According to Thompson Reuters, sustainability in business once meant a company covering its operating costs with profits. These days that definition has transformed into a term that refers to a business making decisions that benefit society. But is it possible for an organization to function successfully by adapting a blend of these doctrines? Nardia Haigh and Andrew J. Hoffman explore this idea in their article “The New Heretics: Hybrid Organizations and the Challenges They Present to Corporate Sustainability” from Organization and Environment.
Corporate sustainability has become mainstream; reaching into all areas of business management. Yet despite this progress, large-scale social and ecological issues continue to worsen. In this article, we examine how corporate sustainability has been enacted as a concept that supports the dominant beliefs of strategic management rather than challenging them to shift business beyond the unsustainable status quo. Against this backdrop, we consider how hybrid organizations (organizations at the interface between for-profit and nonprofit sectors that address social and ecological issues) are operating at odds with beliefs embedded in strategic management and corporate sustainability literatures. We offer six propositions that define hybrid organizations based on challenges they present to the beliefs embedded in these literatures and position them as new heretics of strategic management and corporate sustainability orthodoxy. We conclude with the implications of this heretical force for theory and suggest directions for future research.
“The New Heretics: Hybrid Organizations and the Challenges They Present to Corporate Sustainability” from Organization and Environment can be read for free by clicking here. Want to know about all the latest news and research from Organization and Environment? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!