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Shaping sustainable markets—A conceptual framework illustrated by the case of biogas in Sweden

Mikael Ottosson, Thomas Magnusson, Hans Andersson

Abstract: By merging findings from transition studies with recent literature on market-shaping, this paper outlines a conceptual framework that describes the shaping of sustainable markets. The framework comprises three critical processes: enabling exchange practices, proving the system and constructing the narrative. Individually, these processes generate different kinds of value – traded, demonstrated and expected value – and the value output from each process serves as input to the other two processes. Hence the value streams link the processes together. We illustrate the framework by analyzing market-shaping processes for biogas in Sweden. The case analysis shows how public and private actors have engaged in a multitude of activities that have built up the market-shaping processes. The analysis highlights the recursive nature of sustainable market-shaping, showing how key actors must repeatedly respond to tensions resulting from growth and aspirations of growth.

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