Collective Behaviour, bubbles & runaway sentiments

This ongoing research programme focuses on a multidisciplinary understanding of collective behaviour in today's liquid conditions and the long-term impact on sustainability.

The programme is led by Nikhilesh Dholakia, Professor Emeritus, University of Rhode Island, USA.

This programme began by laying down a pathway to construct a multidisciplinary metatheory of bubbles as well as to offer a first version of a theory of bubbles that draws from many economic and social disciplines. Bubbles have been understood primarily in financial-economic terms. Bubbles, however, are also socio-political-cultural phenomena, with intense and accelerating interactions of engineered hype and feverish expectations. Viewing bubbles in a multidisciplinary frame helps to develop a metatheory of bubbles.

A middle-range theory of bubbles was put forward by Dholakia and Turcan by comparing four types of assets – entertainment, commodities, financial securities (stocks), and housing properties – where bubbles could and do form occasionally. Their viewpoint paper won the Emerald Awards for Excellence-2014: Highly Commended Paper… Learn more.

A metatheory of bubbles was later developed inductively by Dholakia and Turcan by presenting short case studies of minor and major bubbles; then identifying in a comprehensive yet parsimonious way the constructs (conceptual building blocks) of the theory of bubbles, setting its temporal and contextual boundaries, underling economic, psychological, or social dynamics assumptions of the theory; and finally discussing and exemplifying how the identified constructs, temporal and contextual boundaries, as well as theory assumptions are related... Learn more.

A metatheory of bubbles has far-reaching implications for the study and practice of entrepreneurship and marketing, public and corporate finance, and public policy. It also contributes to the defining issues for economic sociology that relate to how the relationships between the economic and the social are conceptualized, and how sociology as a discipline should define its agenda vis-à-vis economics. This project also aims to provide an understanding of the precarious political-economic system we live in, and explores possible alternatives.

With this programme we lay a foundation to facilitate and encourage future dynamic scholarly conversations and research as well as policy debates on the sources and outcomes of metatheory of bubbles as a multidisciplinary – economic, social, political, and cultural – phenomena.

New trends and issues – that keep arising constantly – are often identified and commented on at this blog site on ResearchGate: TBRP: Theory Building Research Programme.

read more

TBRP Contact






Michael K. Simonsen

TBRP on social media