Organizational change in the Arizona funeral home industry,1968-1999: Density, concentration, and vital rates in a measured resource space
AuthorBreckenridge, Robert S.
AdvisorBreiger, Ronald L.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn this dissertation, I examine organizational density and ownership relations in the Funeral Home Industry in the state of Arizona between 1968 and 1999. I incorporate the theories of organizational ecology and resource dependence alongside institutional theory to analyze changing numbers and concentrations of organizations. In pursuit of this research, I distinguish between establishments, the actual funeral home storefront building operation, and firms, the organizations that own and manage one or more establishments. Focus is placed on two particular institutions in the funeral home industry: (1) the tight social linkage between the industry and human deaths, and (2) the traditions that limited growth among funeral home organizations. I use these institutional forces along with the size of the resource space and organizational variables to examine competition and concentration as forces affecting the numbers, relationships, and vital rates of organizations via time-series cross-sectional methods. My findings indicate that hyper-legitimacy of the industry relative to resources plays a key role in population change by promoting organizational growth under conditions of a growing resources space, leading to economies of scale. In general, my results show that establishments develop in localized competitive markets in manners compatible with theories of density and resource dependence; and firms operate at the aggregated state level---across multiple county markets---in manners compatible with the theories of resource partitioning.
Degree ProgramGraduate College