Nessel, S.Consumer Organizations as a Factor of Resilience and Vulnerability Regarding Market Expectations

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Nessel, S.

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Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden

This article examines how consumer organizations influence the expectations of consumers and firms in a market. Looking at relevant consumer organizations in Germany, it will be demonstrated that their strategies can be analyzed as a factor of resilience and vulnerability contributing to market expectations. To enhance the importance of consumer organizations in this regard, the article proceeds as follows:

Firstly, markets are being characterized as social structures, the reproduction of which is based on stable expectations of market participants. In line with focal approaches of the new economic sociology, it will be shown that market expectations about adequate action strategies are affected through a structural, institutional and cultural setting (social integration). The second part presents and examines consumer organizations in Germany in terms of their relation towards the social integration of markets and towards the expectations of market participants. From a theoretical viewpoint of market agents, it is illustrated that consumer organizations choose distinctive actions plans to influence the social structure of markets and the decisions of firms and consumers. Finally, different strategies of consumer organizations are jointly related to the resilience and vulnerability of markets. It remains to be shown, that firms can increase their resilience towards external influences of the environment by cooperating with consumer organizations as well as observing them. Subsequently the extent to which resilience and vulnerability of consumers and firms has a systematic effect on markets will be discussed.