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Marketization or Marketisation is a restructuring process that enables state enterprises to operate as market-oriented firms by changing the legal environment in which they operate.[1]

This is achieved through reduction of state subsidies, organizational restructuring of management (corporatization), decentralization and in some cases partial privatization.[2] These steps, it is argued, will lead to the creation of a functioning market system by converting the previous state enterprises to operate under market pressures as state-owned commercial enterprises.


  • Aspects 1
    • Marketized solutions of government and market externalities 1.1
    • Marketization of government branches 1.2
  • Theory 2
  • Examples 3
  • Marketization of the nonprofit and voluntary sector 4
    • Overview of nonprofit organizations 4.1
      • Rationale behind the marketization of nonprofits 4.1.1
      • Funding sources 4.1.2
      • Public sources and subsidies 4.1.3
      • Charitable giving, endowments, and major donors 4.1.4
      • Fee-for-services 4.1.5
    • Perspectives on marketization: A pro/con discussion of current literature 4.2
      • Pro 4.2.1
      • Con 4.2.2
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7


Marketized solutions of government and market externalities

Here the government seeks to solve market and government externalities with market-based solutions rather than through direct administrative means. Supporters argue that the market externality of pollution can be addressed through the sale of pollution permits to companies and corporations, thus allowing the market to "see" the information and "realize" the harm done by allowing the market to transmit pollution costs to society. This is presented as an alternative to direct administrative means, whereby the government would use command and control means to direct state enterprises and private firms to comply with the guidelines.

Marketization of government branches

This is often described as "competitive federalism" or "limited government". Proponents argue that markets perform better than government administration. Therefore, marketization seeks to make government agencies and branches compete with each other when government branches and agencies are absolutely necessary (i.e. remaining agencies and branches not privatized or liberalized away). For example, supporters argue that a voucher system for public education would make public schools compete with one another thus making them more accountable and efficient.


Critics of globalization, privatization, and liberalization have deemed that it is unworkable without major government regulations to balance the forces involved. They argue that marketization can result in market failure.

Free Market thinkers like Hayek, Friedman and von Mises believe markets can work with far less government regulation. As they see it, the combination of liberalization, privatization, and marketization ensure that globalization fulfills the promises of peace, prosperity, and cooperation that its liberal scholars and philosophers have promised. Without marketization, supporters argue that government created externalities can distort the information available to the market which in turn makes the market not work as well as it could.


Milton Friedman offers examples of what marketized government solutions can look like. Friedman's proposed education voucher system promotes competition between public schools (and private) thus creating a market based solution to educational issues. See Private prison.

Marketization of the nonprofit and voluntary sector

Overview of nonprofit organizations

  • Academic Entrepreneurialism and Its Related Concepts: A Review of the Literature by Hei-hang Hayes Tang; Published 2009, Research Studies in Education 7: 42-49;ISBN 978-962-8093-50-2.
  • Democracy, the Economy and the Marketisation of Education by Hugh Lauder; Published 1992, Victoria University Press; ISBN 0-86473-234-1.
  • Globalization and Marketization in Education: A Comparative Study of Hong Kong and Singapore by Ka-Ho Mok, Jason Tan; Published 2004, Edward Elgar Publishing; ISBN 1-84376-380-X.
  • Governance And Marketisation In Vocational And Continuing Education by Rudolf Husemann, Anja Heikkinen; Published 2004, Peter Lang Publishing, Incorporated; ISBN 3-631-50533-7.
  • Marketisation of Governance: Critical Feminist Perspectives from the South by Viviene Taylor; Published 2000, SADEP, University of Cape Town; ISBN 0-7992-2019-1.
  • Marketization and Democracy: East Asian Experiences by Samantha Fay Ravich; Published 2000, Cambridge University Press; ISBN 0-521-66165-X.
  • Marketisation of the Careers Service by Jane V.Helmsley Brown, Nicholas Foskett; Published 1998, University of Southampton, Centre for Research in Education Marketing; ISBN 0-85432-650-2.
  • Marketization, Restructuring and Competition in Transition Industries of Central and Eastern Europe by Marvin R. Jackson, Wouter Biesbrouck; Published 1995, Avebury; ISBN 1-85972-047-1.
  • Pluralism and Marketisation in the Health Sector: Meeting Health Needs in Contexts of Social Change in Low and Middle Income Countries by Gerald Bloom, Hilary Standing; Published 2001, Institute of Development Studies; ISBN 1-85864-361-9.
  • Politics of Marketization in Rural China by Wei Pan; Published 2001, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Incorporated; ISBN 0-8476-8572-1.
  • Social Welfare and the Market: Papers from a Conference on Marketisation by Frances Millard; Published 1988, Suntory-Toyota International Centre for Economics and Related Disciplines; ISBN 0-85328-115-7.
  • The Marketization of Social Security by John E. Dixon, Mark Hyde; Published 2001, Quorum/Greenwood; ISBN 1-56720-325-6.
  • Understanding Marketisation Within the Chinese Information Sector by Doris Fischer; Published 2003, Institut für Rundfunkökonomie (Institute for Broadcasting Economics, Cologne University); ISBN 3-934156-68-1.
  • The Marketization of Society: Economizing the Non-Economic by Uwe Schimank and Ute Volkmann; Published 2012; Bremen: Research Cluster “Welfare Societies”.

Further reading

  1. ^ Rolph van der Hoeven, György Sziráczki. Lessons from Privatization. (1997). International Labour Organization. ISBN 92-2-109452-9 p.101
  2. ^ Sarah Vickerstaff. The Transformation of Labour Relations. (1998). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-828979-0 p.63
  3. ^ Child, Curtis (September 2010). "Whither the Turn? The Ambiguous Nature of Nonprofits' Commercial Revenue". Oxford Journals 89 (1): 145–161.  
  4. ^ Tuckman, Howard P. (1998). "Competition, Commercialization, and the Evolution of Nonprofit Organizational Structures". Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 17 (2): 175–194.  
  5. ^ Tuckman, Howard P. (1998). "Commercialization, and the Evolution of Nonprofit Organizational Structures". Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 17 (2): 175–194.  
  6. ^ Sanders, Matthew (2012). "Theorizing Nonprofit Organizations as Contradictory Enterprises: Understanding the Inherent Tensions of Nonprofit Marketization". Management Communication Quarterly 26 (1): 179–185.  
  7. ^ Froelich, K.A. (1999). "Diversification of Revenue Strategies: Evolving Resource Dependence in Nonprofit Organizations". Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 28 (3): 246–268.  
  8. ^ Guo, Baorong (2006). "Charity for Profit? Exploring Factors Associated with the Commercialization of Human Service Nonprofits". Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 35 (1): 123–138.  
  9. ^ Dees, J. Gregory (1998). "Enterprising Nonprofits". Harvard Business Review: 55–67. 
  10. ^ Young, D.R. (1998). "Commercialism in nonprofit social service associations". Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 17: 278–297.  
  11. ^ Adams, C (1991). "Commercial venturing and the transformation of America's voluntary social welfare agencies". Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 20: 25–38.  
  12. ^ Froelich, Karen (1999). "Diversification of Revenue Strategies: Evolving Resource Dependence in Nonprofit Organizations". Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 28 (3): 246–268.  
  13. ^ Dees, Gregory (1998). "Enterprising Nonprofits". Harvard Business Review: 55–67. 
  14. ^ Tuckman, H.P. (1998). "Competition, Commercialization, and the Evolution of Nonprofit Organizational Structures". Public Policy Analysis and Management 17 (2): 175–194.  
  15. ^ Froelich, Karen (1999). "Diversification of Revenue Strategies: Evolving Resource Dependence in Nonprofit Organizations". Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 28 (3): 246–268.  
  16. ^ Frumkin, Peter (2005). On Being Nonprofit: A Conceptual and Policy Primer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 
  17. ^ Eikenberry, Angela (2004). "The Marketization of the Nonprofit Sector: Civil Society at Risk?". Public Administration Review 64 (2): 132–140.  
  18. ^ Brainard, Lori (2004). "Toward nonprofit organization reform in the voluntary spirit: Lessons from the Internet". Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 33 (3): 435–457.  


See also

[18] The responsibility of nonprofits to those in need is said to become potentially overshadowed by economic and competition-centered values that result from enhanced market-based and commercial activities. Increased desire of voluntary organizations to “secure

Aside from diversion from mission and structural/staffing changes, the literature notes the potential for lost sector legitimacy as the “distinctions between the business, government, and nonprofit sectors continue to blur and their efforts overlap."[16] Related to this blurring effect, is the theory that [17]

Structural organizational changes are also mentioned as a potential negative impact of enhanced commercial activity among nonprofits. From organizational changes necessary to accommodate market-based endeavors, such as growth in “number and scope” of administrative offices that manage profit-seeking efforts, to the “tendency to replace traditional, social problem-focused board members with entrepreneurial, business-oriented individuals,” changes take effort from work directly related to mission accomplishment.[15]

Negative associations between marketization and the nonprofit sector are also present within the literature. One of the main criticisms brought forth against the integration of commercial principles and activities within voluntary organizations is the potential for diversion from the original organization mission. According to Tuckman, a “strong likelihood exists that the missions of nonprofits engaged in commercial activities will grow more ambiguous over time.” The potential tendency of leadership to increasingly look at activities in terms of revenue is also as a result of increased commercial activity is discussed.[14]


Studies conducted of commercial activity in national nonprofit services associations[10] and voluntary social agencies[11] “discovered that such initiatives were generally related to and contributed substantively to mission accomplishment."[12] In the same vain, it has been said that leaders within the nonprofit sector can see benefit from understanding and finding ways to employ commercial forces for social good.[13]

Portions of the literature surrounding nonprofit marketization also consider the positive effects that result from the aforementioned diversified and more sustainable collection of revenue streams. The ability of market-associated activities to “contribute to an organization’s market discipline."[9]

Marketization is seen by many to hold the ability to provide positive outcomes for nonprofit organizations. One such potential benefit is the diversification of revenue streams and enhanced financial stability. With commercial and market approaches gaining popularity as alternative or supplementary funding sources, their flexibility and less-restrictive nature as revenue sources are noted.[7]


Literature related to the marketization of the nonprofit and nonprofit organizations.

Perspectives on marketization: A pro/con discussion of current literature

A fee-based service is not a new concept for nonprofit organizations. Prior to the 1960s, nonprofits quite often utilized a fee-for-service model. This most commonly is seen in nonprofit hospitals. Additionally, gift shops at museums are another form of revenue often associated with fee-for-service models.


Charitable giving, endowments and donations do play a significant role in funding for NPOs. However, this still does not provide enough funding for NPOs to maintain sustainability and provide adequate services.

Charitable giving, endowments, and major donors

Additionally, grant money often comes with performance measures or quotas that are required to meet in order to maintain funding. Many nonprofits do not have either the administrative capacity to track this data or the ability to physically meet the performance measures.

A public source refers to government assistance either through awarded grants or appropriated funding. Prior to the 1960s, nonprofit organizations relied mostly on fee-for-services and charitable giving. However, with the political climate changing significantly, it became apparent that society was using nonprofit organizations more than before. Additionally, governmental entities realized that by entering into a public-private partnership, they could fund nonprofit organizations and essentially hire then to provide services that governments did not want to provide. Nonprofit organizations began to apply and receive grant awards and appropriations for services. This trend in funding began to decline in the 1980s under the Reagan administration. With the reduction in funding available from the federal government, nonprofits have become increasingly competitive amongst each other.[5]

Public sources and subsidies

Nonprofit organizations have been notoriously plagued with funding issues since their inception. This is due largely in part to the basic concept of nonprofits: to provide a service that neither the government nor the private sector provides a population. Nonprofit organizations receive funding in three ways: 1. Public sources and subsidies; 2. Charitable giving, endowments, major donors; 3. Fee-based services and venture enterprises.

Funding sources

Commercialization or marketization (the terms are often used interchangeably in the marketization debate among scholars) occurs when a NPO decides to provide goods or services with the intent of turning a profit. Nonprofits’ resource dependency often lead them to constantly look for additional, nonconventional for nonprofit, funding. Factors behind a nonprofits decision to marketize are usually compounded by issues such as increased demand for services, inability to tax, and other funding sources’ inability to cover operational and service costs for the NPO. In return, the NPO enters into a mixed marketplace and thus begins to compete either with other NPO’s or for-profit entities.[4]

Rationale behind the marketization of nonprofits

This results in nonprofits becoming resource dependent and continuing to struggle to find and maintain funding. This struggle has resulted in marketization of NPOs. [3]

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