Creating Symbolic Value: A Cultural Perspective on Production and Exchange

20 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2008

See all articles by Davide Ravasi

Davide Ravasi

SDA Bocconi; Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Violina Rindova

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Date Written: May 11, 2004

Abstract

Research in the sociology of culture and in the anthropology of consumption suggests that goods carry a symbolic value, to the extent that they provide users to express individual identity and to signal social status. In this paper, we examine the process of symbolic value creation. Building on research in sociology and anthropology, we observe how symbolic value is created in production and exchange, and how it involves processes and actors that are only partially under the control of the firm. We argue that specific intangible assets are involved in symbolic value creation: we introduce the concepts of symbolic capital, cultural capital and institutional capital, and we develop propositions about factors leading to the accumulation of these resources. Finally we discuss the implications of this perspective for management research.

Keywords: Value creation, Cultural capital, Symbolic capital

JEL Classification: M14, M19

Suggested Citation

Ravasi, Davide and Rindova, Violina, Creating Symbolic Value: A Cultural Perspective on Production and Exchange (May 11, 2004). SDA Bocconi Research Paper No. 111/04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1265021 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1265021

Davide Ravasi

SDA Bocconi ( email )

Via Bocconi 8
Milan, Milan 20136
Italy

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Violina Rindova

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

Dept. of Management
College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States

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