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Chapter 10 The Dark Triangle: Hybridization in the Third Sector

The Third Sector

ISBN: 978-1-78052-280-7, eISBN: 978-1-78052-281-4

ISSN: 2046-6072

Publication date: 8 November 2011


Purpose – This chapter introduces, problematizes, and extends research on business model innovation in the third sector from a feminist perspective. We examine how the issues of marginalization, subordination, and cooptation are revealed in dominant business models. These issues form a “dark triangle” that third-sector organizations strive to overcome.

Design/methodology/approach – We draw on a historical case study of Goodwill Industries International, Inc. (GII) to illustrate how business model innovations can counterbalance this dark triangle through three types of hybridization practices that can (re)engage the marginalized, the subordinated, and the coopted in more socially positive and economically viable opportunities.

Findings – This chapter uses a methodology of problematization to rebalance the overproblematization of critical management studies and the underproblematization of the mainstream literature on business models.

Originality/value – By recasting business model innovations as devices for reflection-in-action, this study extends the discussion on business models from the mainstream business literature to critical management studies; we underscore the versatility of business model in the third sector by first unpacking the social issues they are trying to solve and then decomposing them into specific sets of hybrid practices that explain how the desired social change can be effectively implemented.



Le Ber, M.J. and Branzei, O. (2011), "Chapter 10 The Dark Triangle: Hybridization in the Third Sector", Hull, R., Gibbon, J., Branzei, O. and Haugh, H. (Ed.) The Third Sector (Dialogues in Critical Management Studies, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 263-293.



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