This sample Organizational Ecology Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Like other free research paper examples it is not a custom research paper. If you need help with writing your assignment, please use research paper writing services and buy a research paper on any topic.
Organizational ecology refers to a sociologically oriented research program on organizations. It involves the empirical study of populations of organizations and a theoretical emphasis on processes of selective replacement of relatively inert organizations. Much organizational ecology research uses common methodological presumptions and practices, including the analysis of entry, exit, and growth hazard rates in large historical populations from their dates of origin. Development and testing of ecological theory has taken place within cumulative theory fragments, such as niche width, density dependence, and resource partitioning. Each fragment addresses focused research problems in a coherent way using middle-range theory. Combining the theory fragments remains an unrealized goal, but one which has spurred a great amount of theory and research on how institutionalized social categories shape organizations and guide organizational action.
- The Basic Demography of Organizations
- Inertia and Selection
- Organizational Niches and Institutionalized Categories
- Density Dependence
- Resource Partitioning
- Emerging Trends
Organizational ecology (OE) is a major theoretical perspective that attempts to explain organizational diversity, famously framed by the orienting question of Hannan and Freeman (1977), why are there so many different kinds of organizations? OE uses a selection model of organizational evolution to explain organizational diversity in a population. In the imagery of this model, organizational change over time occurs through the selective replacement of some kinds of organizations in the population with other kinds as environmental circumstances change. In selection models, at any point in time the environment operates as a screen, letting ill-fitted organizations fall through or fail and catching or supporting better-fitted organizations. Selection models assume individual organizations face constraints that limit their abilities to make major transformations, which meet the changing demands of the environment (Hannan and Freeman, 1984). Accordingly, research in OE focuses on the vital rates of populations – rates of founding and mortality in particular, although growth and transformation remain of interest. Selection-driven evolution is sometimes mistakenly thought to lead to a narrowing of organizational diversity, a winnowing. Although winnowing may be more likely when constraints such as regulation limit new entry, various selection processes can drive population diversity up or down (Carroll et al., 2012).
One foundational pillar of the OE research program examines the demography of organizational populations. It finds that organizational mortality processes depend upon the age and size of the organization, as well as on characteristics of populations and environments. Moreover, research confirms an imprinting process, meaning that environmental conditions at certain early phases in an organization’s development exert long-term consequences. In particular, organizations subject to intense competition show elevated mortality hazards at all ages.
OE theory invokes a central assumption of structural inertia, the tendency for organizations to respond slowly relative to the speed of environmental change. A core argument holds that inertia derives from the very characteristics that make organizations favored kinds of actors in modern society: reliability and (formal) accountability. It follows logically that change in an organization’s core features disrupts activities and increases the hazard of mortality, at least in the short-run, a prediction supported empirically (Barnett and Carroll, 1995).
Within OE, the niche concept organizes theoretical ideas relating environmental variations and competition to population vital rates. The niche specifies the resource space within which a population (or even an individual organization) exists. Much empirical work in OE examines the niches of organizational populations along dimensions of social, political, and economic environments, a tradition dating back to the human ecology of Hawley (1968). Recent research conceptualizes niches in terms of identities within institutionalized categories, an approach that has proven very insightful (Ruef, 2000; McKendrick et al., 2003).
Development and testing of ecological theory has taken place within cumulative theory fragments. Each fragment addresses focused research problems in a coherent way using middle-range theory (Merton, 1968). Within basic demography, fertile fragments include aging, inertia, and niche width. Major fragments dealing with population dynamics include density dependence and resource partitioning.
The theory of density-dependent organizational evolution integrates ecological and institutional processes. It posits that growth in the number of organizations in a population (density) drives processes of social legitimation and competition that, in turn, shape the vital rates. This argument implies certain nonmonotonic relationships between density and rates of founding and mortality.
Resource-partitioning theory concerns the relationship between increasing market concentration and increasing proliferation of specialists in mature industries. The key implication of this theory concerns the effects of concentration on the viability of specialist organizations (those that seek to exploit a narrow range of resources).
The Basic Demography of Organizations
With its concentration on the vital rates of founding and mortality, OE has a strong demographic character. Key structuring processes are specified at the population level. Mortality histories can readily be associated with individual organizations, but histories of foundings cannot because the absence of foundings in some period or place must be considered. Populations must have unit character to serve as useful objects of analysis (Hawley, 1968). Researchers generally regard populations as spatial–temporal instantiations of organizational forms, templates for organizing. Several conceptual approaches to form have guided these efforts: common resource dependence, structural equivalence in network position, and more recently identities coded in cultural rules, especially institutionalized categories.
Constructing organizational demography and ecology requires attention to how organizations differ from organisms. In particular, organizations experience more varied ‘birth’ and ‘death’ events, typically lack clear ‘parents,’ consist of multilayered, partly decomposable structures, and can transform themselves into very different kinds of entities. Methodological issues in OE often involve dealing with these complexities (Carroll and Hannan, 2000; Phillips, 2005).
The prototypical OE research design examines the full histories of organizational populations, because experience shows that early events can exert lasting consequences for population dynamics. The design gathers life-history data on all organizations in the population(s), including the large and famous as well as the small and insignificant; such inclusiveness is crucial for avoiding problems of selectivity bias. The design records detailed information about type of entry (new founding, entry from another industry, merger, etc.) and exit (disbanding, acquisition, transformation, etc.). Finally, it uses event-history methods to estimate the effects on vital rates of characteristics of organization, population, and environment. Used earliest by OE analysts, this focused population design diffused widely to other kinds of organizational research; and now seems primed to affect the study of products (Khessina and Carroll, 2008; Carroll et al., 2010).
The prototypical OE design typically uncovers many more organizations operating in well-studied industries than is usually assumed. Careful archival searches usually find information on hundreds of organizations that get overlooked in published counts, some because of their small size, and some because of their ephemerality. Analysts using traditional approaches counting only bigger and more stable organizations defend the exclusion of these entities based on their apparent minimal impact on major economic and social outcomes. However, ecologists point out that minimal impact at any given point does not preclude subsequent impact, or potential impact, an insight of evolutionary approaches. Classic examples of companies that might be excluded by such rules would include Microsoft, Apple, and Google at the time of their origins, leading the analyst to either include them retrospectively based on later performance (creating selection bias) or including them only when they reach a certain size (creating an unnatural ‘founding’ date).
An unexpected insight generated by the prototypical OE design was that the foundational periods of industrial populations often show activity typically seen in social movements, apparently noncommercial pursuits. Carroll and Hannan (2000: p. 231) made the general observation that: “To say that the origin periods of industries resemble social movements means that (1) they represent challenges to existing companies and industries, and (2) they are populated with individuals and organizations devoted to causes, lifestyles, and visions of a better future for all (rather than with profit-maximizing entrepreneurs engaged in competitive battles based primarily on self-interest).” Other insights from social movement theory have subsequently been added to OE analysis (Wade et al., 1998; Rao et al., 2003).
The OE design also reveals that organizational life expectancies are generally an order of magnitude smaller than for humans, prompting great attention to organizational aging. Stinchcombe (1965) observed that organizations (and organizational populations) experience a liability of newness. Efficient organization requires trust among members, which takes time to build. Creating roles and routines, learning about the environment, and developing relationships with other organizations also take time. Once established, these patterns of relationships enhance survival chances. Much early research found this pattern. Some later research found a variation, a liability of adolescence: the hazard rises during the early lifespan – while initial stocks of endowments get exhausted – before declining. Recent research, using designs that measure (age-varying) organizational size, has produced (mixed) evidence in favor of positive age dependence (Carroll and Hannan, 2000).
Two interpretations for this pattern have been proposed (Barron et al., 1994; Sørensen and Stuart, 2000). If inertial forces are strong, then the possibilities of adapting to changing environments are limited and older cohorts of organizations have lower fitness – there is a liability of obsolescence. Alternatively, the accumulation of rules and routines impedes adjustment to environmental change – the liability is one of senescence.
Subsequent research sought to clarify the conditions under which the various patterns rise. Hannan (1998) proposed a partial integration using first-order logic. The next step required use of nonmonotonic logic, which allows premises to be overridden by more specific ones so that the conclusions of an argument can change as more knowledge about specifics becomes available (Hannan et al., 2007). In recent work, Le Mens et al. (2011) revised the theory in terms of the stock of organizational capital and show that the various patterns of age dependence can be integrated using weaker assumptions.
Inertia and Selection
Stinchcombe’s (1965) insight that new organizations get imprinted by their environments provided inspiration for organizational ecologists. According to Stinchcombe, new organizations get tested against assumptions that are taken for granted but change over time. Hence, the characteristics of organizations which pass such tests and emerge will reflect the social structure of the time. Imprinting requires both a mapping of environmental conditions onto the organization and inertia in the imprinted characteristics. Absent the second condition, later adjustments will erode the association between founding conditions and those features.
OE analysts built on this image of inertia (relative to the speed of environmental change). Hannan and Freeman (1984) claimed inertia prevails as an inadvertent by-product of a selection process favoring the properties of reliability (low variance in the quality of performance) and accountability (the ability to construct rational accounts for actions). Achieving these properties depends on structures being reproduced faithfully over time. Yet, high reproducibility means that structures resist transformation. Therefore, this selection process inadvertently favors corporate actors with strong inertial tendencies.
Fundamental change presumably diminishes reliability and accountability. Old learning loses value, and new processes must be learned. Vestiges of the old system conflict with the new emerging system and disrupt activities and operations. Thus, even if the intended change has long-term benefits (the new form might be better aligned with environments and internal processes), the change process might increase mortality hazards in the short-run. If so, then reorganization-prone organizations are less likely to be present in future populations.
Ample research examines the implications of this argument. Most well-designed studies reveal that changing core structures does indeed increase the hazard of mortality in the short-run, often substantially (Carroll and Hannan, 2000). Moreover, the magnitude of this effect increases with organizational age.
A different way of viewing imprinting yielded one of OE’s most robust empirical findings: density delay (Carroll and Hannan, 1989). Organizations subject to intense competition at founding (as evidenced by a high density of organizations in the population – see below) have elevated mortality hazards at all ages. In other words, density at founding has a (partially) delayed effect on mortality processes. This relationship has been interpreted as reflecting enduring effects either of building structures under scarcity or of initial organizational positioning at the margins of resource distributions.
More recently, theorists suggest that identity enforcement processes might generate inertial mechanisms as well as punishments for fundamental changes (those that violate codes – see Zuckerman, 1999; Hannan et al., 2007; Hsu et al., 2009).
Organizational Niches and Institutionalized Categories
Within OE theory, the niche concept organizes ideas for relating environmental variations and competition to organizational demography and population dynamics. An organization’s or a population’s fundamental niche consists of the ranges of environmental parameters for which its growth rate (fitness) is nonnegative in the absence of competition. Much empirical work in OE examines the niches of organizations and populations in terms of dimensions of social, political, and economic environments (e.g., Dobrev, 1999; Boone et al., 2004; Goldstein and Haveman, 2013). Even when such issues do not stand in the forefront theoretically, ecologists routinely control statistically for the effects of such dimensions in examining dynamic processes.
Recent efforts to rebuild the foundations of the OE theory depict organizational forms as based on culturally coded and enforced identities (Hannan et al., 2007). These identities operate within institutionalized social categories, agreed upon classification systems that shape the organizational world with labels and associated schemata. For instance, ‘private liberal arts college’ represents a type of higher educational organization which likely contains many specific features about its personnel, employee contracts, technology, funding base, impact, and the like. Organizations may be more or less members of specific categories, defining their ‘grades of membership’ in a category, and organizational may span across multiple categories, thereby increasing their niche width in the space of categories. Boundaries between categories may be strongly or weakly enforced by institutional gatekeepers and others. And, categories vary in their apparent distinctiveness based on category permeability and organizational distributions; ecologists describe these variations as category ‘contrast’ (Negro et al., 2010; Kovaçs and Hannan, 2010).
Niche theory has been central to research on competition (Hannan and Freeman, 1977, 1989; McPherson, 1983). Populations compete if the presence of each reduces the spaces in which the others can sustain themselves (their realized niches). By this reasoning, populations compete if and only if their fundamental niches intersect. The assumed equivalence of niche overlap and competition plays a crucial role in allowing organizational ecologists to relate empirical observations on realized niches to models of population dynamics.
Niche width concerns the variance of resource utilization. Does evolution favor populations of Jacks-of-all-trades and masters of none (generalists) or specialists at a few tasks? Ecologists call this the Principle of Allocation (POA) problem. Research shows that the organizational world tends toward segmentation into specialist populations (each highly isomorphic) when relevant environmental variations are uncertain, large in magnitude, and long in duration (Hannan and Freeman, 1989; Péli, 1997).
Recent research examines the POA problem in the context of form identities and social categories. This research asks, does category spanning lead to deleterious consequences for organizations? Findings to date suggest strongly that when an organization’s niche width crosses category boundaries, the organization will pay a price in terms of recognition and valuation (Hsu, 2006; Hannan et al., 2007; Negro et al., 2010; Pontikes, 2012). The penalty seems to be more severe when the categories involved are defined in opposition to each other, for example, mass producer and artisanal craft producer.
The theory of density-dependent organizational evolution integrates ecological and institutional processes. It posits that growth in the number of organizations in a population (density) drives processes of social legitimation and competition that, in turn, shape the vital rates (Hannan and Carroll, 1992). An organizational form gains (constitutive) legitimation when it becomes taken for granted (Meyer and Rowan, 1977). New organizational forms generally lack such legitimation, which makes organizing difficult. If the form gets promulgated, legitimation increases. Initially, when there are few organizations in a population and the form lacks legitimacy, the returns to legitimation of adding another organization are great. However, when the population contains many organizations, constitutive legitimation increases little – if at all – as density rises further. In other words, a population’s legitimation increases with density at a decreasing rate and approaches a ceiling.
Competition refers to the consequences of efforts by multiple agents to acquire the same limited resources. Density-dependence theorists focus on diffuse competition because it has a clear relationship with density as the intensity of diffuse competition within an organizational population rises as a function of the number of potential bilateral competitors. As density increases linearly, the number of possible competitive relations increases geometrically. Thus diffuse competition rises with density at an increasing rate. The theory posits that founding rates are directly proportional to legitimation and inversely proportional to the intensity of diffuse competition and that these relationships are inverted for mortality hazards.
This theory (formalized appropriately) yields two theorems. First, as density increases, founding rates initially rise, reach a peak, and then decline. Second, the relationship for mortality is the mirror image. These theorems, expressed in parametric forms, can be falsified empirically. They have been tested for diverse populations, including automobile manufacturers in Europe and the United States, brewers in Germany and the United States, banks in Denmark, Japan, Singapore, and the United States, and American labor unions, life insurers, newspapers, and social movements of women and ethnic groups. These studies have supported the theory in most cases (full citations can be found in Carroll and Hannan, 2000).
In recent formulations, density dependence plays a role in the cultural coding process of forms. Ecologists use this approach to weight density using grades of membership (Kuilman and Li, 2009; Boone et al., 2011).
Resource-partitioning theory addresses market segmentation; it concerns the relationship between increasing market concentration and increasing proliferation of specialists in mature industries (Carroll, 1985). The theoretical imagery involves crowding in a heterogeneous market. Organizations initially target resource segments. Specialists choose narrow, homogeneous targets; generalists choose broad, heterogeneous ones.
The theory assumes an advantage of scale (in production, marketing, or distribution). Because organizations targeting narrow segments cannot grow very large, they have higher (per unit) costs. Organizations with scale advantages expand product offerings to broaden their appeal without losing established domains. Small organizations then face formidable invaders, and many fail. Competition is most intense in resource-dense centers, resulting in dominance by large generalists. Failures of smaller generalists cause some resources to become free. Because larger generalists can best secure these resources, the surviving generalists become larger and more general. However, generalists can rarely secure all of the newly freed resources. As the struggle among generalists proceeds to its monopoly equilibrium, the surviving generalists grow and broaden, but the set of resources they hold collectively actually declines. In other words, more resources become available for specialists as the market concentrates and their viability increases as well: specialist founding rates rise and mortality rates fall. Accordingly, the specialist advantage in concentrated markets comes as a consequence of strategic positioning by generalists in a market conceived of spatially (Péli and Nooteboom, 1999).
Subsequent formulations of the theory highlight the market attractions of specialist identities, clarifying certain issues in resource partitioning. Specialization based on claims of authentic identity (as in the case of the rise of specialist producers of microbrewed beer in the United States and ‘real ale’ in the United Kingdom) can prevent large generalists from gaining complete control of concentrated markets; this development makes it very hard, if not impossible, for generalists to compete, especially within certain categories (Carroll and Swaminathan, 2000; Koçak and Özcan, 2013). Generalizations of this insight have focused broadly on the appeal of products, services, and performances perceived to be authentic, because of aspects of the producer’s identity (Carroll and Wheaton, 2009; Phillips, 2013; McKendrick and Hannan, 2013). Empirical support for the theory has been found in a variety of contexts including airlines, automakers, commercial and investment, brewers, whiskey distillers, microprocessor manufacturers, newspaper publishers, telephone companies, television broadcasters, and wineries (full citations can be found in Carroll and Hannan, 2000).
Current research seeks to extend many of these and other OE theory fragments, to connect to other social science research programs and to expand the range of applications to other phenomena.
As for extensions, the most active fragment by far is that concerning identities and categories. Work proceeds on fundamental issues such as how categories emerge, evolve, and impact (Negro et al., 2010b). It concerns organizations but also labels, boundaries, regulators, and other gatekeepers (Negro et al., 2010a; Hsu et al., 2012). The theory invoked in this program relies heavily on cognitive psychology and cultural sociology (Hannan, 2010; Negro and Leung, 2012).
OE analysts also keep integrating ideas about social networks into the analysis. Cattani et al. (2008) demonstrated how density-dependent legitimation grows hand in hand with development of the interorganizational network. Intriguing recent research on the relational structure of schemas within an audience shows promise for advancing understanding of audience dynamics (Goldberg, 2011).
Organizational status has been shown to affect organizational life chances, with the impact increasing with the uncertainty in evaluations of quality (Podolny et al., 1996). Kovacs and Sharkey (2014) show that status shocks sometimes produce unexpected audience dynamics. Social movement research relies increasingly on OE as a guide to modeling dynamics (Minkoff, 1997; Soule and King, 2008).
The empirical scope of OE continues to expand. Current research expands the diversity of organizational populations studied. In addition to those already mentioned, these include: accountancies, bicycle manufacturers, computer manufacturers, disk-drive producers, footwear manufacturers, orchestras, hotels, law firms, magazine publishers, music recording firms, paper manufacturers, restaurants, sex shops, Islamic banks, and software producers. A major thrust of current work is on connections among the organizations (including flows of personnel among them). These studies highlight again the value of social network analysis for understanding the ecology of organizations.
Other important social and economic phenomena are also being brought into the picture. Studies of careers find that organizational demography induces considerable job mobility (Haveman and Cohen, 1994); at the same time, careers of managers shape strategies and thereby influence life events for organizations (Sørensen, 1999). The density and diversity of organizational forms in a community also apparently affect social and legal change (Koçak and Carroll, 2008; Boone et al., 2011; Negro et al., 2013) as well as the degree of civic engagement (Sampson et al., 2005), fulfilling the promise of Hannan and Freeman’s (1977) orienting question about organizational populations.
- Barnett, W.P., Carroll, G.R., 1995. Modeling internal organizational change. Annual Review of Sociology 21, 217–236.
- Barron, D.N., West, E., Hannan, M.T., 1994. A time to grow a time to die: growth and mortality of credit unions in New York City, 1914–1990. American Journal of Sociology 100, 381–421.
- Boone, C., Brouwer, A., Jacobs, J., van Witteloostuijn, A., 2011. Religious pluralism and organizational diversity: an empirical test in the city of Zwolle, the Netherlands, 1851–1914. Sociology of Religion 73, 150–173.
- Boone, C., Carroll, G.R., van Witteloostuijn, A., 2002. Resource distributions and market partitioning: Dutch daily newspaper organizations from 1968 to 1994. American Sociological Review 67, 408–431.
- Boone, C., Carroll, G.R., van Witteloostuijn, A., 2004. Size, differentiation and the performance of Dutch daily newspapers. Industrial and Corporate Change 13, 117–148.
- Carroll, G.R., 1985. Concentration and specialization: dynamics of niche width in populations of organizations. American Journal of Sociology 90, 1262–1283.
- Carroll, G.R., Hannan, M.T., 1989. Density delay in the evolution of organizational populations: a model and five empirical tests. Administrative Science Quarterly 54, 524–541.
- Carroll, G.R., Hannan, M.T., 2000. The Demography of Corporations and Industries. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
- Carroll, G.R., Harrison, J.R., McKendrick, D.G., 2012. Selection and variation in organizational evolution. Industrial and Corporate Change 21, 217–244.
- Carroll, G.R., Khessina, O.M., McKendrick, D.G., 2010. The social lives of products: analyzing product demography for management theory and practice. Academy of Management Annals 4, 157–205.
- Carroll, G.R., Swaminathan, A., 2000. Why the microbrewery movement? Organizational dynamics of resource partitioning in the U.S. brewing industry. American Journal of Sociology 106, 715–762.
- Carroll, G.R., Wheaton, D.R., 2009. The organizational construction of authenticity: an examination of contemporary food and dining in the U.S. Research in Organizational Behavior 29, 255–282.
- Cattani, G., Ferriani, S., Negro, G., Perretti, F., 2008. The structure of consensus: network ties, legitimation and exit rates of US feature film producer organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly 53, 145–182.
- Dobrev, S.D., 1999. The dynamics of the Bulgarian newspaper industry in a period of transition. Industrial and Corporate Change 8, 573–605.
- Goldberg, A., 2011. Mapping shared understandings using relational class analysis: the case of the cultural omnivore reconsidered. American Journal of Sociology 116, 1397–1436.
- Goldstein, A., Haveman, H.A., 2013. Pulpit and press: denominational dynamics and the growth of religious magazines in antebellum America. American Sociological Review 78, 797–827.
- Hannan, M.T., 1998. Rethinking age dependence in organizational mortality. American Journal of Sociology 104, 85–123.
- Hannan, M.T., 2010. Partiality of memberships in categories and audiences. Annual Review of Sociology 36, 159–181.
- Hannan, M.T., Carroll, G.R., 1992. Dynamics of Organizational Populations. Oxford University Press, New York.
- Hannan, M.T., Freeman, J., 1977. The population ecology of organizations. American Journal of Sociology 82, 929–964.
- Hannan, M.T., Freeman, J., 1984. Structural inertia and organizational change. American Sociological Review 49, 149–165.
- Hannan, M.T., Freeman, J., 1989. Organizational Ecology. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
- Hannan, M.T., Pólos, L., Carroll, G.R., 2007. The Logics of Organization Theory: Audiences, Codes and Ecologies. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
- Haveman, H.A., Cohen, L.E., 1994. The ecological dynamics of careers. American Journal of Sociology 100, 104–152.
- Hawley, A.H., 1968. Human ecology. In: Sills, D. (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences. Macmillan, New York, pp. 328–337.
- Hsu, G., 2006. Jacks of all trades and masters of none: audiences’ reactions to spanning genres in feature film production. Administrative Science Quarterly 51, 420–450.
- Hsu, G., Hannan, M.T., Koçak, Ö., 2009. Multiple category memberships in markets: a formal theory and two empirical tests. American Sociological Review 74, 150–169.
- Hsu, G., Negro, G., Perretti, F., 2012a. Hybrids in Hollywood: a study of the production and performance of genre-spanning films. Industrial and Corporate Change 21, 1427–1450.
- Hsu, G., Roberts, P., Swaminathan, A., 2012b. Evaluative schemas and the mediating role of critics. Organization Science 23, 83–97.
- Khessina, O., Carroll, G.R., 2008. Product demography of de novo and de alio firms in the optical disk drive industry, 1983–1999. Organization Science 19, 25–38.
- Koçak, Ö., Carroll, G.R., 2008. Growing church organizations in diverse U.S. communities 1890–1926. American Journal of Sociology 113, 1272–1315.
- Koçak, Ö., Özcan, S., 2013. How does rivals’ presence affect firms’ decision to enter new markets? Economic and sociological explanations. Management Science 59, 2586–2603.
- Kovaçs, B., Hannan, M.T., 2010. The consequences of category spanning depend on contrast. Research in the Sociology of Organizations 35, 175–201.
- Kovaçs, B., Sharkey, A., 2014. Paradoxical publicity: how status can lead to lower perceived quality. Administrative Science Quarterly 59, 1–33.
- Kuilman, J., Li, J.T., 2009. Grades of membership and legitimacy spillover: foreign banks in Shanghai, 1847–1935. Academy of Management Journal 52, 229–245.
- Le Mens, G., Hannan, M.T., Pólos, L., 2011. Founding conditions, learning, and organizational life chances: age dependence revisited. Administrative Science Quarterly 56, 95–126.
- McKendrick, D.G., Jaffee, J., Carroll, G.R., 2003. In the bud? Analysis of disk array producers as a (possibly) emergent organizational form. Administrative Science Quartely 48, 60–93.
- McKendrick, D.G., Hannan, M.T., 2013. Oppositional identities and resource partitioning: distillery ownership in scotch whisky, 1826–2009. Organization Science 25 (4), 1272–1286.
- McPherson, J.M., 1983. An ecology of affiliation. American Sociological Review 48, 519–535.
- Merton, R.K., 1968. Social Theory and Social Structure. Free Press, Glencoe, IL. Meyer, J.W., Rowan, B., 1977. Institutionalized organizations: formal structure as myth and ceremony. American Journal of Sociology 83, 340–363.
- Minkoff, D., 1997. The sequencing of social movements. American Sociological Review 62, 779–799.
- Negro, G., Hannan, M.T., Rao, H., 2010a. Categorical contrast and audience appeal: niche width and critical success in winemaking. Industrial and Corporate Change 19, 1397–1425.
- Negro, G., Koçak, Ö., Hsu, G., 2010b. Research on categories in the sociology of organizations. Research in the Sociology of Organizations 31, 3–35.
- Negro, G., Leung, M.D., 2012. “Actual” and perceptual effects of category spanning. Organization Science 24, 684–696.
- Negro, G., Perretti, F., Carroll, G.R., 2013. Challenger groups, commercial organizations, and policy enactment: an empirical study of local lesbian/gay rights ordinances. American Journal of Sociology 119, 790–832.
- Péli, G., 1997. The niche hikers guide to population ecology. In: Raftery, A. (Ed.), Sociological Methodology. Blackwell, Oxford, UK, pp. 1–46.
- Péli, G., Nooteboom, B., 1999. Market partitioning and the geometry of resource space. American Journal of Sociology 104, 1132–1153.
- Phillips, D.J., 2005. Organizational genealogies and the persistence of gender inequality: the case of Silicon Valley law firms. Administrative Science Quarterly 50, 440–472.
- Phillips, D.J., 2013. Shaping Jazz: Cities, Labels, and the Global Emergence of an Art Form. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
- Podolny, J.P., Stuart, T.E., Hannan, M.T., 1996. Networks, knowledge and niches. American Journal of Sociology 102, 659–689.
- Pontikes, E.G., 2012. Two sides of the same coin: how ambiguous classification affects multiple audience evaluations. Administrative Science Quarterly 57, 81–118.
- Rao, H., Monin, P., Durand, R., 2003. Institutional change in Toqueville: Nouvelle Cuisine as an identity movement in French gastronomy. American Sociological Review 108, 795–843.
- Reis, S., Negro,G., Sorenson, O., Perretti, F., Lomi, A., 2012. Resource partitioning revisited: evidence from Italian broadcasting. Industrial and Corporate Change 22, 459–487.
- Ruef, M., 2000. The emergence of organizational forms: a community ecology approach. American Journal of Sociology 106, 658–714.
- Sampson, R.J., McAdam, D., MacIndoe, H., Weffler-Elizondo, S., 2005. Civil society reconsidered: the durable nature and community structure of collection action. American Journal of Sociology 111, 673–714.
- Sørensen, J.B., 1999. The ecology of organizational demography. Industrial and Corporate Change 8, 713–744.
- Sørensen, J.B., Stuart, T.E., 2000. Aging, obsolescence, and organizational innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly 45, 81–112.
- Soule, S.A., King, B.G., 2008. Competition and resource partitioning in three social movement industries. American Journal of Sociology 113, 1568–1610.
- Stinchcombe, A.L., 1965. Social structure and organizations. In: March, J.G. (Ed.), Handbook of Organizations. Rand-McNally, Chicago, pp. 143–193.
- Wade, J.B., Swaminathan, A., Saxon, M.S., 1998. Normative and resource flow consequences of local regulations in the American brewing industry. Administrative Science Quarterly 43, 905–935.
- Zuckerman, E.W., 1999. The categorical imperative: security analysts and the legitimacy discount. American Journal of Sociology 104, 1398–1438.