"Barry and Hansen have gathered an impressive array of contributors to speculate where the management and organization field might be headed. The Handbook offers refreshing and proactive insights that confront our assumptions about organizations and challenge us to expand our thinking and inquiry. It it must reading for anyone who seeks to understand how we look at, live in, and act on organizations."—Thomas G. Cummings, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern CaliforniaTen years ago critical theory and postmodernism were considered new and emerging theories in Business and Management. What will be the next new important theories to shape the field? In one edited volume, David Barry and Hans Hansen have commissioned new chapters that will allow readers to stay one step ahead of the latest thinking. Contributors draw on research and practice to introduce ideas that are considered 'fringe' and controversial today, but may be key theoretical contributions tomorrow. Each chapter sets these ideas in their historical context, lays out the key theoretical positions taken by each new approach and makes it clear why these approaches are different to more mainstream concepts. Throughout contributors refer to existing studies that show how these developing themes will change the Business and Management arena.Researchers, teachers and advanced students who are interested in the future of Business and Management scholarship will want to read this Handbook.
Chapter 48: Symbolic Value Creation
Symbolic Value Creation
Scholars working in areas as diverse as business history (e.g. McKendrick, et al., 1982; Williams, 1982), sociology (e.g. Bourdieu, 1984; du Gay, 1997), anthropology (e.g. Belk, 1985; McCracken, 1988), and consumer behavior (e.g. Holbrook and Hirschman, 1982; Holt, 1998) have documented that consumers are increasingly purchasing goods not only for their practical functions, but also for their meanings. Acts of purchase and consumption reflect proactive efforts to claim a position in the system of social relationships by changing the characteristics of the artifacts that surround, support and often mediate human interactions. In other words, for consumers goods are symbols, the possession and use of which reflect, express, and reconstitute the system of social relationships and their perceived place in it.