Logics of Organization Theory

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-07-02
  • Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr

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Building theories of organizations is challenging: theories are partial and "folk" categories are fuzzy. The commonly used tools--first-order logic and its foundational set theory--are ill-suited for handling these complications. Here, three leading authorities rethink organization theory.Logics of Organization Theorysets forth and applies a new language for theory building based on a nonmonotonic logic and fuzzy set theory. In doing so, not only does it mark a major advance in organizational theory, but it also draws 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.

Author Biography

Michael T. Hannan is the Stratacom Professor of Management in the Graduate School of Business and professor of sociology at Stanford University. Laszlo Polos is professor of organization theory at the Durham Business School in the United Kingdom. Glenn R. Carroll is the Laurence W. Lane Professor of Organizations in the Graduate School of Business and (by courtesy) professor of sociology at Stanford.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Language Mattersp. 1
Languages for Theory Buildingp. 1
Using Dynamic Logicp. 5
Partial Memberships: Fuzzinessp. 12
Organizational Ecologyp. 18
Unification Projectsp. 21
Audiences, Producers, and Codesp. 27
Clusters and Labelsp. 29
Seeds for Categories and Formsp. 32
Domainsp. 34
Similarityp. 37
Similarity Clustersp. 41
Labelsp. 47
Extensional Consensusp. 52
Complex Labelsp. 56
Types and Categoriesp. 59
Schematap. 60
Typesp. 65
Intensional Semantic Consensusp. 67
Categoriesp. 69
Intrinsic Appeal and Category Valencep. 71
Forms and Populationsp. 78
Test Codes and Defaultsp. 79
Taken-for-Grantednessp. 82
Legitimation and Formsp. 84
Populationsp. 85
Density Dependence Revisitedp. 89
Delegitimationp. 96
Identity and Audiencep. 100
Identity As Defaultp. 101
Multiple Category Membershipsp. 107
Code Clashp. 109
Identities and Populationsp. 110
Structure of the Audiencep. 111
Nonmonotonic Reasoning: Age Dependencep. 121
A Nonmonotonic Logicp. 123
Beyond First-Order Logicp. 124
Generalizationsp. 127
Nonmonotonic Reasoningp. 130
A Precis of the Formal Approachp. 133
Chaining Probabilistic Argumentsp. 142
Closest-Possible-Worlds Constructionp. 143
Falsificationp. 145
Integrating Theories of Age Dependencep. 150
Capability and Endowmentp. 152
First Unification Attemptp. 157
Obsolescencep. 161
Second Unification Attemptp. 163
Ecological Nichesp. 169
Niches and Audiencesp. 171
Tastes, Positions, and Offeringsp. 174
Category Nichep. 177
Organizational Nichep. 178
Fundamental Nichep. 183
Implications of Category Membershipp. 186
Metric Audience Spacep. 187
Niches and Competitorsp. 191
Fitnessp. 191
Realized Nichep. 193
Niche Overlapp. 194
Niche Width Revisitedp. 198
Convexity of the Nichep. 203
Environmental Changep. 206
Resource Partitioningp. 209
Scale Advantagep. 210
Market Centerp. 214
Market Segments and Crowdingp. 215
Dynamics of Partitioningp. 220
Implications of Category Membershipp. 226
Organizational Changep. 229
Cascading Changep. 231
Identity and Inertiap. 232
Organizational Architecturep. 235
Cascadesp. 236
Architecture and Cascadesp. 239
Intricacy and Viscosityp. 246
Missed Opportunitiesp. 248
Change and Mortalityp. 253
Opacity and Asperityp. 256
Limited Foresight: Opacityp. 256
Cultural Opposition: Asperityp. 261
Opacity, Asperity, and Reorganizationp. 265
Change and Mortalityp. 268
Niche Expansionp. 271
Expanded Engagementp. 271
Architectural and Cultural Contextp. 276
Age and Asperityp. 278
Distant Expansionp. 279
Expansion and Convexityp. 281
Conclusionsp. 286
Theoretical Unificationp. 287
Common Conceptual Corep. 289
Inconsistencies Resolvedp. 291
Theoretical Progressp. 293
Empirical Implicationsp. 298
Glossary of Theoretical Termsp. 305
Glossary of Symbolsp. 313
Some Elementary First-Order Logicp. 321
Notation for Monotonic Functionsp. 331
The Modal Language of Codesp. 334
Bibliographyp. 339
Indexp. 355
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