Concerned Markets

Concerned Markets

Economic Ordering for Multiple Values

Edited by Susi Geiger, Debbie Harrison, Hans Kjellberg and Alexandre Mallard

When political, social, technological and economic interests, values, and perspectives interact, market order and performance become contentious issues of debate. Such ‘hot’ situations are becoming increasingly common and make for rich sites of research. With expert empirical contributions investigating the organization of such ‘concerned’ markets, this book is positioned at the centre of the rapidly growing area of interdisciplinary market studies. Markets investigated include those for palm oil, primary health care and functional foods. The authors also examine markets and environmental concerns as well as better market design for those at the bottom of the pyramid.

Chapter 3: Marketization by the (rule)book: concern for market and public values in primary care

Linus Johansson Krafve

Subjects: business and management, marketing, organisation studies, economics and finance, institutional economics, social policy and sociology, sociology and sociological theory


Health care provides a fruitful setting for learning about concerns over values. Provision of health care is often thought of as a cornerstone in welfare societies. It is truly a matter of concern, as it regularly resides at the center of political rhetoric, public debate and reform agendas. There are many actors who want to have a say in what constitutes proper conduct in health care, what is financially viable and which health caring activities are worth pursuing before others. Practical considerations of the economics of health care, managerial challenges, along with questions of quality in treatment are never far away. Health care is thus thoroughly saturated with values of very different kinds. Values also matter a great deal in how health care is organized in practice. This chapter builds on a case study of the making of a primary care market in a Swedish county council. More precisely, I have studied how public officials at a Swedish county council HQ design a ‘market device’ (Callon et al., 2007) for the primary care market: a rulebook for authorization of care centers. This rulebook is revised and issued by the county council each year. It consists of nearly 50 pages of guidelines, prices, justifications and more, stipulating the rules for market conduct in the primary care market. It is supposed to regulate the market by codifying the criteria for being granted permission to open a care center in the county.

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