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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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The Social Study of Information Technology Markets

The Social Study of Information Technology Markets

(p.4) Chapter 1 The Social Study of Information Technology Markets
How Industry Analysts Shape the Digital Future

Neil Pollock

Neil Williams

Oxford University Press

Who are the industry analysts who, by providing information about the performance and prospects of various offerings, are key to the current operation of IT markets? Despite their salience, little is known about them. The chapter considers how we may assess the influence of analysts. Do they merely describe the evolution of the sector? Do their knowledge outputs accelerate existing trends? Or do they shift or even redirect technology trajectories. The chapter links these interests to an underpinning theoretical concern with how we understand the ‘performativity’ of their expert knowledge. Callon (2007) has suggested that academic economists’ models are performative: aligning market behaviour to the predictions in their models and thus constituting markets. Does this model apply to wider business knowledge? Or should we explain the influence of industry analyst expertise by exploring the multiple interactions through which their knowledge is evaluated and consumed as well as generated?

Keywords:   performativity, Callon, MacKenzie, markets, information technology, industry analyst, Gartner

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