How to Create Value via Object Circulation in Gift-Systems

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Gift-systems build relationships and create various types of value for the individuals who participate in them. Organizations may also reap the benefits of gift-systems when they understand, support, and foster practices of object circulation within these systems. We adopt a theoretical framework based on anthropological approaches to value-in-action to explain value creation for individuals in contemporary gift systems. We mobilize ethnographic and netnographic data on the circulation of small wooden chapels containing a statue of the Virgin Mary among Catholic households to develop a conceptual framework that illuminates value creation in gift systems and demonstrates how practices of circulation (setting, protecting, registering, retrieving, keeping, passing on, monitoring, interacting, and storytelling) can be used to generate value for organizations.