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Open AccessArticle

Market Power Extended: From Foucault to Meadows

Centre for Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Business Economics, Hasselt University, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium
Department of Economy, Science & Innovation, Flemish Administration, Koning Albert II laan 35, 1030 Brussel, Belgium
Department of Engineering Management, Faculty of Applied Economics, University of Antwerp, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2843;
Received: 24 June 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 8 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
Market power is a complex matter that is approximated with quantitative indicators within economics. However, these indicators may not fully capture market power, or they may fail to identify it, although it may be present. Moreover, a quantitative approach restricts market power as a concept, impeding the ability to discuss its relationship with other concepts, such as sustainability. This paper extends the definition of market power, following Foucault’s understanding of power and the associated theoretical discussions of power from different disciplines. We extended Foucault’s work by including systems thinking to capture the importance of the prevalent system’s paradigm, which is the ultimate initiator of action. Apart from distinguishing different elements of power, we also integrate an instrumental view on the elements of power. The developed frame allows us to understand the dynamic character of power as a force that strives to maintain or ameliorate the position of the paradigm that it serves. Based on this frame, we outline how this extended understanding of power can be used to analyze market power itself, and its relation with sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: power; market power; Foucault; sustainability; systems thinking power; market power; Foucault; sustainability; systems thinking
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Biely, K.; Maes, D.; Van Passel, S. Market Power Extended: From Foucault to Meadows. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2843.

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