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HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation, HKS; Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration, HBS


Hybrid organizations present a puzzle for institutional theory. Because they combine distinct institutional logics (Battilana & Dorado, 2010; Pache & Santos, 2013b), identities (Albert & Whetten, 1985; Glynn, 2000) and/or organizational forms (Ruef & Patterson, 2009; Tracey, Phillips, & Jarvis, 2011), hybrids seem to run counter to the core proposition of neo-institutionalism – that organizations must conform to institutionalized templates in order to be regarded as legitimate (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983; Greenwood & Hinings, 1993; Haveman & Rao, 2006). Yet organizational theorists, including institutionalists, have long recognized that organizations frequently combine seemingly incompatible elements (Albert & Whetten, 1985; Friedland & Alford, 1991; Meyer & Rowan, 1977). Particularly in the health and education sectors, hybrids have existed for centuries, and they continue to emerge.


Battilana, Julie, Marya Besharov, and Bjoern Mitzinneck. "On Hybrids and Hybrid Organizing: A Review and Roadmap for Future Research." The Sage Handbook of Organizational Institutionalism. Ed. Royston Greenwood, Christine Oliver, Thomas B. Lawrence, and Renate E. Meyer. Sage Publications, Ltd., 2017.