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.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Industrial and Corporate Change
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Kuilman, J., & 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