Properties of Emerging Organizations

Posted: 17 Nov 2009

See all articles by William B. Gartner

William B. Gartner

Copenhagen Business School; Clemson University - College of Business and Behavioral Science

Jerome Katz

Saint Louis University - Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business

Date Written: 1988


Using organization theory, the properties of emergingorganizations are explored, as well as the opportunities for further researchin this area. Understanding the properties that an organization possesses as itis created will aid in identifying a framework for determining whenorganization creation may occur. Previous research has often focused only onstructure or on process -- this framework attempts to integrate theseapproaches. McKelvey's definition of organization is used to identify theproperties of emerging organizations. These properties are intentionality,resources, boundaries, and exchange. They represent the minimum characteristicsnecessary for identifying the existence of an organization, and help to focuson the interactions of agents and the environment. These characteristics may not become visible at the same time. Consequently,choosing one particular property as the sampling variable can dramaticallyimpact the point at which newly created organizations are identified. The useof these four properties will impact the methods and theory in organizationtheory and entrepreneurship. The use of each property to identify nascentorganizations is illustrated, and examples of previous research utilizing theseproperties are provided. Focusing on the period when a preorganizationmoves to a new organization will help to better explain the concept ofemergence and the manner in which organizations come into existence.(SRD)

Keywords: Organizational boundaries, Intentions, Exchange, Emerging organizations, Population ecology, Environment, Firm gestation, Resource acquisition, Startups, Organization theory

Suggested Citation

Gartner, William B. and Gartner, William B. and Katz, Jerome, Properties of Emerging Organizations (1988). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN:

William B. Gartner (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School

Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy
Porcelaenshaven 18B
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000

Clemson University - College of Business and Behavioral Science ( email )

345 Sirrine Hall
Clemson, SC 29634
United States


Jerome Katz

Saint Louis University - Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business ( email )

3674 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108
United States
314-977-3864 (Phone)


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