Hybrid organization

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A hybrid organization is an organization that mixes elements, value systems and action logics (e.g. social impact and profit generation) of various sectors of society, i.e. the public sector, the private sector and the voluntary sector. A more general notion of hybridity can be found in Hybrid institutions and governance

According to previous research hybrids between public and private spheres consist of following features:

  1. Shared ownership.
  2. Goal incongruence and different institutional logics in the same organisation.
  3. Variety in the sources of financing.
  4. Differentiated forms of economic and social control.[1]


Borys and Jemison (1989) introduced the concept of "hybrid organizational arrangements", aligning the concept with strategic alliances, R&D partnerships, joint ventures and licensing. The authors reviewed prior research and provided a qualitative framework for classification of different types of hybrid organizational arrangements consisting of breadth of purpose, boundary determination, value creation and stability mechanisms.[2]

Later, Oliver Williamson (1991) introduced the concept of a "hybrid form" in transaction cost economics.[3] A hybrid form can be defined as "a set of organizations such that coordination between those organizations takes place by means of the price mechanism and various other coordination mechanisms simultaneously"[4]


As hybrid organizations combine diverse stakeholder groups, the potential for conflict within them might be greater. This is the challenge of stakeholder management.[5]

This problem is similarly emphasized from the perspective of agency theory. The so-called 'multiple principal problem' combines various collective action problems that can occur with hybridity.[6] Free-riding or duplication in steering and monitoring procedures can result in high costs. Similarly, directive ambiguity or lobbying of the corporations by individual stakeholders can induce inefficiency.[6]

Any tensions can have positive and negative economic, performance related, cultural and governance related effects for the organization, its principles, and its customers. For instance, for state-owned enterprises, Schmitz (2000) argues that the combination of public and private interests brings an optimal combination of incentives for reducing costs and improving quality in comparison with pure production forms.[7] In contrast, Voorn, Van Genugten, and Van Thiel (2017) hypothesize that diversity of ownership may lead to benefits such as specialization and increased efficiency, but also downsides such as increased failure rates.[8]


Examples of hybrid forms of organization include:


Not all hybrid forms are intentional. Hemingway's ethnographic study of a British-based multi-national corporation, where corporate social responsibility was found to be practised informally by some employees, in addition to their formal job roles, pointed out that unless a corporate employee was given dispensation from the profit motive in order to specifically create social value, even the most hybrid of corporations could not be described as a social enterprise staffed by social entrepreneurs (although employees' activities outside of the workplace might be). However, she did find evidence of corporate social entrepreneurship, where some employees had enlarged their own job roles to encompass social responsibility, in one or more forms.[11]


  1. ^ Johanson, Jan-Erik; Vakkuri, Jarmo (2017). Governing hybrid organizations. Exploring diversity of Institutional life. Routledge. ISBN 9781138655829.
  2. ^ Borys and Jemison (1989). Hybrid Arrangements as Strategic Alliances: Theoretical Issues in Organizational Combinations. Academy of Management Journal.
  3. ^ "What Are Hybrid Forms and How Can They be Modeled?". 2007-10-08.
  4. ^ (Douma & Hein Schreuder, 2013).
  5. ^ Freeman, R. Edward (1984). Strategic Management: A stakeholder approach. Boston: Pitman
  6. ^ a b Voorn, Bart, Marieke van Genugten, and Sandra van Thiel (2018). "Background, Autonomy, Steering, and Corporate Governance: Determinants of the Effectiveness of (Governance of) Municipal Corporations". Lausanne: EGPA.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Schmitz (2000). "Partial Privatisation and Incomplete Contracts; the Proper Scope of Government Reconsidered" (PDF). Finanzarchiv.
  8. ^ Voorn, Bart, Marieke L. Van Genugten, and Sandra Van Thiel (2017). "The efficiency and effectiveness of municipally owned corporations: A systematic review". Local Government Studies. 43 (5): 820–841. doi:10.1080/03003930.2017.1319360. hdl:2066/176125.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Battilana and Dorado (2010). Building sustainable hybrid organizations: The case of commercial microfinance organizations. Academy of Management Journal.
  10. ^ Hemingway, Christine (2013). "Corporate Social Entrepreneurship". In Samuel O. Idowu; Nicholas Capaldi; Liangrong Zu; Ananda Das Gupta (eds.). Encyclopedia of Corporate Social Responsibility. Berlin, Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag. pp. 544–551. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-28036-8_363. ISBN 978-3-642-28036-8.
  11. ^ Hemingway, Christine (2013). Corporate Social Entrepreneurship: Integrity Within. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p. 250. ISBN 978-1107447196. Retrieved 26 March 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • Albert, S., & Whetten, D. A. (1985). Organizational Identity. Research in Organizational Behavior, 7, 263-295. JAI Press, Inc.
  • Battilana, Julie & Silvia Dorado. Building sustainable hybrid organizations: The case of commercial microfinance organizations. "Academy of Management Journal, 53:6, 1419–1440.
  • Billis, David (2010): Hybrid Organizations and the Third Sector, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Bryan Borys and David B. Jemison (1989): Hybrid Arrangements as Strategic Alliances: Theoretical Issues in Organizational Combinations, Academy of Management Review, April 1, 1989 vol. 14 no. 2 234-249
  • Ciesielska, Malgorzata (2010) Hybrid Organisations. A study of the Open Source – business setting. Copenhagen Business School Press http://openarchive.cbs.dk/bitstream/handle/10398/8200/Malgorzata_Ciesielska.pdf?sequence=1
  • Douma, Sytse & Hein Schreuder (2013): "Economic Approaches to Organizations", 5th edition, London: Pearson
  • Gillett, Alex G. and Kevin D. Tennent (2018). "Shadow hybridity and the institutional logic of professional sport: Perpetuating a sporting business in times of rapid social and economic change." Journal of Management History 24.2: 228-259: https://doi.org/10.1108/JMH-11-2017-0060
  • Gillett, A., Loader, K., Doherty, B., & Scott, J. M. (2018). An examination of tensions in a hybrid collaboration: A longitudinal study of an empty homes project. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-19: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-018-3962-7
  • Hatch, Mary Jo & Anne Cunliffe (2006): Organization Theory: Modern, Symbolic, and Postmodern Perspectives, Oxford University Press
  • Hemingway, C.A. (2013a): Corporate Social Entrepreneurship. In Idowu, S.O., Capaldi, N., Zu, L. and Das Gupta, A. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Corporate Social Responsibility, Volume 1. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 546–553.
  • Hemingway, C.A. (2013b), Corporate Social Entrepreneurship: Integrity Within. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-44719-6.
  • Karré, Philip Marcel (2011): Heads and Tails: Both Sides of the Coin. An Analysis of Hybrid Organizations in the Dutch Waste Management Sector, Eleven International Publishing
  • Koppell, Jonathan (2003): The Politics of Quasi-Government, Cambridge University Press
  • Rainey, Hal G. (1996): Understanding and Managing Public Organizations, 2nd ed., Jossey-Bass
  • Williamson, Oliver E. (1991): "Comparative Economic Organization: The Analysis of Discrete Structural Alternatives", Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. 36, no 2.

External links[edit]