Handbook on Hybrid Organisations
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Handbook on Hybrid Organisations

Edited by David Billis and Colin Rochester

Hybrid Organisations – that integrate competing organisational principles – have become a preferred means of tackling the complexity of today's societal problems. One familiar set of examples are organisations that combine significant features from market, public and third sector organisations. Many different groundbreaking approaches to hybridity are contained in this Handbook, which brings together a collection of empirical studies from an international body of scholars. The chapters analyse and theorise the position of hybrid organisations and have important implications for theory, practice and policy in a context of proliferating hybrid forms of organisation.
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Chapter 22: Strategic mission management in hybrid organisations

Karin Kreutzer and Claus Jacobs


To a marked extent hybrid organisations are driven by, and committed to, their missions. Yet they seem to struggle with the challenge of finding a sustainable way of incorporating different institutional logics. One reason is that operating with multiple bottom lines creates paradoxical demands on the organisations’ strategy (Smith and Tushman, 2005). The advantages and benefits offered by hybridity do not come without a cost and conflicting institutional demands are an increasingly common phenomenon (Pache and Santos, 2010). A direct consequence of their hybrid nature is the risk posed by the fundamental strategic challenge of ‘mission drift’. Internally this might induce a decrease in the coherence of their organisational identity while externally it can lead to a loss of legitimacy for relevant stakeholder groups. As a preventive antidote we suggest that a regular and systematic mission review could mitigate this risk of mission drift. Furthermore, we suggest that while hybridity has been mainly discussed and explored in terms of a strategic challenge, it can also be considered as a strategic resource. The systematic review of a mission statement can thus be used proactively to make use of an organisation’s hybrid nature.

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