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Enabling Sustainable Transformation: Hybrid Organizations in Early Phases of Path Generation
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2518-403X
2020 (English)In: Journal of Business Ethics, ISSN 0167-4544, E-ISSN 1573-0697, Vol. 165, no 3, p. 547-563Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The rapidly growing research on hybrid organizations in recent years suggests that these organizations may have particular abilities to facilitate institutional change. This article contributes to our understanding of change and, in particular, sustainable transformation in society by highlighting the importance of organizational forms. Looking more closely at the role of hybrid organizations in processes of path generation, we analyze the conditions under which hybrid organizations may enable path generation. A retrospective (1988–2017) exploratory case study of the Swedish hybrid organization The Natural Step confirms how hybrids can take part in- and may facilitate the early phases of path generation: assimilation and coalescence. The conclusion drawn is that hybrids have multivocal abilities that enable them to earn trust and authority to open up “neutral” spaces for orientation and connection between actors in separated sub-paths, and that this in turn may ease tensions and trigger dialogue and exchange, also between former opponents. Yet, as also seen in the case, this enabling position of the hybrid may be both fragile and temporary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 165, no 3, p. 547-563
Keywords [en]
Path-generation, Institutional change, Hybrid organization, Multivocality, Sustainability, The Natural Step, Sweden
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176990DOI: 10.1007/s10551-018-04098-0ISI: 000557936800011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176990DiVA, id: diva2:1377579
Available from: 2019-12-12 Created: 2019-12-12 Last updated: 2022-11-15Bibliographically approved

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Alexius, SusannaFurusten, Staffan

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