Book Review: Paul-Brian McInerney: From Social Movement to Moral Market: How the Circuit Riders Sparked an IT Revolution and Created a Technology Market

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pid_11113Paul-Brian McInerney: From Social Movement to Moral Market: How the Circuit Riders Sparked an IT Revolution and Created a Technology Market. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014. 241 pp. $55.00, cloth.

You can read the review by Mary-Hunter McDonnell of the University of Pennsylvania, available now in the OnlineFirst section of Administrative Science Quarterly.

From the review:

McInerney presents a rich qualitative case study that follows the emergence of a market for non-profit technology consulting services. The market was spawned in 1997 by a ASQ_v60n3_Sept2015_cover.inddgrassroots movement of activists calling themselves the “Circuit Riders” who sought to contribute to the greater social good by assisting non-profits with the adoption and implementation of information technologies. This loose coalition of tech-savvy activists offered their services to the neediest non-profits and measured their value by reference to improvements in social and environmental outcomes. In less than five years, however, the movement had been transformed into a more commercialized market for non-profit technology consulting that provided its services based on clients’ ability to pay and measured its value through performance metrics like decreased costs and increased administrative efficiency. Following this fascinating trajectory, McInerney endeavors to shed light on the larger questions of how social movements contribute to the construction of new markets and whether such markets remain marked by the moral fabric of the movements from which they derive.

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