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Professor of Innovation and Social Informatics & Head of Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group


Neil Pollock is a Professor of Innovation and Social Informatics and Head of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group at the University of Edinburgh Business School.

Neil currently works on the topics of digital futures, digital innovation, and digital entrepreneurship, and his research sits at the intersection between the disciplines of Science and Technology Studies, Information Systems, Organisation Studies and Economic Sociology. His books include Putting the University Online, Software and Organisations, How Industry Analysts Shape the Digital Future, and the edited collection Thinking Infrastructures. He is currently working on a further book provisionally entitled ‘Hype Cycles of the Digital Economy’. He is a senior editor at the journal Information and Organisation and on the editorial board of Accounting, Organisations and Society. He was recently awarded the 2022 James G. March Prize by the European Group of Organization Studies for his co-authored article ‘The Biography of an Algorithm’.

Neil has been the principal investigator (PI) on several Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) projects and is currently PI on an ESRC project on digital startups: the Second Most Important Pitch. This research project addresses an evaluation hurdle that plays a major but unacknowledged role in the growth and scaling of new digital ventures. Much has been written about the first equity pitch given to investors. While important, this is only an initial step in securing a future for the digital enterprise. A vital subsequent step is making a ‘second pitch’ to industry analysts. This further pitch (and receiving the backing of these market actors) is crucial for helping digital enterprises to develop and prosper, but significantly it has not yet been studied. Gathering observational data on these second pitches and applying insights from ‘Valuation Studies’, we analyse the factors that lead to some ventures receiving these essential endorsements and others not.

Neil has also been a co-organiser of the annual PhD Colloquium of the European Group of Organisation Studies (EGOS) for the last four years. He is also a co-organiser of the 2023 Interdisciplinary Market Studies Workshop (IMSW) which is scheduled to run in Edinburgh on the topic of Market Futures - Future Markets.

Research Interests

  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Economic Sociology
  • Information Systems
  • Market Studies
  • Performativity
  • Rankings and rating
  • Digital Innovation/disruption
  • Industry analysts and analyst relations

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