Have entries into populations of labor unions, semiconductor firms, and newspaper publishers been subject to similar processes of density depen- dence? In a general sense the answer appears to be yes. For all three kinds of organizations, rates of founding depend on density. For unions and newspaper publishers the founding rates rise with increasing density to a point and then decline with further increases in density. For semiconductor firms this non-monotonic pattern characterizes only the subsidiary firms. The entry rates of independent firms do not behave as if they have encountered a carrying capacity.
We should note that because of imprecise founding dates, we were forced to rely on aggregate analyses of entry processes in the semiconductor analysis. The small number of time points available makes this a risky procedure. We should also note that we are studying entries into the semi- conductor business, not foundings. In this sense, the semiconductor study may very well produce different results because the phenomenon under investigation is conceptually different.
Both labor unions and semiconductor firms display competition between forms, and in both studies the competition is asymmetric. The number of industrial unions has strong negative effects on the founding rate of craft unions, but the number of craft unions has no effect on the founding rate of industrial unions. Among semiconductor firms, the density of subsidiary firms has strong competitive effects on the entry rate of independent firms, but not the reverse.
In Chapter 11 we consider the same issues in the context of rates of failure. But before doing so, we turn to consideration of the prior issue of age variation in failure rates.
Source: Hannan Michael T., Freeman John (1993), Organizational Ecology, Harvard University Press; Reprint edition.