Figuring out IT markets: How and why industry analysts continuously launch, adjust and abandon categories

Neil Pollock*, Robin Williams, Luciana D'Adderio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Despite being a source of significant change, there has been little focus on how and why industry analysts constantly launch, adjust and abandon market-defining categories. To address this issue, we investigate the Big Three industry analyst firms and find that they promote categories clients find valuable and adjust or abandon those no longer attracting attention. Bringing together insights from information systems research and category scholarship, we show that industry analysts ensure their expertise is seen as relevant to clients through material and visual processes theorised as category-work, figuring-work, and client-mapping, which together create ‘client-induced categories’. This novel theorisation throws light on the processes market intermediaries use to align categories with client concerns and how incorporating categories in graphical figurations can intensify the cycle of category creation and abandonment. It also enhances understanding of the dynamics surrounding transitory terminologies and opens up new research opportunities for studying IT markets.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100389
JournalInformation and Organisation
Issue number1
Early online date1 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • markets
  • industry shaping
  • industry analysts
  • categories
  • organising visions


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