Dynamics of Organizational Populations: Density, Legitimation, and Competition

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Why does the number of organizations of any given kind vary over time? Utilizing a diverse group of organizations including national labor unions, newspapers and newspaper publishers, brewing firms, life insurance companies, and banks, this book seeks to deepen and broaden the understanding of change in organizational populations by examining the dynamics of numbers of organizations in populations. Such an approach involves explaining the sources of growth and decline in the sum of organizations (what the authors call "density") over the histories of populations of organizations. The authors conclude their study by formulating a theory of density-dependent legitimation and competition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What makes the book impressive is the systematic and comparative study of long-term histories of organizational populations in term of counts."—Organization Studies

"This is a provocative, sometimes delicious, and sometimes puzzling book....It is a lively book that describes a body of sustained empirical work, raises important methodological questions, and, undoubtedly, will stimulate further research."—Academy of Management Review

"Hannan and Carroll have written a first-rate piece of work. Their book should be required reading not only for organizational sociologists, but also for those interested more generally in the dynamics of social change."—Contemporary Sociology

"Quite an interesting and ambitious project and a valuable contribution to the literature on the social ecology of organizations."—Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195071917
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanford University

University of California, Berkeley

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Theoretical Approach
3. Models and Modeling Strategy
4. Density and Founding Rates
5. Interactions Between Subpopulations
6. Density and Organizational Mortality
7. Complications
8. Population Trajectories
9. Implications for Social Organization
Appendix A: Designs of Empirical Studies
Appendix B: Methods of Analysis
Appendix C: Simulation Program

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