Exploring Constitutional Hybridity

  • Susanna Alexius
  • Staffan Furusten


Hybrid organizations are topical in contemporary society, and literature in this area is growing. One neglected dimension is, however, empirically based theorizations of management and governance in hybrid organizations. Moreover, the literature tends to be based on observations of “new” forms of hybrid organizations, often referred to as social enterprises. We argue that if we want to learn about what managing hybrid organizations means, it is important to compare different types of hybrids and also to compare hybrids with as long history with those established relatively recently. Based on earlier literature, hybrid organizations are discussed as placed in contexts of institutional pluralism, at the cross-roads between institutional orders and institutional logics. Special focus is placed on exploration and comparison of what is defined here as constitutional hybrid organizations, thus hybrid organizations founded with the explicit purpose of fulfilling their mission by integrating either different institutional orders such as the market, the public sector and civil society or structural traits from the logics of different ideal-typical organizations such as the business corporation, the public agency and the association. We argue that multivocality is a concept that can explain why some hybrid organizations manage to remain hybrids over time while others face de-hybridization. A common analytical frame for the volume is developed, where six dimensions of hybridity are defined (institutional order, logics of organizational forms, ownership structures, purpose, main stakeholders and main sources of funding). The aim of this chapter is to introduce why it is timely to theorize on management and governance in hybrid organizations, to develop the theoretical frame for the book, and to introduce the explorative multidisciplinary approach behind the book and the selection of cases. The chapter ends with a brief discussion of the chapters to come.


Institutional pluralism Constitutional hybrid organizations Institutional confusion Management Governance Multivocality 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ScoreStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Stockholm School of EconomicsStockholmSweden

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