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Title: Status Conservatism Pervasion: General Expectations of Quality and Alliance Partner Selection in the Software Industry 1996-2002
Author: Collet, Francois H.
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2005
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In research on organizational status, the level of uncertainty determines the e.xtent to which status is used as a stand-in for accurate information on product quality or organizational capabilities. In this thesis I show that service-oriented software firms lay greater emphasis on status than productoriented firms when selecting alliance partners despite facing a lower level of uncertainty. The logic of status is over-prevalent in service oriented organizations as a result of the general level of uncertainty in this type of business. Theoretical predictions are tested using data on 6984 alliance partner selection events in the global software industry between 1996 and 2002. The empirical analy!'es offer strong support for the theory. This theoretical and empirical contribution to the literature on organizational status is based on a theoretical reflection on the concept of habitus and an examination of some of the theoretical foundations of social networks theory in the field of economic sociology. This reflection results in two contributions to theory. First, I show that the old notion of habitus, revived by sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, differs from Herbert Simon's notion of bounded rationality. I show that whilst they share the same fundamental view, habitus points to a number of important issues that are either not considered by Simon or outside the purview of his scientific interest. I make clear that this comparative analysis is not an exercise of theoretical exegesis but rather an inquiry with some methodological stakes. I explain how it can be useful in the design of hypotheses on agents' adaptive capabilities. Second I examine Mark S. Granovetter's theory of social networks as moderator of economic interest. I show that the choice to associate the theory with Max \X'eber's concept of Economic Social Action is dif?cult to justify. I also argue that theories that look at the role of social networks in economic activity should make clear that economics skills are learned and networks dependent on some structural conditions in order to avoid false generalizations and spurious interpretations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Oxford University, 2005 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available