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Title: Product publics and the early moments of nascent markets
Author: Hannigan, Timothy R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2034 3924
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Product markets have been found to be socially constructed as industry logics, product ontologies and organising visions. Information intermediaries play an important field-level role in determining the categories and ontologies of emerging products. Within shared cognitive structures, sellers and buyers come together in mutual understandings on how products are used, what features are important and what counts as value. Although market information is often legitimated through objective scientific methodologies, it can also appear as uncertain knowledge, or rumour. Contrary to the often seen conception of rumour as crowd-like behavioural contagion, it is presented here as an informal message lacking a reliable sponsor that is developed in an uncertain situation, but still may be subject to critical reasoning. This thesis investigates the ambiguity around the fuzzy front-end of product markets, as social media and blogs that trade in rumour and proposition before any official announcement by firms. Through a process of improvised news, these online collectivities, as product publics, deliberate and collectively generate expectations as meaning structures. By tracking discourse from tech blogs, I trace the emergence of meaning in the tablet device product ontology. This occurred well before product introductions by firms who eventually came to form the market.
Supervisor: Ventresca, Marc; Seidel, Victor Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Internet research ; Business and Management ; Science and technology (business & management) ; new product development ; product ontologies ; markets as fields ; network text analysis ; concept networks ; early moments ; nascent markets ; computational linguistics ; rumour ; sensemaking