Heterogeneity, Turnover, and the Dynamics of Organizational Demography

by James A. Kitts


This paper applies the most basic model of formal demography to the dynamics of organizational membership. Mathematical models and computer simulations investigate the organization-level implications of first principles in the dynamics of members’ affiliation choices. Building on the assumption that members are heterogeneous in their propensities to exit, consequences are formally derived for membership turnover, growth in membership, and accumulation of experience among members. Implications and extensions are discussed for organizational learning, senescence, and obsolescence.



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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9801691.

Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).