Monday, June 1, 2009

Organizational Ecology

Specializing Can Mean Bigger Sales Customers like to feel they’re buying goods and services from businesses that are leaders in a specific category or two. Being a jack of all trades in too many categories may reduce profits say researchers. (June 2009)

When (Organizational) Change Hurts: Startups Need to “Think Employees” from the Get-Go A decade-long study of Silicon Valley (California) technology startups finds that companies were three times more likely to fail if at some point they altered the founder’s blueprint for employee relations than if they maintained their original employee model. (January 2007)

Diverse Immigration Patterns Change Church Communities In the early 20th century, immigrants practicing their religions affected the church-going habits of American communities, as longtime residents either were drawn back into attending churches they had drifted away from or, when faced with a variety of new beliefs, questioned religion and drew away from faiths they had practiced in the past. The phenomenon attracted the interest of Glenn Carroll and a colleague. (April 2006)

Founders of Startups May Develop Itchy Feet Founders of entrepreneurial firms are more likely to leave and start a new business as their companies mature and their own roles become more routine, say researchers. Unlike their bosses, employees are more likely to leave early on and start a company. But if they stick around as their company matures, employees find more opportunities to be creative and thus are less likely to be lured away by an entrepreneurial opportunity. (April 2005)

Failure Is a Key to Understanding Success Studying success has become almost a cottage industry for writers and consultants. Jerker Denrell warns that by not studying failure too, these pundits may present a very skewed picture of what it takes to succeed. (January 2004)

The Life Cycle of Business is Studied Through Organizational Ecology

What makes some businesses sprout, grow, adapt, and succeed, while most never get off the ground? Researchers in the growing field of organizational ecology say it is not enough to study the companies that thrive. Answers lie in the stories of failure. Logics of Organization Theory: Audiences, Codes, and Ecologies Michael T. Hannan, László Pólos, and Glenn R. Carroll, Princeton University Press Three leading authorities rethink organization theory , advancing  organizational theory, and it also drawing lessons for theory building elsewhere in the social sciences. Organizational research typically analyzes organizations in categories such as "bank," "hospital," or "university." These categories have been treated as crisp analytical constructs designed by researchers. But sociologists increasingly view categories as constructed by audiences. This book builds on cognitive psychology and anthropology to develop an audience-based theory of organizational categories. It applies this framework and the new language of theory building to organizational ecology. It reconstructs and integrates four central theory fragments, and in so doing reveals unexpected connections and new insights. 

The Demography of Corporations and Industries

Glenn R. Carroll and Michael T. Hannan, co-winners of 2002 Max Weber Award This is the first book to present the demographic approach to organizational studies in its entirety. It examines the theory, models, methods, and data used in corporate demographic research. Carroll and Hannan explore the processes by which corporate populations change over time, including organizational founding, growth, decline, structural transformation, and mortality. (August 2002)