The consequents of organizer ecologies: A logical formalization

Jeroen Kuilman, Ivar Vermeulen, Jiatao Li

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Density delay theory, which predicts that higher levels of competition at founding will lead organizations to have persistently higher failure rates throughout their existence, has traditionally been among the least contested theories in organizational ecology. A growing number of empirical studies, however, have failed to support the theory's predictions, suggesting that density delay in its current form apparently does not apply to all populations in all conditions. Rather than discarding the theory altogether, we apply insights from the burgeoning literature on pre-entry ecologies to make sense of this empirical anomaly and use logical formalization to synthesize arguments of both theory fragments in a single, logically sound framework. Our results suggest that the nature of the density delay effect depends to a large extent on the chosen observation window, and, possibly, a confounding with the number of organizers concurrently present in the pre-entry stages. In addition, we derive a number of testable hypotheses that should strengthen research on both density delay and pre-entry ecologies.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event68th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2008 - Anaheim, CA, United States
Duration: 8 Aug 200813 Aug 2008


Conference68th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAnaheim, CA


  • Density delay
  • Formalization
  • Organizational ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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