Chapter 5: Hybrid organisations in English health and social care
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Against a backdrop of the New Public Management (NPM) drive for quasi markets, provider diversity and business processes on the one hand, and the promotion of New Public Governance and co-production with citizens on the other (Osborne, 2006), much is being made of public service organisations becoming less distinctive. Established polarities between public and private sectors are being brought into question (Powell and Miller, 2013) with an increasing sense of ‘inter-sectoral blurring’ becoming apparent (Denis et al., 2015, p. 273). This situation is leading to range of discussions and debates about public service delivery needing to be reframed to capture the diversity of these organisational forms (Hall et al., 2016; Anderson, 2013). The concept of hybridity is one approach that has been tabled to make sense of such growing differentiation (Denis et al., 2015). Within the context of public sector reform, healthcare has come to represent a notable case in point with contributions that have looked to capture processes of hybridisation (Waring, 2015; Allen et al., 2011). The purpose of this chapter is to build on growing interest in the study of organisational hybridity in health and social care with a particular focus on social enterprise. Drawing on a case study of ‘Right to Request’ social enterprises in England, we aim to further understand the nature and impact of hybridity through the use of a multi-perspective approach (Denis et al., 2015).

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