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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 Professionalization of Business Knowledge

The Professionalization of Business Knowledge

Chapter:
(p.79) Chapter 4 The Professionalization of Business Knowledge
Source:
How Industry Analysts Shape the Digital Future
Author(s):

Neil Pollock

Neil Williams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704928.003.0005

The chapter conceptualizes this novel form of expertise through drawing upon the Sociology of Professions, the Sociology of Science and its extension into the Sociology of Markets. The chapter shows how the initial ideas underpinning the industry analyst role drew upon, but also differed from, various models of technical expertise such as market research, investment analysts, management consultants and journalism. Though drawing parallels with traditional professional (e.g. scientific) expertise (involving a ‘truth element’) analysts describe their work as differing from it (‘pseudo-academic’). The chapter shows that industry analysts, like management consultants, did not need to pursue a professionalization strategy to validate their knowledge but instead use the ‘brand’ of established firms as a guarantor of the quality and reliability of their expertise. However they differ from management consultants (who they portray as users of their research) in that they seek ‘cognitive authority’ over technical fields.

Keywords:   Sociology of Professions, management consultants, journalists, financial analysts, equity analysts, investment analysts, Abbott, reputation, cognitive authority, knowledge infrastructures

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