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Journal Article

Organizational Legitimacy and the Liability of Newness

Jitendra V. Singh, David J. Tucker and Robert J. House
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 31, No. 2 (Jun., 1986), pp. 171-193
DOI: 10.2307/2392787
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2392787
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Organizational Legitimacy and the Liability of Newness
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Abstract

This study explores whether external legitimacy or internal coordination processes more prominently underlie the liability of newness, the higher propensity of younger organizations to die, in a population of voluntary social service organizations. The findings show more support for the external legitimacy than for the internal coordination argument. Indicators show that forms of external legitimacy - the acquisition of a Community Directory listing, the acquisition of a Charitable Registration Number, and board size at birth - all significantly depress organizational death rates, whereas most internal organizational changes are unrelated to death rates. The exception is chief executive change, which lowers death rates, suggesting that chief executive turnover may be adaptive. The lack of institutional support experienced by young organizations is one important reason underlying the liability of newness in organizations.

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