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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2021

Joshua Maine, Emilia Florin Samuelsson and Timur Uman

Drawing on paradox theory, this study explores how ambidextrous sustainability relates to organisational performance in hybrid organisations represented by Swedish…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on paradox theory, this study explores how ambidextrous sustainability relates to organisational performance in hybrid organisations represented by Swedish municipal housing corporations, and how this relationship is contingent on the organisational structure of these organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study relies on the data collected from Swedish municipal housing corporations. These data sources consist of a survey sent to the management team members in Swedish municipal housing corporations, financial and non-financial archival data on these corporations, interviews with the management team and board members, and observations of meetings involving the management team and board of directors at a Swedish municipal housing corporation. Quantitative data of the study were analysed using descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and linear multiple regression analysis. Qualitative data were analysed employing deductive thematic analysis and were used to illustrate and discuss the results of the quantitative analysis.

Findings

The quantitative findings show that ambidextrous sustainability, i.e. the alignment between an explorative orientation and an exploitative orientation towards sustainability, has a weakly positive relationship with financial performance and a positive relationship with social performance in hybrid organisations represented by Swedish municipal housing corporations. The study further shows that a high level of the structural element “connectedness” weakened the relationship between the ambidextrous sustainability and financial performance of the organisation in the study. In contrast, a lower level of connectedness reinforced and strengthened this relationship. Our qualitative material illustrates how the quantitative findings could be explained by the interaction between the board of directors and the management team of these hybrid organisations.

Originality/value

The study shows how ambidextrous sustainability, employed for conceptualisation of the sustainability strategy in hybrid organisations, represented by Swedish municipal housing corporations, can impact on facets of performance (i.e. financial, social and environmental) differently. The study further highlights the importance of organisational structures in these relationships in a hybrid context.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2020

Guillermo Casasnovas and Myrto Chliova

Hybrid organizations face particular challenges and opportunities due to combining different logics within one organizational structure. While research on hybrid

Abstract

Hybrid organizations face particular challenges and opportunities due to combining different logics within one organizational structure. While research on hybrid organizing has advanced considerably our understanding of how these organizations can cope with such tensions, institutional theory suggests that organizational legitimacy and success will also depend on processes that take place at the field level. We connect these two perspectives to examine how field hybridity influences organizational legitimacy. Specifically, we consider both a field’s maturity and its degree of hybridity as two important variables that determine the effects that field hybridity has on organizational legitimacy. Drawing from extant research and leveraging our empirical work in the fields of microfinance, social entrepreneurship and impact investing to provide illustrative examples, we propose a framework that considers both positive and negative effects of field hybridity on organizational legitimacy. We contribute to the literature on hybrid organizing in two ways. First, we show that hybrid organizations face different challenges and opportunities depending on the stage of development and degree of hybridity of the field they operate in. Second, we suggest that the effects of field hybridity on organizational legitimacy can be understood as trade-offs that organizations need to understand and approach strategically to leverage opportunities and mitigate challenges.

Details

Organizational Hybridity: Perspectives, Processes, Promises
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-355-5

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Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2020

Mary Ann Glynn, Elizabeth A. Hood and Benjamin D. Innis

As hybrid organizations become increasingly common, the authors observe that some hybrid forms are becoming institutionalized and legitimated. The authors explore the…

Abstract

As hybrid organizations become increasingly common, the authors observe that some hybrid forms are becoming institutionalized and legitimated. The authors explore the implications of the institutionalization of hybridity, addressing both the internal tensions that plague many hybrids and the external tensions stemming from evaluator assessments and stakeholder uncertainty. The authors propose that institutionalization can dampen internal tensions associated with hybridity and also facilitate legitimation and acceptance by external audiences. The authors present identity as a useful theoretical lens through which to examine these questions, as identities are born from, but also have the potential to modify, existing institutional arrangements. The authors present directions for future research at the juncture of identity, hybridity, and institutionalization, suggesting potential avenues of inquiry in this productive stream of research.

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Organizational Hybridity: Perspectives, Processes, Promises
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-355-5

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Martin Powell and Michele Castelli

The purpose of this paper is to critically explore hybrid organisations in health care. It examines the broad literature on hybrids focusing on issues of perspective…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically explore hybrid organisations in health care. It examines the broad literature on hybrids focusing on issues of perspective, definition, sub-type and level. It then presents the results of the literature review of hybrid health care organisations, exploring which organisations have been viewed as hybrids, and then examining studies in more detail with respect to the research questions.

Design/methodology/approach

It critically explores the literature on hybrid organisations in health care through a structured search.

Findings

It is found that a wide variety of hybrid forms exist, but not clear what they combine or how they combine it. However, the level of depth from some of these studies is rather limited, with little consensus on definition, and relatively few drawing on any explicit conceptual perspective. It seems that the wider hybridity literatures have limited influence of studies of hybrid health care organisations.

Originality/value

As far as the authors are aware, this paper is the first attempt to critically review the literature on hybrid organisations in health care. It is concluded that it is difficult to define and explain hybrid health care organisations. Health care hybrids appear to be chameleons as they appear to be able to change their form to different observers.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 31 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Björn Schmitz and Gunnar Glänzel

The purpose of this paper is to find a new conception of hybridity to set ground for further systematic research. The concept of hybrid organisations is used in many ways…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to find a new conception of hybridity to set ground for further systematic research. The concept of hybrid organisations is used in many ways. This leads to confusion among scholars and the term of hybridity appears to be meaningless and useless for research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

In this explorative research design, the authors conducted 11 interviews with managing directors and managers of hybrid organisations in four different countries across Europe.

Findings

Each and every organisation is hybrid but to different degrees and with different patterns. It is important to measure hybridity to give value to the term of hybrid organisations. According to input, process and output dimensions, the authors could classify possible dimensions of hybridity measurement within organisations.

Research limitations/implications

The developed cube model serves as a new point of departure for hybrid organisation research and helps to build analytical types of hybrid organisations. The research has been highly explorative, and the limited number of cases researched leads to the requirement of further validation on a broader basis. In addition, the still rather conceptual state of the cube model will need further validation by means of a set of hybridity indicators.

Originality/value

The paper presents a way to deal with the question about what hybridity exactly is and whether hybridity is a term that has an analytical value. It also provides the first attempt to connect more analytical meaning to the concept of hybridity by suggesting an approach to concretely measure it.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2017

Fernando G. Alberti and Mario A. Varon Garrido

This paper aims to discuss hybrid organizations whose business models blur the boundary between for-profit and nonprofit worlds. With the aim of understanding how hybrid

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4635

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss hybrid organizations whose business models blur the boundary between for-profit and nonprofit worlds. With the aim of understanding how hybrid organizations have developed commercially viable business models to create positive social and environmental change, the authors contend that hybrids are altering long-held business norms and conceptions of the role of the corporation in society. Building on an analysis of the most updated literature on hybrid organizations and with the use of case study approach, the purpose of this paper is to derive managerial lessons that traditional businesses may apply to innovate their business models.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper has a practical focus to help organizations to develop successful business strategies and design innovative business models. It applies emerging thinking on hybrid business models to provide new insights and ideas on the use of business models as tools for innovating and delivering value. To comply with this, first, the authors discuss the distinctive characteristics of hybrids and the hybrid business model through a concise but comprehensive review of all the literature on hybrid organization, which is still very recent. Second, we relied on a short case study that introduces information technology and digital innovation as the premises of the emergence of a new hybrid business model that adds additional elements to traditional business managers on how to learn from hybrid organizations’ avenues to innovate their business models.

Findings

In this paper, the authors aimed to shed light on the management of any organization or initiative that aims to embrace multiple and competing yet potentially synergistic goals, as is increasingly the case in modern corporations. Spotting hidden complementarities of antagonistic assets can be arduous, time-consuming, costly and risky, but businesses driven by innovation may want to keep a close eye on the expanding hybrid sector as a source of future entrepreneurial opportunities. To this regard, hybrid social ventures have the potential to shed light on ways to innovate traditional business models. The essence of studying hybrids is that firms may learn how to innovate their business models in ways that go beyond current conceptualizations, making their mission profitable, rather than making profit their only mission! The research design (literature analysis and case study) allowed the authors to disentangle different innovative business models that hybrids suggest highlight strengths and weaknesses of such business models, understand strategies and capabilities associated with hybrids and transpose all these lessons learned to traditional business managers who constantly struggle for innovation.

Research limitations/implications

The main implication is that hybrid organizations may serve as incubators for new practices that can gain scale and impact by infusion into existing corporations. The authors can assist to a process of “hybridization” of incumbent firms, pushing the boundaries of corporate sustainability efforts toward strategies in which profit and social purpose share more equal footing.

Practical implications

Firms interested in benefiting from antagonistic assets that can have a dramatic impact on their business model innovation may want to consider some lessons: firms can attempt to build antagonistic assets into their mission, asking themselves what activities they can undertake with the potential to create (or erode) social, environmental and economic value and how these activities might be mediated by the context/environment in which they operate; they can partner with hybrids to benefit from them and absorb competencies from them, so to increase their likelihood to generate value-creating activities and to impact on wider range of stakeholders, including funders, partners, beneficiaries and communities; they can mimic hybrids on how to innovate their business model through the use of the “deliberate resource misfit” dynamic capability, mitigating negative impacts and trade-offs and maximizing positive value spillovers, both for the firms themselves and for the community.

Social implications

Sharing know-how with hybrids opens up to ways to innovate business models, and hybrids are much more open to sharing lessons and encouraging others to copy their approaches in a genuine open innovation approach.

Originality/value

The main lesson businesses can take away from studying hybrids is that antagonistic assets – and not only profitable complementary ones, as the resource-based view would suggest – do not have to be a burden on profits. Hybrids ground their strategy first and foremost on their beneficiaries, thus dealing with a bundle of antagonistic assets. The primary objective of hybrids is thus to find imaginative ways of generating profits from their given resources rather than acquiring the resources that generate the highest profit. Profit is the ultimate goal of traditional businesses’ mission, but by making profit their only mission, firms risk missing out on the hidden opportunities latent in antagonistic assets. Learning from hybrids about how to align profits and societal impact may be a driver of long-term competitive advantage.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2020

Anne-Claire Pache and Patricia H. Thornton

This chapter identifies assumptions, conceptual issues and challenges in the literature on hybrid organizations that draws on the institutional logics perspective. The…

Abstract

This chapter identifies assumptions, conceptual issues and challenges in the literature on hybrid organizations that draws on the institutional logics perspective. The authors build on the existing literature reviews as well as on an analysis of the 10 most cited and 10 most recently published articles at the intersection of hybrid organizations and institutional logics. The authors further draw from the literature on theory construction and theory development and growth to strengthen our analysis of this body of work and reflect upon future theoretical developments. From this analysis, the authors highlight four challenges to current research on organizational hybridity with an institutional logics lens and develop four suggestions to inspire future research. In doing so, they aim at seeding a more nuanced use of the institutional logics perspective and thereby foster the development of innovative and cumulative theory and empirical research on organizational hybridity.

Details

Organizational Hybridity: Perspectives, Processes, Promises
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-355-5

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2018

Georg Reischauer and Johanna Mair

We are currently witnessing a new wave of the digital economy. A prime example is the sharing economy where an organization operates a platform for its online community…

Abstract

We are currently witnessing a new wave of the digital economy. A prime example is the sharing economy where an organization operates a platform for its online community, the sum of individuals who interact to exchange goods and services. The sharing economy blurs several boundaries of economic life – a fact that extant theory on platform organizing has yet paid little attention. We argue to consider two aspects of the sharing economy and revisit related theory to address this lacuna. First, we revive the concept of hybrid community to denote a variant of an online community that mirrors the boundary-blurring nature of the sharing economy. In a hybrid community, individuals interact both online and offline (instead of only online) and consume as well as produce. Second, we revisit the range of strategic responses suggested by extant literature to minimize the dependence of a platform organization on its hybrid community and show that the sharing economy requires management research to adapt and potentially recast existing claims.

Details

Toward Permeable Boundaries of Organizations?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-829-3

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2021

Jarmo Vakkuri, Jan-Erik Johanson, Nancy Chun Feng and Filippo Giordano

In addressing policy problems, it is difficult to disentangle public policies from private efforts, business institutions and civic activities. Societies may acknowledge…

Abstract

Purpose

In addressing policy problems, it is difficult to disentangle public policies from private efforts, business institutions and civic activities. Societies may acknowledge that all these domains have a role in accomplishing social aims, but there are fundamental problems in understanding why, how and with what implications this occurs. Drawing upon the insights from the papers of this special issue, the authors aim to advance the understanding of governance and accountability in different contexts of hybridity, hybrid governance and organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conceptualize common theoretical origins of hybrid organizations and the ways in which they create and enact value by reflecting on the articles of the special issue. Furthermore, the authors propose agendas for future research into hybrid organizations.

Findings

Hybrid organizations can be conceptualized through two types of lenses: (1) the dimensions of hybridity (ownership, institutional logics, funding and control) and (2) their approaches to value creation (mixing, compromising and legitimizing).

Practical implications

This article provides more detailed and comprehensive understanding of hybridity. This contribution has also important practical implications for actors, such as politicians, managers, street-level bureaucrats, professionals, auditors and accountants who may be enveloped in various hybrid settings, policy contexts and multi-faceted interfaces between public, private and the civil society sector.

Originality/value

Hybridity lenses reveal novel connections between four types of hybrid institutional contexts: state-owned enterprises (SOEs), non-profit organizations (NPOs), social enterprises (SEs) and municipally owned corporations (MOCs). This paper provides theoretical instruments for doing so.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2020

Lisa Baudot, Jesse Dillard and Nadra Pencle

Building on the research program of Dillard and Brown (2015) and Dillard and Vinnari (2019), specifically related to an “ethic of accountability,” this paper recognizes…

Abstract

Purpose

Building on the research program of Dillard and Brown (2015) and Dillard and Vinnari (2019), specifically related to an “ethic of accountability,” this paper recognizes accountability systems as key to how organizations conceptualize their responsibility to society. The objective is to explore how managers of hybrid organizations conceptualize responsibility and the role of accountability systems in their conceptualization.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper studies hybrid organizations that are for-profit entities with explicitly recognized non-economic imperatives. Semi-structured interviews are conducted with managers of organizations that pursue certification as a B-Corporation, often in conjunction with a legal designation as a benefit corporation.

Findings

Managers of the hybrid organizations evidenced a broader responsibility logic that extends beyond responsibility to shareholders. This pluralistic orientation and broader set of objectives are expressed in a set of certification standards that represent an accountability system that both enables and constrains the way responsibility is understood. The accountability system reflects a “felt” accountability to the “other” manifested, for example, as generational accountability, with the other (re)created relative to the certification standards.

Research limitations/implications

Certifications and standards represent accounting-based accountability systems that produce a type of accountability in which the certification becomes the overall objective nudging out efforts to take accountability-based accounting seriously (Dillard and Vinnari, 2019). At the same time, the hybrids under study, while not perfect exemplars, incline toward an ethic of accountability (Dillard and Brown, 2014) that moves them closer to accountability-based accounting.

Originality/value

The findings reveal perspectives of managers embedded in hybrid organizations, illustrating their experiences of responsibility and accountability systems in practice (Grossi et al., 2019). The insights can be extended to other hybrid contexts where accountability systems may be used to demonstrate multiple performance objectives. We also recognize the irony in the need for an organization to be required to attain a special license to operate in a more responsible manner.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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