The organizers' ecology: An empirical study of foreign banks in Shanghai

Jeroen Kuilman, Jiatao Li

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The organizing stages that predate entry into an organizational population were studied from an ecological perspective. Based on a detailed analysis of foreign banks in Shanghai, findings are presented that suggest that the likelihood of moving from the organizing phase to the operational stages is nonmonotonically dependent on the length of the waiting time. We found that firms seeking to gain entry into a population are negatively affected by the presence of other organizers in close geographical proximity, while the number of already-established organizations has an inverted U-shaped relationship with the aspirant's likelihood of entering a relationship that operates more broadly. After investigating the effect of the geographical location of other potential entrants, as well as the effect of relative sizes and countries of origin, we have drawn inferences about the strength of these competitors' identities and their impact on a social actor's decision to enter the population. Our findings are informative not only for those studying organizational founding patterns, but also for those interested in the early process of identity formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-401
Number of pages17
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Identity
  • Mimetic entry
  • Organizational ecology
  • Organizational founding
  • Pre-entry stages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'The organizers' ecology: An empirical study of foreign banks in Shanghai'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this