Personal Versus Market Logics of Control: A Historically Contingent Theory of the Risk of Acquisition Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper develops and tests a theory of the historical contingency of the risk of acquisition using data from the higher education publishing market from 1958-1990. Interviews and historical analyses are combined to identify two forms of capitalism - personal and market, and in particular to publishing, to identify the institutional logics identified with each form of capitalism (an editorial and a market logic). Hazard-rate models are used to test for differences in the effects of these two logics on the organization and market determinants of acquisition. Publishers with relational network forms of organization in production and distribution were at a higher risk of acquisition in the market period but not in the editorial period. Competition in the product market increased the risk of acquisition in the market period, but not the editorial period. The covariates explaining the risk of acquisition change as a consequence of the evolution of capitalism and as a result of a firm's strategic and structural conformity with the institutional logic of the prevailing form of capitalism.

author list (cited authors)

  • Thornton, P. H.

citation count

  • 73

publication date

  • June 2001