations in financial markets. Furthermore, they underline the fragility of financial markets on display in exceptional circumstances such as crises. Since the early 1990s, the Baltic financial markets have undergone a remarkable modernization as economies in transition. In doing so, they opted for a radical version of neoliberal free market policies and were severely affected by the financial crisis. In this chapter, we take a closer look at values and value configurations in financial markets in times of crisis.

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