Stockholms universitet
School of Business
Imaginära Organisationer

Artificial Market Actors:
Explorations of Automated Business Interactions

Akademisk avhandling som för avläggande av ekonomie doktorsexamen vid Stockholms universitet,
offentligen försvarad i Philipssalen, Kräftriket,
fredagen den 9 november 2001 kl 13.00
Richard Gatarski,

This page updated 2001-11-14

[About the dissertation] [Press release in Swedish]
[The defence] [Abstract] [Central figures] [Short cuts from the dissertation] [Feedback]

[General information about Richard´s research]

About the dissertation

2001-10-12: This page posted.
2001-10-15: Dissertation printed
2001-10-17: Revised pdf-versions (Corrected Journal title on p. 83, added revision date on p ii, and revision history on p. iv)
2001-11-14: Added link to press release, adjusted this page to have past tense.

School of Business Research Reports No. 2001: 15
ISBN 91-7265-357-4
ISSN 1400-3279

Book graphic design by Iréne Thisner, Avril.
Book cover photo by Iréne Thisner. Hey-Deeo (left) and Barney

The Barney name and character are trademarks of Lyons Partnership, L.P. Registered U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. © Marc Brown. 1998.
Hey-Deeo is a Furby, which is a trade mark of Tiger Electronics, Ltd. Patent pending. © Tiger Electronics, Ltd. 1998.

The defence

The defence took place November 9, 2001 in Philipssalen, Kräftriket, Building 3 [see C-6 at map]

Professor Bo Hedberg, School of Business, Stockolm university, Sweden

Professor Fred van Raaij, Katholieke Universiteit Brabant, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Grading committe:
Professor Solweig Wikström, School of Business, Stockholm university, Sweden
Professor Robert Picard, Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, Turku, Finland
Professor Carl Gustaf Jansson, Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm university, Sweden


Digital machines (computer hardware and software) have been used to support business activities for over 50 years. During the past 10 years, these machines have changed profoundly in terms of numbers, types of application, and features. Whereas academic marketing literature has clearly recognized this development, marketing research has concentrated on how people and organizations utilize digital machines to their advantage, indicating that the machines per se have not been the unit of analysis.

This study explores how business interactions that are executed by contemporary digital machines influence marketing practices. Hence, the research is an effort to contribute to the development of marketing theories that acknowledge interactions from digital machines in a useful way. The investigation is guided by questions concerning human-likeness of digital machines, the role of such machine's in marketing practice, the relation between marketing theories and practice, and the usefulness of established theories in the present context.

This dissertation consists of two parts: an introductory section that summarizes the investigations and relates the data to theory and four independent, but related, articles that make up the empirical component of the study. Each article approaches the research questions from different perspectives, that is, theoretical assumptions, marketing relationships, machine learning, and how selling is organized.

The main conclusion is that digital machines have been equipped with cognitive and interactive skills to such a complex extent that it is useful to depict them as artificial market actors-hereafter referred to simply as artificials. The dissertation closes by outlining the theoretical and practical implications of the findings, describing the contributions of the present research, and suggesting areas for future research.

Keywords: Artificials, Marketing, Communication, Interactivity, E-business, Computer, Internet, Agents, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial behavior.

Central figures

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Short cuts from the dissertation

A short (for copyright reasons) version of the dissertation is available as a pdf-file.
This 23 page version, updated October 17, 2001 (1.7 Mbyte) includes the: