Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation



First Advisor

Patrick D. Nolan


In 1985 Rush demonstrated that Blau's (1977) structural perspective, developed for relations between persons, could be applied to the study of mergers as a form of relation between organizations. This dissertation is an extension of that work. It highlights that even in the presence of systematic tendencies for similar units to associate, variation in opportunity structures influences relational patterns. There are additions to the initial hypotheses that were developed and examined for populations of organizations with respect to thrift mergers in the entire United States over a 29-year merger period. For the nominal dimensions over the entire span of 29 years, there is support for in-breeding; however, for the graduated dimensions for this time period out-breeding is supported. Dividing the data into separate time periods demonstrates a shift over time to weaker out-breeding for the graduated dimensions resulting in, over time, assets and liabilities shifting to in-breeding. For net worth there is out-breeding in all instances, and for distance there is a strong in-breeding tendency for all periods. The hypotheses claiming there would be positive correlations between population and relational measures along the same dimensions are supported in all cases with the exception of insurance type for the last two time periods. A second set of analyses for these hypotheses involve simple regressions and support in-breeding for insurance type, federal/state charter type, and distance between head offices dimensions and out-breeding for assets, liabilities, and net worth, which suggests that as population heterogeneity increases so too does merger heterogeneity. For hypotheses involving consolidation of dimensions, the findings are not significant. For the impact of mergers on the overall structure of the thrift industry, which in turn impacts the nature of mergers, there is support.