Typecasting and Legitimation: A Formal Theory

28 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2009

See all articles by Michael Hannan

Michael Hannan

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Greta Hsu

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management

Laszlo Polos

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: January 22, 2009

Abstract

We develop a unifying framework to integrate two of organizational sociology's theory fragments on categorization: typecasting and form emergence. Typecasting is a producer-level theory that considers the consequences producers face for specializing versus spanning across category boundaries. Form emergence considers the evolution of categories and how the attributes of producers entering a category shapes its likelihood of gaining legitimacy among relevant audiences. Both theory fragments emerge from the processes audiences use to assign category memberships to producers. In this paper,we develop this common foundation and clearly outline the arguments that lead to central implications of each theory. We formalize these arguments using modal expressions to represent key categorization processes and the theory-building framework developed by Hannan, Polos, and Carroll (2007).

Keywords: economics of organizations, competitive advantage

Suggested Citation

Hannan, Michael and Hsu, Greta and Polos, Laszlo, Typecasting and Legitimation: A Formal Theory (January 22, 2009). Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1331663 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1331663

Michael Hannan (Contact Author)

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
650-723-1511 (Phone)
650-725-7692 (Fax)

Greta Hsu

University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Laszlo Polos

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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