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Arthur Stinchcombe's “liability of newness”: contribution and impact of the construct

Arthur Stinchcombe's “liability of newness”: contribution and impact of the construct Purpose – This conceptual paper aims at providing the readers of the Journal of Management History with an evaluation of the overall impact of Arthur Stinchcombe's liability of newness construct on the management literature about organizational evolution over time. Design/methodology/approach – The paper adopts an historical approach for discussing the development of those theoretical and empirical trajectories which, drawing on Stinchcombe's seminal underpinnings, have been developed by scholars over the second half of the twentieth century. The most recent enhancements on this topic are also discussed. Findings – The analysis demonstrates that the impact of the liability of newness on the related literature is great and twofold. On the one hand, it emerges that this concept has directly inspired a number of subsequently formulated constructs, such as the liabilities of smallness, adolescence and aging. On the other hand, it is evidenced that Stinchcombe's seminal insights still constitute one of the most fascinating bases for directing and positioning scholarly efforts within the organizational evolution research domain to date. Originality/value – The value of this paper is that it adopts a unique way for examining the development of a number of theoretical frameworks and empirical inquiries variously associated with the liability of newness over time. Three time decades are historically identified and the links among them are deepened. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management History Emerald Publishing

Arthur Stinchcombe's “liability of newness”: contribution and impact of the construct

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1751-1348
DOI
10.1108/17511341211258747
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This conceptual paper aims at providing the readers of the Journal of Management History with an evaluation of the overall impact of Arthur Stinchcombe's liability of newness construct on the management literature about organizational evolution over time. Design/methodology/approach – The paper adopts an historical approach for discussing the development of those theoretical and empirical trajectories which, drawing on Stinchcombe's seminal underpinnings, have been developed by scholars over the second half of the twentieth century. The most recent enhancements on this topic are also discussed. Findings – The analysis demonstrates that the impact of the liability of newness on the related literature is great and twofold. On the one hand, it emerges that this concept has directly inspired a number of subsequently formulated constructs, such as the liabilities of smallness, adolescence and aging. On the other hand, it is evidenced that Stinchcombe's seminal insights still constitute one of the most fascinating bases for directing and positioning scholarly efforts within the organizational evolution research domain to date. Originality/value – The value of this paper is that it adopts a unique way for examining the development of a number of theoretical frameworks and empirical inquiries variously associated with the liability of newness over time. Three time decades are historically identified and the links among them are deepened.

Journal

Journal of Management HistoryEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 21, 2012

Keywords: Liability; Management; Newness; Organizational evolution; Innovation; Organizational structures; Management history

References