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How Industry Analysts Shape the Digital Future$
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Neil Pollock and Robin Williams

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704928

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704928.001.0001

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From IT Markets to the Sociology of Business Knowledge

From IT Markets to the Sociology of Business Knowledge

(p.298) Chapter 11 From IT Markets to the Sociology of Business Knowledge
How Industry Analysts Shape the Digital Future

Neil Pollock

Neil Williams

Oxford University Press

Revisiting the central concerns of this book, the chapter asks whether the current portrayal of the ‘performativity’ of markets as (partially or fully) built around financial/economic theories—is useful for analyzing business contexts. The chapter rejects the dichotomy in existing literature between implausibly ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ readings of the performativity of such expertise. The (strong) performativity thesis that portrays economic theory as ‘doing things to people’ seems less appropriate in a business setting in which cognitive authority is distributed amongst an array of sceptical and reflexive players. What may be at stake is less the performativity of knowledge than its performance i.e. its generation, circulation, validation, and consumption across a closely interacting network. The chapter argues for more systematic exploration of the epistemic systems of different types of business knowledge as pointers towards a Sociology of Business Knowledge.

Keywords:   performativity, Sociology of Business Knowledge, Knorr Cetina, financial analysts, actor network theory, knowledge economy, commodified knowledge, epistemic system

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