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Titles and tasks: New jobs for new media in Silicon Alley? (New York City)

Gregory Edward Robbins, 2002
Faculty Advisor: Gerald F. Davis
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Abstract

I examine the distribution of job titles in Silicon Alley, an emerging high-tech industrial district. In doing so, I follow recent interest in those socio-cognitive categories around which markets are organized, and extend that focus to include categories that are incompletely or multiply institutionalized. In Silicon Alley the emergence of standardized titles is related both to the development of alternate roles within design and production teams and to the operation of a labor market for temporary and project-based positions. In analyzing on-line job announcements, I draw on institutional theory and evolutionary theory to understand both the institutionalization of multiple standards and how firms come to choose, and thus propagate, titles from among those standards. The relevance of these results extends beyond Silicon Alley to other areas of the “new economy,” especially those that are organized around service and project networks.

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