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Wonder How Social Relations Affect Economic Relations?
Introducing Systems of Exchange, an economic sociology resource.


What Is Systems of Exchange?

Systems of Exchange is a typology that assumes economic behavior may be influenced by social relations. Four different systems, Price, Associative, Moral, and Communal, have different assumptions about how and why people act as they do. We invite you to explore the ideas and cases on this website.

This framework was developed by Nicole Woolsey Biggart and Rick Delbridge in their article Systems of Exchange, which won the 2005 Academy of Management Review Best Paper Award.

You can access the research, case studies, and teaching resources here on this website.


By sharing the framework of the research and original publication, we aim to inspire future research in economic sociology. 

Teaching Resources

Ideas and examples for teaching the framework to undergraduate students are available for free.


Case studies and blog posts will help you to better understand the application of the framework in real life.


We invite you to be our guest blog writer. We also encourage you to send us materials for additional teaching resources.


& Articles

A series of case studies and updated posts will clarify how Systems of Exchange work in real life.

Research Team


Rick Delbridge

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Professor of Organisational Analysis and Dean of Research, Innovation and Enterprise at Cardiff University in Wales


Nicole W. Biggart

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Research Professor and Dean Emerita at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis


Kelsey D. Meagher

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Postdoctoral Researcher at the
University of California, Davis

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