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Professor Katy Mason

Professor of Markets and Management Practice

Katy Mason

Lancaster University

Charles Carter Building



Tel: +44 1524 510983

Office Hours:

Monday 10-11am

PhD supervision

I am looking for strong PhD candidates with an interest in market practices and for students particularly interested in studying the role of representational practices in market making. I am also looking for a PhD candidate interested in studying how innovation and market practices are made valuable. Candidates should be interested in conducting ethnographic research in a business, organisational and/or management contexts.

Funding is available through the LUMS Scholarship Competition.

Professional Role

President, British Academy of Management

Associate Dean for Research (August 2020-July 2023)


Katy's expertise lies in the making and shaping of moral markets. Making moral markets is a particular form of open and collaborative innovation, that aims to co-design markets for the good of people and the planet; infrastructuring an ‘everyone economy’ that (re)uses materials in ways that best protect our planetary boundaries.

Studying the management practices that mobilise the collective and co-ordinated actions that constitute moral markets, Katy has worked with organisations such as Rolls-Royce, Microsoft, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, the Cabinet Office, North Yorkshire County Council, Quickline and Cybermoor. Her research is generating insights into how market actors can effectively work across organisational boundaries, crossing social worlds to collaboratively co-design real-world solutions, makng accessible, (re)usable, and valuable innovative goods and services. These cross-boundary connections are helping firms learn how to build a circular economy, one market connection at a time, and are transforming the way markets work for our society and the planet.

Before entering academia, Katy worked as Marketing Excutive for a number of blue chip companies. She is currently President of the British Academy of Management, Fellow of the British Academy of Management, Fellow of the Academy of Social Science, Cabinet Office Policy Fellow and Chartered Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. Her work has been published in Journal Management Studies, Organisation Studies, British Journal of Management, Industrial Marketing Management, Marketing Theory, Long Range Planning and Academy of Management Learning and Education.

Current Research

Building Digital Market Infrastructures using 5G: Use Cases for Integrated Rural Communitities MANY

This interdisciplinary project brings together a group of communications and networks experts who are developing and implementing a 5G rural connectivity with management practices scholars to generate business and social innovation that enable socio-economic flourishing in place. Working with Sharon Wagg at Lancaster University, and Luis Araujo, Manchester Univeristy, we are developing four use cases: for health and social service provision and consumption, for infrastructure and flooding management, for emergency service provision, and for tourism attractions (service provision and consumption). This is an exciting project were we are working with the citizens of North Yorkshire and with our partners Quickline, North Yorkshire County Council, Flo Culture, Cybermoor and University of York.

As with the 5GRIT project, we continue to work towards developing a method for measuring the socio-economic impacts of these technologies as the collaborating partners move their commercialisation forward.



Recently Completed Projects:

Imagining Markets for 5G: Use Cases for Integrated Rural Communitities 5GRIT

This interdisciplinary project brings together a group of communications and networks experts who are developing and implementing a 5G rural testbed with management practices scholars to explicate new imaginings and makings of markets for 5G. Working with Teea Palo at Edinburgh University, we are developing use cases for the testbed with key partner organisations: CybermoorBlue Bear, QuicklineWorld Around Me (WAM) and Precision Decisions

The use cases are:  1) the remote management of crops and livestock (using drones with video imaging payloads); 2) an augmented reality and integrated tourism experience for ‘visitors’; 3) home broadband in rural ‘not spots’. We are also working towards developing a method for measuring the socio-economic impacts of these technologies as the collaborating partners move their commercialisation forward. 

This project is supported by: The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport through their 5G Testbeds Programme

5G rural integrated testbed

Making a Market for Ideas: the Management Practices of an Open Innovation Team

There has been tremendous interest in recent years in the concept of Open Innovation. This seductive term has been shown to have a performative power all of its own, with firms widely reported as adopting Open Innovation approaches in different ways and with varying degrees of success. Yet in all these studies, Open Innovation is conceptualised as collaboration; as relationships built on trust while simultaneously being positioned as a key competitive practice. Perhaps surprisingly, market exchange is never mentioned. In this paper we reconceptualise Open Innovation as a market for ideas. In so doing, we consider how a market for ideas becomes situated within and between organisational boundaries as a new socio-material site of exchange. Concordant with extant market studies, we conceptualise markets as coordinate ‘the theoretical and practical, expert and lay knowledge, know-how and skills developed and mobilized in the process of designing and managing market socio-technical agencements’ (Çalışkan and Callon, 2010: 19). But additionally we offer an depature from extant market, where the value of innovation is typically realised through ‘product markets’ and focuses instead on how a market for ideas can be put in practice.

Product markets are those where innovations are turned into goods that can be exchanged. The market for ideas, or as Coase (1974: 384) puts it, the market for “the expression of opinion in speech and writing and other activities”, on the other hand, is premised on innovations exchanged before they become discrete, tradeable goods. Ideas are  exchanged at the point where innovation is still just an idea, even if that idea is codified in a publication or registration, in the form of intellectual property rights.

In this project we look at how a market for ideas becomes situated in government following an open innovation initiative in the UK Cabinet Office. The Open Innovation initiative set out to capitalise on the UKRC’s ‘impact agenda’ in which university performance is evaluated through the Research Excellence Framework (REF), in part at least, on how academic research conducted at that university has brought about economic or social change. We look at how a small and extra-ordinary Cabinet Office team work to conceptualise the market and on the one hand to make particular and sometime opposing ideas valuable to government officials, and on the other hand turn ideas into impactful engagements between academics and policy makers.

I am working on this project with Chris Ford, Accounting and Finance, LUMS, Roger Whitham and David Perez, ImaginationLancaster

Cabinet Office Open Innovation Team Blog

Cabinet Office Open Innovation Team Blog: Public Sector Open Innovation

Making Markets to transform Health Futures: the marketization of Life Sciences

This study follows the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) to look at the emerging business modelling practices of a bioscience catalyst designed to make-markets for new and emerging biotechnologies. SBC’s activities are helping to innovate the UK’s bioscience industry and health markets by acting as an incubator, connector and catalyst for change. SBC’s management team are acting in ‘entrepreneurial ways’, adopting relatively loose formal controls by circulating and developing a strong vision shared between funders, managers and other stakeholders (including GlaxoSmithKline, Wellcome Trust and BIS). The SBC site is designed to foster collaboration and interaction between tenant companies with the intention that the combination of opportunity and cooperation will generate innovation and commercial success. This study maps the unfolding activities of SBC. Finding explain how SBC’s business modelling practices are constructing new understandings of markets, socialising scientists into markets in particular ways and in doing so are connecting and integrating the communities’ market and business models. Our findings suggest that these, market, marketing and management practices are beginning to generate new economic models for health and wellbeing markets.

Video report available here

Read a White Paper on Biotech and Health Futures here

This research is supported by:NEMODE

Making Markets: The Practice of Business Models

The press is replete with stories suggesting that the way firms develop business models (that interact with and shape markets) is likely to affect their ability to compete internationally.  Yet we know very little about the micro, firm-level practices that underpin business models.  Government policy initiatives have done much to promote macro-economic management and provide a helpful regulatory environment for business to prosper. However, the key to improvements in firm productivity lies in understanding what goes on inside productivity processes and how this links to the external macro environment.   That is, we need to understand more about the process of ‘translating’ a firm’s market vision and business strategy encapsulated in their business model into localised, contextualised and enacted market practices.  The aim of this research is explore and identify promising practices that enable managers to make markets through the development and adaptation of business models.

This research is supported by: AIM and the ESRC

The Practice of Business Models and the Role of Corporate Identity

Research suggests that business models are co-created by the interactions of firms within a network.  The purpose of this research is to explore how the different firms within a network percieve their own Corporate Identity and the Corporate Identities of those firms they have dealings with.  Further, the study sets out to explore how these differing percieptions of Corporate Identity influence management and marketing practices.

This research is supported by: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia  

Research Grants

Research Area: Making Markets: the Practice of Business Models

Awarding Body: AIM

Research Area: The Practice of Business Models and the Role of Corporate Identity

Awarding Body: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia

Research Area: Flexible Business Models in the Service Sector

Awarding Body: Lancaster University Management School Pump-Priming Grant

Research Area: An exploartion of the impact of horizontal mergers and acquisitions on buyer-seller relationships.

Awarding Body: Lancaster University Small Grant Scheme

AIM Visiting International Fellows:


Current Teaching

Currently I am engaging with guest lectures only, as management commitments allow.

My most recent core teaching the MSc. Marketing: in October 2015 had our first intake of the MSc Marketing programme. This programme has been developed with careful consultation across an experienced team of academics, practitioners and students and has resulted in an innovative programme for graduates wanting to pursue a career in marketing but who have not previously studied marketing or worked in a marketing role. I had the privileged to be Programme Director.

Undergraduate Studies: Marketing Part One: 101 Marketing Innovation.  Marketing Part Two: MKTG 315 Marketing Innovation

Postgraduate Studies: MSc Advanced Marketing Management: Business Services & Service Networks; Business Models & Market Makers; Dissertation Supervision and Project Supervision.


BA (Hons) Management and Marketing (Wolverhampton), MA International Marketing (Greenwich), PhD (Warwick), Certificate of Academic Practice.

Research Interests

My research interests originate from work experience in industry.  This experience drove my PhD research which explored the relationship between how firms structured and managed their supply chains and the level of market orientation they achieved.  Today, my research continues in this broad area as I endeavour to explore the issues that drive successful business networks and the actions managers take to try and enroll others in their efforts to make markets.

My research now focuses on understanding how managers develop promising market-making practices through business model innovation.  Understanding the practices of markets and business models requires an exploration of the different elements of business models and the interactions between these elements; specifically the network, knowledge, revenue, relationship and market architectures.  Such archetictures frame the  mechanisms and processes that cross organisational boundaries as firms attempt to co-ordinate and manage their strategic business networks.

Currently, I’m working on variety of projects including a project on the co-evolution of supplier relationships and their business models.  This project explores how firms develop and change their relationships over time and follows an international network of firms embarking on the establishment of a long term relationship, as a design activity is outsourced for the first time. I am interested in the material and corporate identity artifacts that are invoked to shape these businesses and their markets, and the market representations that are generated as mangers and other market actors work through this process.

I am currently seeking funding (and have seedcorn funding) for two new projects: 1) 'SeaSense' which is concerned with exploring the development and use of market devices that can be circulated to shape sustainable fishing markets; and 2) the 'Market-ing Science' project that seeks to understand how toxicologists, chemists, biologists and other scientists are managing to launch themselves as Biotech startups and shift from their existence in a sea of science with no immediate entanglement with markets to becoming important market-shapers.

I am looking for PhD Students with and interest in studying market-making practices. The three  contexts that seem particularly pertinent are:

1) Health Markets: there are big changes in the healthcare and wellbeing. For example, new technologies, engineering expertise, data analytics and pharmacutical discovery are all tranforming the way we think about healthcare, and how the market system for healthcare might work in the future.  Developing effective, inclusive healthcare markets is going to be central to the wellbeing of our societies in future.

2) Food Markets: our understanding of the production systems of food is changing conceptualisations of what good markets for food might look like; raising questions about waste, sustainable market practices and the kinds of policy interventions we need to secure food production in the future.  Research into how sustainable market systems can be developed in this area, understanging the role of different market actors (with very different forms of expertise) in transforming these systems in a co-ordinated way suggest opportunites policy intervention and interesting collective efforts.

3) BoP Markets: Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) markets are concerned with understanding markets where more extreme conditions exist in terms of the limitation of, or access to productive resources.  This raising interesting questions around how people at the BoP can organise to engage in markets in ways that works for them. Again, this question has important policy and innovation implications suggesting a great site of inquiry where significant contributions to the growing literature on market studies can be made. 

Two themes that are common to these very different settings are the role of innovation in the transfomation and change of these markets, and the tools, devices and practices of the market-makers that attempt to enrol and mobilise collective action to bring about the transformation of these markets. Note, tools and devices might include business models, market models and other epistemic objects that help managers make sense of their work, drive expectation and demonstrate intent;and the study of practices is concerned with understanding the patterned, reasoned actions of actors in their roles and particular practice settings. It is not a huge stretch to see how innovation and its management might reshape markets in ways that link the food and wellbeing agendas together, or BoP markets and innovation, food and/or health. These contexts are dynamic and rapidly changing. Understanding the unfolding practices in these area around innovation, coordinated action and policy interventions suggests a fruitful stomping ground for market studies researchers. I would welcome research proposals in these areas.

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