A Typology of Organizational Behavior: At the Crossroad of Risk and Uncertainty*

By Jeong-han, Kang; Won, Han Sang | Development and Society, December 2010 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

A Typology of Organizational Behavior: At the Crossroad of Risk and Uncertainty*


Jeong-han, Kang, Won, Han Sang, Development and Society


Four modes of organizational behavior are proposed by crossing two behavioral dimensions adopted from organizational ecology (inertia vs. change) and neoinstitutionalism (normative vs. deviant). Those four modes are innovative (deviant change), reformative (normative change), conservative (normative inertia), and reactionary (deviant inertia) modes in the life-cycle of organizational behavior. Also identified are two distributional characteristics underlying each behavioral dimension: low risk vs. high risk underlying inertia vs. change, and certainty vs. uncertainty underlying normative vs. deviant. Through the integration of inertia-conformity and risk-uncertainty dimensions, hypotheses are generated on how transition to the next mode can be either promoted or hindered by sociopolitical resources at the organizational level and by intervention of the state and the civil society at the societal level. The typology and hypotheses outlined in this paper aim to further theoretical articulation and empirical tests on the evolutionary dynamics of organizational forms and institutions in the market.

Keywords: Inertia, Conformity, Risk, Uncertainty, Organizational Behavior, Institutions, Organizational Forms

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

Introduction

Population ecology and neoinstitutionalism lead organizational theories that incorporate organizational environments and view organizational dynamics at the macro-level. Organizations are either selected by their environments, according to population ecology (Hannan and Freeman, 1977), or adapted to institutional legitimacy, according to neoinstitutionalism (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983). Their emphasis on the interdependence between organizations and institutional environments identifies organizational form in population ecology or organizational field in neoinstitutionalism as the primary element in organizational evolution, but there has not been much research on how organizational forms or fields change (Meyer, Gaba, and Colwell, 2005). This lack of research concerning dynamism at the macro-level can be found in each theory.

First, population ecology is largely lacking in empirical research on population dynamics in spite of its theoretical interest in it. Carroll and Hannan (2000) theoretically articulated the concept of organizational "form," but most empirical studies focus on the dynamics of individual organizations within a given industry, population, and form, which is likely in a stable, rather than in a dynamic environment. In a word, the dynamics of organizational form is understudied in the literature of population dynamics (Chiles, Meyer, and Hench, 2004; Singh, 2006: 179). Population ecology did not theorize the dynamic nature of environments as much as it did for organizational structures. According to population ecology, the environment of a particular form is the density of other forms, while those other forms need to be explained by their own environment. Political factors are hardly implemented in such environments (Ingram and Simons, 2000), and population ecology is not able to provide standard research guidelines for form-dynamics as much as it did for individual dynamics.1 Organizational environments are theorized in terms of risk and uncertainty, and sociopolitical factors that can affect risk and uncertainty are explored in this paper.

Second, neoinstitutionalism theoretically tells a convincing story of how strong a dominant institution is, as captured by the image of institutional "iron cage" (DiMaggio and Powell, 1983) which is named after Weber's bureaucratic "iron cage" (Weber, 1970), but it does not provide a comparable story of how the self-enforcing cycle of an institution can be eventually broken (Greif and Laitin, 2004). Driving forces for institutional changes of each case are examined (Haveman, 2000). Empirically, neoinstitutionalism has been accumulating diverse, interesting case studies but their general hypotheses have hardly been tested.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Typology of Organizational Behavior: At the Crossroad of Risk and Uncertainty*
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.