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Density imprints and organisations’ survival chances: a question of organisational ancestors


  • Oertel, Simon


While previous studies in organisational ecology have shown that the population density at the time of an organisation’s founding influences its survival chances, the present study proposes that clarity regarding the form and function of a category of organisations moderates this effect. Focusing on four industries in East Germany and their development in the aftermath of the transition from socialism to a free market economy in 1990, results support prior findings (i.e., a high population density at an organisation’s founding decreases its survival chances). However, this effect is less harmful when environmental experiences with the organisational form are small. The present study’s results contribute to the recent discussion on population density, and they highlight the importance of transition economies as research contexts for organisational ecology.

Suggested Citation

  • Oertel, Simon, 2014. "Density imprints and organisations’ survival chances: a question of organisational ancestors," Journal of East European Management Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 19(1), pages 81-105.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:joeems:jeems-2014-01-oertel

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    Organizational Ecology; Density Dependence; Organizational Forms; Transition Economies; Event History Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions


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