Great, Madama Butterfly Again! How Robust Market Identity Shapes Opera Repertoires

Organization Science, 2014, 25: 109-126

18 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2013 Last revised: 19 Jan 2014

See all articles by Michael Jensen

Michael Jensen

University of Michigan

Bo Kyung Kim

Yonsei Business School

Date Written: April 29, 2013


We develop a theoretical framework to explain how two aspects of market structures – divergent and convergent audience preference and within- and between-category competition – shape market identities. We focus specifically on robust market identities, an under-researched type of identity, and argue that robust market identities, defined as balanced membership in divergent social categories, are most prevalent in markets with more divergent audiences and less within-category competition. We test our arguments in the U.S. opera market. Statistical analyses of 96 opera companies’ opera repertoires from 1995 to 2005 support our arguments: U.S. opera companies enact robust market identities by systematically balancing conventional and unconventional operas depending on the divergence of their audiences and the competitive pressure from other opera companies.

Keywords: identity, status, category, robust, niche width, audiences, competition, opera, arts

Suggested Citation

Jensen, Michael and Kim, Bo Kyung, Great, Madama Butterfly Again! How Robust Market Identity Shapes Opera Repertoires (April 29, 2013). Organization Science, 2014, 25: 109-126, Available at SSRN:

Michael Jensen (Contact Author)

University of Michigan ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Bo Kyung Kim

Yonsei Business School ( email )

50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu
Seoul, 120-749
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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