The Impact of Organizational Prototypes and Industry Clusters on the Fates of Northern Bavarian (Franconian) Breweries



Recent research in organization theory suggests that audiences reward organizations that are prototypical of an organizational form and sanction ones that deviate from the prototype. We contend that audience expectations are critically influenced by the existence of industry clusters and vary across geographical locations. Analyzing the population of northern Bavarian (Franconian) breweries, we argue that (a) organizational prototypes emerge in industry clusters and that (b) their influence on the behavior of other organizations in the industry depends upon a firm’s location in geographic space. More specifically, using a survey of audience members, qualitative interviews and archival data we provide evidence that as distance from the cluster center increases, organizations are more likely to deviate from the prototype and suffer fewer of the negative consequences that result from such deviations.

Contact information:
Prof. Dr P.P.M.A.R. Heugens (
Prof. Dr J.J.P. Jansen (