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Competition and Mutualism among Early Telephone Companies

William P. Barnett and Glenn R. Carroll
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 32, No. 3 (Sep., 1987), pp. 400-421
DOI: 10.2307/2392912
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2392912
Page Count: 22
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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.
Competition and Mutualism among Early Telephone Companies
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Abstract

In an exploratory study of the early telephone industry, we search for evidence of competition and mutualism between legally autonomous companies. Neighboring companies are found to have both types of interdependencies, although their exact nature depends on organizational form. Companies in separate geographical locations are found to be competitive with each other, regardless of organizational form. The two prevalent organizational forms in the industry at this time each apparently flourished in distinct niches and were symbiotically related. The findings are interpreted within a community ecology framework.

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