Jan 01 1994

Dynamics of Populations of Credit Unions


Hannan, West, and Barron investigate the development of credit unions over time, focusing on organizational processes that shaped and continue to determine the evolution of credit unions. They clarify how the potential for future development of the credit union movement is shaped by the past dynamics of American credit union development, the growth of competing forms of deposit institutions, and government regulation. They use the theoretical and methodological perspective of organizational ecology. This approach to organizational analysis seeks to understand how social conditions affect the rates at which new organizations and new organizational forms arise, the rates at which organizations change their fundamental features, and the rates at which organizations and organizational forms die out.

Hannan, West, and Barron posed hypotheses that apply to many kinds of organizational populations and collected credit union data appropriate for testing these hypotheses. Their research reveals a number of informative patterns in the proliferation and growth of credit unions. These patterns suggest strong parallels with the dynamics of other kinds of organizational populations. Consequently, they conclude that their research indicates that organizational ecology theory can help us better understand the evolution of credit unions.

Report Number 1