The Structure of Consensus: Network Ties, Legitimation, and Exit Rates of U.S. Feature Film Producer Organizations

Administrative Science Quarterly, 53 (2008): 145–182

Posted: 26 Jun 2016

See all articles by Gino Cattani

Gino Cattani

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior

Simone Ferriani

University of Bologna - Department of Management

Giacomo Negro

Emory University, Goizueta Business School

Fabrizio Perretti

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Date Written: December 01, 2008

Abstract

Recent research emphasizes that legitimacy depends on consensus among agents (audiences) about the features and activities of organizations (candidates) that become taken-for-granted elements in a social domain. This study examines how consensus is affected by the structure of interaction in the network connecting social audiences to candidate organizations. It analyzes how audience members reach, reinforce, and preserve consensus about candidates’ features and behavior, affecting a crucial organizational outcome, survival. The findings show that survival is enhanced by the degree of connectivity and the repeated interactions between audience members and candidate organizations and is reduced by the degree of turnover of audience members. We situate our analysis in the U.S. motion picture industry, where we trace the interorganizational network between feature film producer organizations (candidates) and distributor organizations (the audience) and its influence on producer organizations’ exit rates over the period 1912-1970. We find strong support for the claim that the legitimation process has a relational foundation that involves ties between organizational entities and the external others with whom they interact. The results contribute to the dialogue between ecological and network theories of organizations and support the claim that legitimation has a relational foundation involving ties between organizations and audiences.

Keywords: Consensus, audience, legitimation, connectivity, repeated ties, turnover, exit rate, movie industry

Suggested Citation

Cattani, Gino and Ferriani, Simone and Negro, Giacomo and Perretti, Fabrizio, The Structure of Consensus: Network Ties, Legitimation, and Exit Rates of U.S. Feature Film Producer Organizations (December 01, 2008). Administrative Science Quarterly, 53 (2008): 145–182, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2800355

Gino Cattani (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior ( email )

44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

Simone Ferriani

University of Bologna - Department of Management ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www2.sa.unibo.it/docenti/simone.ferriani/

Giacomo Negro

Emory University, Goizueta Business School ( email )

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

HOME PAGE: http://goizueta.emory.edu/faculty/academic_areas/organization_management/negro_giacomo.html

Fabrizio Perretti

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

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