What is typology


In economic sociology: [1] Classification of a range of issues according to one or more central characteristics (e.g. classification of forms of rule according to the basis of their legitimacy, formation of market forms according to the type of competition and number of market participants). In its developed form, the T represents a complete classification of facts. The classes of such a T are also called classificatory types.

[2] Term used within psychology to denote psychological type theories. These approaches, which are particularly represented in the context of personality psychology, attempt to present certain personality traits as syndrome-like and legally coherent. Centrally held properties such as temperament, body structure, cognitive styles, etc., which are also often arranged in a polar manner (such as extraversion, introversion), serve as a crystallization point. The problems of Tn - which today are mainly created with the help of factor analytical methods - are mainly to be seen in the fact that a) there are no `` pure '' types in practice, b) it remains unclear whether with formed types are explanatory or merely explanatory ordering aspects are addressed and c) older and newer Tn are extremely susceptible to the ideological position of their authors.

(Typology) the name is derived from Greek Typos: figure, pattern, archetype, image; in the literature it is often used synonymously with morphology. With the help of typologies, a large number of real appearances should be arranged and thus made manageable. Only that which is regarded as essential should be expressed; the type is therefore a "representative" of a large number of real phenomena that have a number of common characteristics (typological method). The selection and composition of the characteristics that determine the type depend on the purpose of the investigation. Within the framework of the conceptual theory, the typology stands between qualitative (classificatory) and quantitative (metric) terms: Qualitative terms (classifying terms, 7 generic terms) Terms Comparative terms (relational terms, types) Quantitative terms (metric terms) There are many typologies in economics. In the field of economics, this includes the distinctions between different market forms and economic systems, within business administration in particular work on business or company typologies (commercial types) and typologies on business processes, goods, trade fairs or exhibitions (product typology). Literature: Castan, E., Typologie der Betriebe, Stuttgart 1963. Knoblich, H., Betriebswirtschaftliche Ware Typologie. Basics and Applications, Cologne, Opladen 1969. v. Stackelberg, H., Fundamentals of Theoretical Economics, Tübingen, Zurich 1951.

Typologies result from the bundling of several characteristics into “types”. As an anticipation of an explicit theory building, typologies primarily have a heuristic meaning: They stimulate knowledge and clarify problem areas. After all, they are only schemes through which a large number of objects are defined with the help of features, of which it is neither known whether they are sufficient nor whether a complete classification can be carried out.
One example of this are the ideal types of Max Weber, who saw type formation as one of the central tasks of sociology.
For Weber, social science was a science that researched empirical regularities and types. Weber's “types of action” and his “types of rule” were not intended to comprehensively comprehend social reality, but merely to provide heuristics - to provide instruments for simplifying and condensing the complex social reality. According to Weber, only by comparing reality with the equally clear, non-Viennese ”type concepts can the given concrete relationships be determined:“ The construction of a strictly purposeful rational action ... serves ... the sociology of its evident comprehensibility and its - adhering to the rationality - Unambiguity because of the type (“ideal type”), in order to understand the law, the action influenced by irrationalities of all kinds (affects, errors), as a 'deviation' from the course to be expected in purely rational behavior ”(Max Weber).
As an instrument for understanding social reality, typologies have a nominalistic character. Their terms are nothing more than names for real things, but not the things themselves.
They therefore have both heuristic and systematic and terminological value. A scientific analysis would hardly be conceivable today without typological definition of terms. However, since Auguste Comte's categorization into social statics and social dynamics, the typologies have repeatedly been exposed to the tendency to view the general, apparently static in the phenomena in the definition of the types as the actually constant, which is opposed to the individual, less permanent.
This subordination of ontological moments - the confusion of the mere name of the appearance with the thing itself - is obvious, since the purely theoretical constructs of the type concepts, despite their intended distance from reality and their purely constructive character, claim to emphasize the essential and actually determining from the diffuse appearance material .
The fewer typologies that are empirically verified or theoretically derivable, the greater the arbitrariness with which they are developed. Despite this important objection, some advantages of empirically substantial classifications and typologies can be named after Jürgen Friedrichs:
· Structuring: You arrange a large number of objects in manageable groups.

· Heuristic value: You shadow a system of logically and / or empirically interdependent definitions. Is this system based on hypotheses? then the typology is part of the theory of an object domain. Further hypotheses can be derived from it, e.g. about the connections between certain characteristics or the search for objects that have a certain combination of characteristics.
· Basis for sampling: The better typologies prove themselves empirically, the sooner they can form the basis for sampling in an investigation. A classification of people according to certain characteristics leads to the construction of social classes, a classification of situations based on characteristics leads to a classification of observation units. Both classifications describe the cases of an area; the units of the respective typology formed in this way represent the set of different units for a sample.
Extreme group comparison: For special research purposes, samples of extreme groups of the typology can be selected, e.g. to make extreme group comparisons of people, organizations or societies. In terms of the history of science, typologies are a product of clinical psychology and its various approaches to developing personality types, e.g. starting with Galen’s theory of the four temperaments choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic and melancholic to Kretschmer’s body types. According to W. Mischel, a distinction must be made between psychodynamic and property-centered theories:
(1) Psychodynamic theory assumes that the underlying personality is relatively stable in relation to the situation, but also assumes that a person's reactions reveal their main problems and personality organization when the behavior is interpreted correctly. Behavior itself is therefore of interest to the proponents of this theory only insofar as it says something about the unconscious processes of the individual.
(2) The basic assumption of property theory is that properties exist as psychological realities in the person and that they are causes of behavior, that these properties are relatively stable (regardless of the situation) and persistent and that certain properties are common to many people, that they only vary in their degree of expression. A large part of the investigation of properties is based on a cumulative, quantitative measurement model. In such a model, the property indicators are set in an additive relationship to the underlying disposition.
Paul F. Lazarsfeld and Allan H. Barton developed a modification of the classificatory method of type formation under the name property space. Objects are classified according to their characteristics (“dimensions”). From a cross-tabulation of several features and their characteristics, a feature space is formed. If one denotes the characteristics with A. B, C ... and their values ​​with a1, a2; b1, b2, b3, ... then such a space, formed from two features with three characteristics each, has the following form:
If you expand the space with further features and their characteristics, a multidimensional matrix is ​​created. To reduce the number of cells, cells are grouped together. These summaries (I, II, III, IV) result in types, i.e. combinations of features. The rule of the summary is either the empirical frequency distribution or a hypothesis about the presumed connection between the characteristics. If one reverses this procedure by not developing the typology on the basis of given characteristics, but examining existing typologies for their characteristics (“substruction” according to Barton), this creates an existing typology in which each type is described relatively vaguely on the basis of a few characteristics , explicated with the help of the feature space.

A review of the typologies developed with the help of the feature space is possible with the help of statistical models such as factor analysis, cluster analysis or discriminant analysis.
The aim of the statistical typology method is to subdivide the population of all individuals into groups that are as homogeneous as possible with regard to the examined characteristics within the group (minimum internal variance) and as heterogeneous as possible between the groups (maximum external variance): the variance is usually measured with help of proximity or similarity measures such as Euclidean or CityBlock distance.
Typologies have been used in market research since George Katona (1951) primarily to analyze consumer behavior. A distinction is often made between the following types of purchasing behavior:
Rational behavior,
Habitual behavior,
Impulse behavior,
· Socially dependent behavior.
The GfK scales of the Society for Consumption, Market and Sales Research, Nuremberg, can be described as the prototype of the attempt to work with general attitudes in German marketing practice. The typologies of the publishers also try to classify the user groups of selected advertising media on the basis of general attitude characteristics in addition to the regularly collected socio-economic characteristics.
One type is therefore a generalization of objects or subjects in selected features based on inductive observation, experiments and / or surveys. Individual types have different characteristics. Types can also be derived on a purely intellectual level - then ideal types result. Individual features that appear to be important in isolation are summarized and used to form groups. The result is conceptual constructs that appear relatively good as a basis for planning, because they contain the elements of the objective directly or only the characteristics are statistically available.
It makes sense to create types or typologies according to their “natural” occurrence. Typologies are then lists of homogeneous and selective groups, the descriptive characteristics of which are based on an actual correlation and in which the individual types represent part of the totality. Seen in this way, they can also be interpreted as structured entities.
Since typologies are orders par excellence, their applicability is not restricted to psychological characteristics. In principle, they can be applied to any number of characteristics. Purely demographic characteristics can of course also be used to form types. A demo typology provides information on combinations of demographic characteristics that occur particularly frequently in reality and their proportional distribution in the totality. In this way, important decisions can be made regarding the empirical relevance of demographic distinguishing features.
In addition to the so-called active variables of a typology - these are the variables that were used to form the types - so-called passive variables can also be included in a typology. The complexity of the types is thereby increased, but there is the possibility of establishing a connection between type variables of a psychological nature, which are difficult to localize, and demographic variables. In this way, types can also be described with demographic variables or with variables of media usage behavior, although these themselves did not contribute to the formation of the type. Summaries are chosen to present the results of typologies. Certain bundles of properties are summarized in a factor. Handy names are used for entire types. This has the advantage that the types are particularly easy to remember. However, it has the disadvantage of a possible inadmissible simplification and the resulting false conclusions.
Qualitative terms and designations in particular can be interpreted depending on the users. At a high level of generalization, typologies have a high degree of latitude for interpretation. The imprecise description of the type-defining characteristics and the simplistic use of short descriptions all too often lead to identification difficulties.
Typologies condense the variables, divide the individuals into groups, each with typical behavior or typical attitude patterns and thus make a multi-layered and confusing buyer base more manageable. It is always a matter of synthesizing easily understandable and practically usable indicators, which are, however, at the same time more concise and shorter than the original variables. Since typologies always only provide classification criteria of a quantity relation, their value is determined solely by the analysis of causal relationships between the types determined and the target values ​​of marketing, which must be carried out outside the typology itself.
There is no “correct” or even “generally valid” typology per se. As heuristic instruments, typologies must be functional and problem-specific.
The specificity arises from the fact that the attitudes and behavior of one and the same person can be quite different for different types of goods or life situations.
When combining target group criteria, however, there is a great risk of combining too many features with one another. There are then so many mutual interdependencies that the combination is no longer practicable, the population becomes too small and the target group can therefore no longer be processed economically due to its small size.
According to a formulation by Lutz von Rosenstiel and Guntram Ewald, the multitude of buyer typologies that fill the market in order to meet the need for greater market transparency testifies to a little “of the unadulterated hope that by demonstrating correlative connections between personality variables and consumer behavior, predictions about future Behavior can be taken or observed behavior can be explained psychologically ”.
According to a suggestion by G. Gutjahr, it makes sense to distinguish between the following categories among the numerous consumer typologies:
· Pseudo-typologies: They are basically not typologies at all, but represent nothing more than social stereotypes that owe their determination only to the possession or use of certain brands or products, such as the type of Mercedes driver or the Type of mirror reader.
Typologies based on a causal relationship between character type and consumption, e.g. the class of regular alcohol users and
· Typologies that - based on the subdivision into users and non-users or first-time users, brand loyalty, etc. of certain products - seek to gain further information in the form of discriminatory personality traits about the members of the previously determined user categories with the help of psychodiagnostic procedures.

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