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The duality of niche and form: The differentiation of institutional space in New York City, 1888–1917

Categories in Markets: Origins and Evolution

ISBN: 978-0-85724-593-9, eISBN: 978-0-85724-594-6

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 21 December 2010

Abstract

Miller McPherson's approach to measuring the inherent duality of organizational forms and the environmental niches that they occupy is adapted and applied to an analysis of the institutional field of (outdoor) poverty relief organizations operating in New York City (1888–1917). In contrast to McPherson's approach that emphasizes how organizations are differentially arrayed within “Blau space,” this chapter focuses on how organizational forms are distributed across an institutional “logic space” that is itself dually ordered and defined by the kinds of organizational forms that are understood to exist. The resulting niche maps are employed to trace out the jurisdictional conflicts that erupted during the Progressive Era between two competing organizational forms – scientific charities and settlement houses – each of which embodied a particular vision and practice for delivering social relief to the poor.

Citation

Mohr, J.W. and Guerra-Pearson, F. (2010), "The duality of niche and form: The differentiation of institutional space in New York City, 1888–1917", Hsu, G., Negro, G. and Koçak, Ö. (Ed.) Categories in Markets: Origins and Evolution (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 31), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 321-368. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X(2010)0000031013

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited