Article | Academy of Management Annals

Advancing Research on Hybrid Organizing—Insights from the Study of Social Enterprises

by Julie Battilana and Matthew Lee


Hybrid organizations that combine multiple organizational forms deviate from socially legitimate templates for organizing and thus experience unique organizing challenges. In this paper, we introduce and develop the concept of hybrid organizing, which we define as the activities, structures, processes, and meanings by which organizations make sense of and combine multiple organizational forms. We propose that social enterprises that combine the organizational forms of both business and charity at their cores are an ideal type of hybrid organization, making social enterprise an attractive setting to study hybrid organizing. Based on a literature review of organizational research on social enterprise and on our own research in this domain, we develop five dimensions of hybrid organizing and related opportunities for future research. We conclude by discussing how insights from the study of hybrid organizing in social enterprises may contribute to organization theory.

Keywords: hybrid organizations; social enterprise; Organizational Structure; Social Entrepreneurship;


Battilana, Julie, and Matthew Lee. "Advancing Research on Hybrid Organizing—Insights from the Study of Social Enterprises." Academy of Management Annals 8 (2014): 397–441.