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The Failure of Hybrid Organizations: A Legitimation Perspective

Siwale, Juliana, Kimmitt, Jonathan, Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph (2021) The Failure of Hybrid Organizations: A Legitimation Perspective. Management and Organization Review, . ISSN 1740-8776. (doi:10.1017/mor.2020.70) (KAR id:82605)

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Organizational hybridity refers to the combination of multiple institutional logics and identities that, within an organizational setting, do not conventionally complement one another. In such conditions, organizations must develop strategies to combine logics and sustain their hybrid forms. Success, however, is not inevitable. In this paper, we take a legitimacy-as-process perspective to focus on a failed Microfinance Organization (MFO) in the African context of Zambia. MFOs represent a fascinating context because of their hybrid nature and need to balance several competing institutional demands. We utilise field interviews to analyse the process through which MFOs fail, analysing actor legitimation responses to emerging hybridity demands. We identify three phases associated with these changes: 1) dependent coupling (2) misaligning legitimation and (3) circumnavigating over conformity. Our findings emphasise that legitimation efforts in a failed hybrid are not simply the reverse of those that succeed. We observe adaptive processes consistent with successful hybrids but that ultimately sow the seeds of eventual failure. This demonstrates the need to re-think the role of legitimation strategies in hybrids alongside their potential deleterious consequences.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/mor.2020.70
Uncontrolled keywords: failure, hybrid organizations, institutional complexity, legitimation, microfinance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Depositing User: Joseph Amankwah-Amoah
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2020 02:12 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2021 15:55 UTC
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