- The Academic Association for Organizational Science
- 組織学会大会論文集 (ISSN:21868530)
- vol.5, no.2, pp.41-48, 2016 (Released:2016-12-14)
What is “good” sound to listen to music? How does the market work? This paper investigates market mechanisms of Japan’s high-end audio industry as linked to the global markets, from the point of view of pragmatic valuation as tasting of hardware products. It aims to test its validity and potential with relevance to the network analysis. The industry is a “creative industry” where art, technology and culture intersect to produce “good” quality sound for serious audiophiles who buy luxurious high-end equipments to enjoy listening to the aesthetic music. The serial work by Hennion on taste discusses attachments as a moment of sensations as to become music lovers or alcoholics. By contrast, applying network analysis of relevant social networks and fieldwork interviews of audiophiles in Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, UK, and US markets, this research study focused on the hardware, which mediates the art of music and human minds as agents, the point largely ignored by the existing literature. As a result, the study found that the concept of “high fidelity” is the foundational notion of “good” sound as a shared benchmark among the stakeholders. However the complexity of valuation of sound as combination of art, culture and technology generates ambiguity or ambivalence regarding the definition. The fact requires a multi-dimensional approach to the tasting or evaluation with a rich and sophisticated repertoire of pragmatic knowledge from seasoned experience, highly subjective judgements as well as objective metric tests from engineering and technology. This ambivalence of high-fidelity is the engines that drives the market by creating the dynamic market valorization mechanisms where intermediaries coordinate stakeholders to stabilize value of the products through collaboration, confirmation, information sharing, legitimation, and updating or upscaling as agencement. This approach thus can elaborate on the coordination processes as well as the competitive dynamics of social networks in the marketplace beyond the relational structure.