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Markets under the Microscope: Making Scientific Discoveries Valuable through Choreographed Contestations

Katy Mason, Martin Friesl and Chris J. Ford

Journal of Management Studies, 2019, vol. 56, issue 5, 966-999

Abstract: This paper breaks new ground by revealing and conceptualizing the marketization of science as a process that transforms scientific discoveries and markets through a series of choreographed contestations: moments of valuation that occur when different social worlds collide. We follow a scientific discovery, from the moment it entered an incubator, to uncover how valuation practices and market devices enact and contest diverse social values (i.e., what is worth doing) to generate economic value (i.e., what is worth paying for) at the science‐market‐entrepreneurship nexus. In contrast with commercialization of science studies that focus on institutional arrangements, this study explicates the practices and devices used by multiple market actors to transform a scientific discovery into a marketable object. In so doing, we characterise choreographed contestations and the mechanisms through which they operate to explain how specific valuations are performed to work out innovative next steps that unfold the marketization of science.

Date: 2019
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