Research finds rising numbers of ‘hybrid organizations’ across sectors

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

An increasing number of entrepreneurs are gravitating to a new model for achieving social change: the hybrid organization. By offering a way to achieve both social and economic goals, this model has sparked the creation of thousands of social enterprises around the world, forcing long-standing business perspectives and even legal systems to make way.

Julie Battilana, associate professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School, has documented the rise of these organizations through a large, quantitative study of early-stage social entreprises. Between 2006 and 2011, Battilana and a team of researchers gathered information on 3,500 applicants to Echoing Green, the U.S.-based non-profit with a fellowship program for social entrepreneurs.

Devex Impact spoke with Battlilana about the key findings of her research, and the challenges hybrid organizations face as they grow.

For those who may not have encountered this model before, what is a hybrid organization?

Hybrid organizations transcend the boundaries between typical for-profit and not-for-profit organizations: They pursue a social mission while engaging in commercial activities in order to generate revenue to sustain their operations.

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

Impact Assessment
social enterprise