The shaping of marketplace moral sentiments

Aya Aboelenien, Zeynep Arsel

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Existing research shows how morality and markets intersect. However, there are two oversights: 1) how morality is attributed to some markets and not others, and 2) how moral attributions on some markets change spatiotemporally. We conduct a meta-synthesis of 101 papers to develop a framework for how moral attributions on markets are shaped. First, we define the concept of marketplace moral sentiment. Next, we unpack the work of marketplace actors that destabilize, re-stabilize, and change marketplace moral sentiments. Through this, four distinct types of moral sentiments can form: harmonized, divided, dispersed, and enforced. We contribute to the literature on morality and markets by showing how markets are enacted and reconfigured through moral contestations. We also offer theoretical extensions related to organizational heterogeneity, a market’s susceptibility to moral contestation, and the role of non-human actors in shaping marketplace moral sentiments. Finally, we discuss the managerial and policy implications of our work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114810
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date3 Jul 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jul 2024

Data Availability Statement

No data was used for the research described in the article.


The authors thank the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). They also thank Michelle Weinberger, Anissa Pomiès, Pierre-Yann Dolbec, and Marie-Agnes Parmentier for their valuable comments, Ghalia Shamalyeh for research assistance and Meiling Fong for editorial assistance.


  • Actor-network theory
  • Marketplace moral sentiments
  • Markets
  • Meta-synthesis
  • Objects
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

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