If it's your job to influence purchase decisions, you MUST read this article. In fact, if it's your job to MAKE purchase decisions--you should also read this article. Postrel has rounded up some of the most fabulous quotes from scholars and researchers who are forming a new model for economic behavior in a world made of relationships.
Boston Globe: Market share by Virginia Postrel
While economists continue to probe into social life, a growing academic subfield known as economic sociology is doing just the opposite--bringing tools and concepts from sociology to bear on the economy. We cannot understand how people earn, spend, and invest their money, economic sociologists argue, unless we understand social relations. If, as economists contend, incentives and choice are everywhere, so are social conventions and personal connections.