Market bifurcations in board sports: How consumers shape markets through boundary work

Carlos Diaz Ruiz*, Marian Makkar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The market-shaping literature recognizes that consumers are actors who can shape markets. However, research into the mechanisms of consumption-driven market-shaping is only emerging. This paper shows that one way in which consumers shape markets is through boundary work, as consumers make, break, and re-make the boundaries among multiple markets. Empirically, this paper investigates how user innovation practices catalyzed the formation of four boardsport markets: surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, and stand-up-paddling. The findings show that consumers shape markets in three steps: (1) generating local variations of consumption practices; (2) imposing order and coherence to intermediate frames; and (3) channeling creative consumption practices into market formation. This paper contributes to the market-shaping literature by conceptualizing how consumers splinter an existing singular market into new markets. We coin the term 'market bifurcations' to describe how a singular, seemingly cohesive consumer practice breaks down, splintering into several local variations, which can then catalyze the formation of new markets.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Business Research
Pages (from-to)38-50
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • market-shaping
  • market boundaries
  • boundary work
  • boundary objects
  • user innovation
  • sports marketing


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