Michael T. Hannan

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Building on a formal theory of the structural aspects of organizational change initiated in Hannan, Pólos, and Carroll (2002a, 2002b), this paper focuses on structural inertia. We define inertia as a persistent organizational resistance to changing architectural features. We examine the evolutionary consequences of architectural inertia. The main theorem(More)
Drawing on a unique archive of qualitative and quantitative data describing 100 Bay Area high-technology firms within their first decade, this paper examines the models of employment relations espoused by company founders and how those models shaped the evolution of human resource management within their organizations. Information gleaned from interviews(More)
This article examines the effects of crowding in a market center on rates of change in organizational niche width and on organizational mortality. It proposes that, although firms with wide niches benefit from risk spreading and economies of scale, they are simultaneously exposed to intense competition. An analysis of organizational dynamics in automobile(More)
Organizational theories, especially ecological perspectives, emphasize the disruptive effects of change. However, the mechanisms producing these effects are seldom examined explicitly. This paper examines one such mechanism—employee turnover. Analyzing a sample of high-technology start-ups, we show that changes in the employment models or blueprints(More)
Do organizational processes of legitimation and competition operate within different boundaries corresponding to different geographical levels of analysis? Following Hannan et al. (1995), this analysis explores the possibility that legitimation operates on a broader geographical scale (less constrained by political and physical barriers) than does(More)
Prominent accounts of the rise and fall of the corporate conglomerate cite the changing relationship between financial markets and public corporations. In particular, dediversification is attributed to investor demands that firms refocus on a core set of related industries. However, how and why investors distinguish between core and peripheral activities is(More)
This paper considers processes of organizational imprinting in a sample of 100 young, high technology companies. It examines the effects of a pair of initial conditions: the founders' models of the employment relation and their business strategies. Our analyses indicate that these two features were well aligned when the firms were founded. However, the(More)
Previous studies show that producers that span category boundaries exhibit lower fit to category schemas, accumulate less expertise, and elicit negative reactions from both critics and consumers. We propose that the negative reaction to category spanning also depends on another mechanism: widespread category spanning lowers categorical contrast—the(More)