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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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Marketing of Quantifications

Marketing of Quantifications

Chapter:
(p.159) Chapter 7 Marketing of Quantifications
Source:
How Industry Analysts Shape the Digital Future
Author(s):

Gian Marco Campagnolo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704928.003.0008

The chapter discusses Gartner’s signature research piece the ‘Magic Quadrant’ which some describe as the most influential piece of research in the IT domain. The substantive interest in the chapter is to understand the history, construction and contemporary use of this object. The chapter shows how it both derives from, and has led to, deep transformations within corporate computing. However, the Magic Quadrant is not without controversy. It is described by some as wielding ‘substantial power’ and by others as nothing short of ‘simple marketing’. Conceptually, the chapters aim is to discuss what the Magic Quadrant might mean for our understanding of the idea of ‘commensuration’. Is the Magic Quadrant powerful because it is a ranking and therefore puts all vendors on an even scale, as some would argue (Espeland & Stevens 2009) or is it influential for other reasons? The chapter makes some suggestions in this latter direction through exploring the ‘marketing of quantifications’.

Keywords:   Magic Quadrant, commensuration, economy of qualities, Karpik, ranking, branding, Lury, Espeland

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