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Where Does Competition Come From?: The role of organization
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media. Universitá della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5462-3041
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies. Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE), Sweden.
University of Lucerne, Switzerland.
2020 (English)In: Organization Theory, ISSN 2631-7877, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 1-24Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although an ever-increasing number and types of organizations are expected to compete, the origins of competition have been a neglected topic. By assuming that competition simply emerges, organization theory currently lacks an understanding of when and why organizations compete. In this article we critically review and extend existing literatures on competition to offer an organizational theorization of the origins of competition. We argue that competition is the social construction of its four constitutive elements: actors, relationships, scarcity and desire. Furthermore, we show that three types of actors – those who compete, those who adjudicate the competition, and those who have an interest in creating competition – can construct competition independently or in concert. We also discuss different types of organized competition; the role of rankers, prize givers and other actors interested in creating competition; and competition as an unintended consequence of organization. Finally, we outline future research on competition and organization that follows from our conceptualization, along with some normative implications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2020. Vol. 1, no 1, p. 1-24
Keywords [en]
actorhood, competition, contest, institutions, prizes, rankings, social construction
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-402842DOI: 10.1177/2631787719889977OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-402842DiVA, id: diva2:1387035
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 421-2014-1721Available from: 2020-01-20 Created: 2020-01-20 Last updated: 2020-01-21Bibliographically approved

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