Tales from the grave

Organizations' accounts of their own demise

Mark Hager, Joseph Galaskiewicz, Wolfgang Bielefeld, Joel Pins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Competing theories of organizational behavior offer a variety of reasons why organizations cease to exist. Some reasons are internal to the organization, such as losing control over financial matters and being unable to routinize procedures. Other reasons are environmental, such as changing market conditions, lacking social capital, outside regulation, and not being perceived as legitimate by external power holders. The authors interviewed representatives from dead nonprofit organizations to determine the extent to which these theoretical explanations match with respondent understandings of why their organizations closed. Respondents were more likely to attribute death to their smallness, youth, financial difficulties, personnel turnover, being perceived as unimportant, or decreased demand for their services. Organizations that said they were "too young" or "too small" were more likely to say that they were too disconnected from other organizations in the community, thus shedding light on why youth and smallness are such a liability for organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-994
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1996
Externally publishedYes

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Organizations
Personnel Turnover
Nonprofit Organizations
organizational behavior
non-profit-organization
turnover
liability
social capital
personnel
death
regulation
organization
demand
market
community
Surveys and Questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Hager, M., Galaskiewicz, J., Bielefeld, W., & Pins, J. (1996). Tales from the grave: Organizations' accounts of their own demise. American Behavioral Scientist, (8), 975-994.

Tales from the grave : Organizations' accounts of their own demise. / Hager, Mark; Galaskiewicz, Joseph; Bielefeld, Wolfgang; Pins, Joel.

In: American Behavioral Scientist, No. 8, 08.1996, p. 975-994.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hager, M, Galaskiewicz, J, Bielefeld, W & Pins, J 1996, 'Tales from the grave: Organizations' accounts of their own demise', American Behavioral Scientist, no. 8, pp. 975-994.
Hager, Mark ; Galaskiewicz, Joseph ; Bielefeld, Wolfgang ; Pins, Joel. / Tales from the grave : Organizations' accounts of their own demise. In: American Behavioral Scientist. 1996 ; No. 8. pp. 975-994.
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