Enchanting Fields: Collective Events and Emotion as Value-Amplifiers during the Emergence and Institutionalization of the Maker Movement

Andreea D. Gorbatai, Cyrus Dioun
2015 Social Science Research Network  
Recent research has shown that emerging economic fields, and their associated products, practices and organizational forms, often resemble social movements. This is because championing new and unrecognizable ventures is a risky business that deters opportunistsleaving social movement organizations and socially and politically motivated field pioneers to mobilize support for field formation. However, if field pioneers succeed in developing social and material support for new ventures, then the
more » ... aw of legitimacy and more certain profits pulls opportunists into the field. These new entrants prioritize instrumental goals such as economic efficiency over value-rational goals associated with the early, movement-like field, that is, the field becomes "disenchanted" as it is legitimated and marketized. Applying this theory of institutionalization to the case of the maker movement, an education and open-source technology movement that has fueled a nascent field, we find that disenchantment-the trade-off of valuerationality for instrumental-rationality-is not a foregone conclusion in an institutionalizing field. Rather, organizations can use collective events to foster emotion, which in turn serves to maintain and augment the field's value rationality even as the field becomes institutionalized and marketized. This study identifies an emotional mechanism through which markets and organizations can sustain and recharge their values, providing conditions under which valuerationality and instrumental-rationality in a field are compatible.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2477194 fatcat:kar7ehp5mzgzfndwozdjxudwgm