How Industry Analysts Shape the Digital Future

Hardcover | February 13, 2016

byNeil Pollock, Robin Williams

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Industry analysts are in the business of shaping the technological and economic future. They attempt to "predict" what will become the next big thing; to spot new emerging trends and paradigms; to decide which hi-tech products will win out over others and to figure out which technology vendorscan deliver on their promises.In just a few short years, they have developed a surprising degree of authority over technological innovation. Yet we know very little, if anything about them. This book seeks to explain how this was achieved and on what this authority rests. Who are the experts who increasingly command theattention of vendor and user communities? What is the nature of this new form of technical and business knowledge? How Industry Analysts Shape the Digital Future offers the first book length study into this rarely scrutinized form of business expertise. Contributions to this volume show how, from a small group of mainly North American players which arose in the 1970s, Gartner Inc. has emerged as clear leader ofa $6 billion industry that involves several hundred firms worldwide. Through interviews and observation of Gartner Inc. and other industry analyst firms, the book explores how these firms create their predictions, market classifications and rankings, as well as with how these outputs are assessedand consumed.The book asks why many social scientists have ignored the proliferation of these new forms of management and technical expertise. In some cases scholars have "deflated" this kind of business acumen, portraying it as arbitrary knowledge whose methods and content do not deserve enquiry. The valuableexception here has been the path-breaking work on the "performativity" of economic, financial or accounting knowledge. Drawing upon recent performativity arguments, the book argues the case for a Sociology of Business Knowledge.

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Industry analysts are in the business of shaping the technological and economic future. They attempt to "predict" what will become the next big thing; to spot new emerging trends and paradigms; to decide which hi-tech products will win out over others and to figure out which technology vendorscan deliver on their promises.In just a few...

Neil Pollock, who was originally trained in computing and Science and Technology Studies, is Professor of Innovation and Social Informatics at the University of Edinburgh Business School where he heads the Entrepreneurship and Innovation academic subject group. As well as leading a department of faculty specialising in the innovation a...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:368 pagesPublished:February 13, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198704925

ISBN - 13:9780198704928

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Table of Contents

Prologue: King of the Hill?1. The Social Study of Information Technology Markets2. The Emergence of a New Expert3. The Organisation of Analyst Work4. The Professionalisation of Business Knowledge5. The Business of Technology Expectations6. Who Decides the Shape of Product Markets?7. Marketing of Quantifications8. Venues of High Tech Prediction9. Give Me a 2x2 Matrix and I Will Create the Market10. The Expertise Ecosystem11. From IT Markets to the Sociology of Business KnowledgeAppendix 1: List of Industry Analyst and IT Market Research FirmsAppendix 2: Fieldwork Conducted