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Framing the work: the composition of value in the visual arts

Chloe Preece (School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, UK)
Finola Kerrigan (Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK)
Daragh O’Reilly (School of Management, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 11 July 2016




This paper aims to contribute to the literature on value creation by examining value within the visual arts market and arguing for a broader, socio-culturally informed view of value creation.


The authors develop an original conceptual framework to model the value co-creation process through which art is legitimised. An illustrative case study of artist Damien Hirst demonstrates the application of this framework.


The findings illustrate how value is co-constructed in the visual arts market, demonstrating a need to understand social relationships as value is dispersed, situational and in-flux.

Research limitations/implications

The authors problematise the view that value emerges as a result of operant resources “producing effects” through working on operand resources. Rather, adopting the socio-cultural approach, the authors demonstrate how value emerges and is co-constructed, negotiated and circulated. The authors establish the need to reconceptualise value as created collaboratively with other actors within industry sectors. The locus of control is, therefore, dispersed. Moreover, power dynamics at play mean that “consumers” are not homogenous; some are more important than others in the valuation process.

Practical implications

This more distributed notion of value blurs boundaries between product and service, producer and consumer, offering a more unified perspective on value co-creation, which can be used in strategic decision-making.


This paper illustrates that value co-creation must be understood in relation to understanding patterns of hierarchy that influence this process.



Preece, C., Kerrigan, F. and O’Reilly, D. (2016), "Framing the work: the composition of value in the visual arts", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 50 No. 7/8, pp. 1377-1398.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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