Chapter 1: Introduction to the Handbook on Hybrid Organisations
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The title of this section of our Introduction is intended to reflect our contention that we are writing in a fascinating period for organisational studies during which the rise of hybrid organisations (HOs) is causing us to reconsider the way we understand the world of organisations. The ‘new kids on the block’ are turning out to be not so young, nor so few in numbers, nor so inconsequential as is sometimes assumed. The growing excitement and fascination of these times is sometimes tempered by a sense of discomfort and uncertainty. Are HOs making a positive contribution to our society? Or are their problems causing too many difficulties? Should we keep well away from them? Before responding to these questions, we first provide the background for and scope of the book, and in so doing note some of the new theories that will most likely provide both excitement and constructive discomfort. We then begin to introduce two crucial issues: the contribution of HOs and their potential problems. Section 1.2 provides a systematic summary of all the chapters, and section 1.3 briefly speculates on the past, present and future of the study of HOs.