Munich Personal RePEc Archive

On the Ontology of Events in Demographies of Organizations

Brons, Lajos (2004): On the Ontology of Events in Demographies of Organizations.

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Demographies of organizations apply demographic methods to study change in populations of organizations. There are (at least) five relatively independent demographies of organizations. All of these have to deal with the same conceptual and theoretical problems that are mainly the result of the biological analogies on which they are based. All of these demographies lack a clear and consistent conceptual framework. Such a framework could not only help solve these conceptual problems, but would also improve the possibility of knowledge exchange between the different fields. Ontology is – among others – the scientific field that specifies such conceptual frameworks. Besides introducing and explaining this type of ontology, this paper proposes an ontology of events in the demographies of organizations. Eight basic types of vital events can be distinguished and are defined by means of symbolic logic and set theory: founding, termination, split-off, take-over, split-up, merger, essential change, and population transfer. All other types of events are either supertypes or are non-vital events. Non-vital events can be transformed into population transfer events. All demographies of organizations share these events, this ontology.

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