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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


To examine how hybrid organizations make decisions that enable them to sustain the joint pursuit social and commercial goals, and how these decision-making processes unfold over time as tensions between demands grow stronger, we conduct a longitudinal, inductive study of a European cooperative bank over eight years. Our study first reveals a highly iterative decision- making process in which every proposal subject to decision was heavily negotiated and modified, until the proposal satisfactorily met both social and commercial demands. Second, our study unpacks the mechanism of dual championing, according to which decision-makers were respectively socialized into roles of champions of either the social or commercial goals for which they acted as guardians, and which dictated distinct priorities and behaviors in the decision-making process. Collectively, these champions ensured that all proposals adopted fit both organizational objectives; proposals that did not were rejected. Third, our study stresses the importance of updating the scope of decision-making in hybrid organizations as they evolve over time in order to avoid the risk of mission drift. Overall, our findings advance research on how organizations can pursue multiple goals over time.


Bacq, Sophie Catherine, Julie Battilana, and Hélène Bovais. "Round Hole, Square Peg? Sustaining Dual Social And Commercial Goals In A Cooperative Bank." Academy of Management Proceedings 2018.1 (2018).