To counterbalance the proliferation of studies on the emergence of new organizational categories, this study asked how organizational categories disappear. In a historical case study of vemen in Rotterdam warehousing, specific mechanisms contributing to the demise of that category are identified, paying particular attention to category labels, schemas, and members’ positioning within categories. A comparison with a similar but more persistent category in the port of Antwerp helps identify the possible causal mechanisms at work. A set of theoretical propositions is presented, as well as suggestions for re-specifying models of industry evolution, including accounting for the impact of posers.

organizational behavior
Firm Behavior (jel D21), Firm Organization and Market Structure: Markets vs. Hierarchies; Vertical Integration; Conglomerates (jel L22), Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification (jel Z13),
ERIM Top-Core Articles
Industrial and Corporate Change
First published online: June 21, 2012
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Kuilman, J.G, & van Driel, H. (2013). You too, Brutus? Category demise in Rotterdam warehousing, 1871-2011. Industrial and Corporate Change, 22(2), 511–548. doi:10.1093/icc/dts019