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Constructing Technology Markets: How Industry Analysts Organise Technological Fields

Neil Pollock
University of Edinburgh, UK

This paper considers how specialist forms of consultants classify and organise new and emerging technology markets. It demonstrates how industry analysts and IT research firms have taken centre stage in the IT procurement market where they draw up signposts about the state of the industry and its future development – what we are describing as a ‘technological field’. Through discussing the emergence of a new technology - what has now become widely known as Customer Relationship Management solutions - we show how these experts define the boundaries of a technological field. This article points to the process of categorisation applied to emerging artefacts and the different terminologies that exist between these broadly similar artefacts. What is at stake in these classifications and reclassifications? The classification of a technology is far from trivial. It proposes boundaries that link a class of often quite various artefacts whilst differentiating them from others. These categories do not simply allow industry analysts to order (and represent) the market/technology but also shape it. Analysts view and constitute markets through its various classifications. We show how this has both positive and negative consequences for technology adopters and software vendors alike. The material for this paper was gathered during an ethnographic study of a local authority and its attempts to procure a new packaged software solution.

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Reference:Pollock N. (2009). "Constructing Technology Markets: How Industry Analysts Organise Technological Fields," Proceedings > Proceedings of ALPIS
itAIS, Italy . Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems, 9(10). http://sprouts.aisnet.org/9-10
Keywords:IT procurement, technological fields, Industry Analysts, IT Markets
Item Type:Article - Volume 9 Article 10 (2009)
Email: Neil Pollock (neil.pollock@ed.ac.uk)
Related Link(s):http://events.unitn.it/en/alpis09

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