Monetising social impact: a critique of the ‘Financialisation’ of social value

Michael J. Roy*, Simon Teasdale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this chapter the authors will critically examine the concept of ‘social value’, and how it has come to be tied up with the commodification and financialisation of everyday life. Drawing on Polanyi’s concept of ‘fictitious commodification’, the authors will draw upon two main examples to illustrate this point. The emergence of Social Impact Bonds and social impact measurement tools such as Social Return on Investment have troubling implications, furthering what Polanyi identified as the ‘market society’. This chapter outlines what may be done to refocus attention on what it means to ‘value’ the social, and how new thinking is needed to shape an economy from the ashes of the old [Relevant SDGs: SDG3: Good Health and Wellbeing; SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities].
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Impact Measurement for a Sustainable Future: The Power of Aesthetics and Practical Implications
EditorsRichard Hazenberg, Claire Paterson-Young
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030831523
ISBN (Print)9783030831516, 9783030831547
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • social value
  • social impact
  • social impact bonds
  • social return on investment
  • financialisation
  • commodification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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