" The growth of a large business is merely the survival of the fittest : it is merely the working out of a law of nature"
John D Rockefeller
Population ecology is a perspective that seeks to explain the factors that affect the life cycles of organizations. It also suggests why some organizations survive for longer than the others. Earlier theories such a the such as the strategic choice theory argued that organizations try to adapt to changing environments and the ones that do it successfully survive. The population ecology perspective states that it is the environment that selects organizations that will survive over time and organizations have no say in this matter.
It draws from the Darwinian theory of natural selection that sates that organisms with favorable traits are more likely to survive . Alchian in 1950 pointed out the process of natural selection which the environment imposes on firms and the relevance of organizational adaptation as guarantee for survival . A number of researchers such as Hannan ,Freeman ,Carroll , Van De Ven have worked on this topic.
Population ecology is a theory about "Darwinian selection" in populations of organizations ( Carroll and Hannan) . A. The fundamental unit of analysis in this theory is the population. population consists of organizations of similar forms i.e. organizations that draw from the same resource pool . Now some of the questions this theory seeks to answer are
a> Why are there so many kinds of organizations?
b> What explains the diversity of organizations?
c> Why some organizations survive longer than the others?
d> What factors affect the life cycle of organizations?
Three central features of this perspective are
a> The role of structural inertia in constraining adaptation
b> The classification of organizational species.
c> The salience of environment in determining organizational survival.... [continues]
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