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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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Who Decides the Shape of Product Markets?

Who Decides the Shape of Product Markets?

(p.126) Chapter 6 Who Decides the Shape of Product Markets?
How Industry Analysts Shape the Digital Future

Neil Pollock

Neil Williams

Oxford University Press

Who decides the boundaries around a product terminology? The ‘technology classifications’ which frame and define boundaries around technology fields are an important part of the ‘knowledge infrastructure’ on which markets operate. Here, Gartner makes regular ‘naming interventions’ within the IT domain. Considering the evolution of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, the chapter shows how Gartner attempted to regulate the boundaries around this technology category and to exercise control over a terminology (‘classification work’) and its interpretation in particular instances (‘categorization work’). As well as building frames around new terminologies/naming interventions they may adopt and perhaps repurpose an existing terminology. However this framing work is bound up and entangled with the responses of wider communities of users. Gartner may need to manage divergences of view within Gartner; it may be called to defend frames in the face of external challenges and even abandon a framing.

Keywords:   product categories, critics, framing, Goffman, classification, organizing visions, customer relationship management, CRM, knowledge infrastructures

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