Hybrid Organizations offers a glimpse into the future. The companies it describes are pioneers, the first-movers in market shifts that will eventually become mainstream. These "hybrid organizations" – or what others call "values-driven" or "mission-driven" organizations – operate in the blurry space between the for-profit and non-profit worlds. They are redefining their supply chains, their sources of capital, their very purpose for being; and in the process they are changing the market for others. Using a combination of high-level survey analysis and, more importantly, in-depth executive interviews, Hybrid Organizations helps fill the present gap in literature on environmentally focused and financially driven for-profit businesses. Moreover, it highlights key trends and critical themes that enable this new wave of socially conscious and fiscally minded enterprises to be successful in meeting both sets of goals. The takeaway for readers of Hybrid Organizations is not only an appreciation for common business practices that hybrid organizations adopt, but also an understanding of the complexity of the integration of such adoption that allows them to successfully achieve both mission- and market-driven goals.
Hybrid Organizations begins with key definitions to establish the scope of this new sector, including explicit definitions for hybrid organizations, environmental sustainability missions, as well as specific criteria to create useful boundaries for the field of hybrid organizations. Building on prior work conducted by researchers on corporate social responsibility, sustainable entrepreneurship, and social enterprise, Hybrid Organizations catalogues the best practices within this growing sector, helping others to learn from both the successes and failures of those that are choosing this strategy. The core of Hybrid Organizations is built on an analysis of survey data from 47 hybrid organizations, investigating their business models and strategies, finances, organizational structures, processes, metrics, and innovations. The organizations represent a cross-section of size, age, industry, and geography, although the sample set is biased towards young, small, U.S.-based hybrids. Based on analysis of the survey data, five best-in-class companies were selected for in-depth case studies in order to provide instructive lessons for hybrid practitioners and researchers alike. In short, Hybrid Organizations presents research that shows hybrid organizations to be a practical and feasible organizational model for contributing solutions to global environmental issues. The lessons in Hybrid Organizations will help other social entrepreneurs, business managers, non-profit leaders, or students interested in careers that fuse profitability and responsibility do it even better.
Foreword Andrew J. Hoffman, Holcim (U.S.) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan Introduction
1. Why hybrid organizations?
2. The hybrid landscape
3. Uncovering the layers
4. Hybrid trends and lessons
5. Case study SUN OVENS International - patient dealmaker
6. Case study Guayaki - creating an entirely new value chain
7. Case study Eden Foods - lasting leadership and the risks of succession
8. Case study Maggie's Organics - connecting producers and consumers to the cause
9. Case study PAX Scientific - learning to run
10. Business lessons for hybrid organizations
11. Reflecting back, looking forward
Appendix: List of hybrid organizations completing survey
About the authors
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Brewster Boyd, Nina Henning, Emily Reyna, Daniel E. Wang, and Matthew D. Welch have many years' experience working in industry helping organizations integrate environmental and social responsibility into their strategy and operational practice.