Slowed Down Economisation: The Persistence of Alternative Trade Organisations

Nadine Arnold 1  and Isabel Hammer 2
  • 1 LISIS, Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée, F-77454, Marne-la-Vallée
  • 2 Unabhängige Forscherin, CH-8006, Zürich


Have Swiss Alternative Trade Organizations (ATOs) valorized economic aspects at the expense of their social mission for the longer term? From a historical perspective (1974–2013), this article shows how these social enterprises have maintained their social purpose and inhibited the course of organizational economization. We identify three deceleration strategies: involving volunteers, direct trading partnerships with producers, focusing on the sales niche. The article shows how and why economization processes are malleable and not inevitable.

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