Scandinavian Working Papers in Business Administration

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 2003:15: ”Life is a fake. All that is real are the stock prices” - Simulating Authenticity in Financial Markets

Peter Norberg ()
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Peter Norberg: Dept. of Business Administration, Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Technology has contributed to what Max Weber termed the disenchantment of the world. Re-enchantment is a broad tendency than has hitherto been described. This overlooked movement within post-industrial business stretches into financial markets. Presently, we observe magic, morality and narrative being allowed to enter business. Re-enchantment helps us to understand the evolution of post-modern markets, as it partly forms the present exit from industrial society. This piece of research takes a micro-sociological interest with the mentality and culture of financial markets. It also has a macro-sociological character in dealing with the process of rationalisation in society. The article gives a contribution to theory about the evolving entertainment economy under the heading of re-enchantment. The experience of meaning or alternatively deprivation of meaning is decisive for behaviour and interaction at work. Technology in work is vital for this. I study four important aspects of a desired re-enchantment; sense of community, expression, myth and magic, and morality.

Keywords: re-enchantment; financial markets; morality; meaning

39 pages, First version: December 28, 2003. Revised: September 2, 2004.

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