Challenging Institutional Hybridity in Social Entrepreneurship with Configuration Theory

Othmar Manfred Lehner, Christiana Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Institutional theory considers social enterprises as hybrid organizations balancing two contradicting logics and therefore lacking legitimacy. In this paper we pit ourselves against this predominant denomination and argue that institutional theory may not be the appropriate lens to satisfactorily explain social entrepreneurship. Instead, we suggest to build on configurational theory based on Miller and Mintzberg and to rethink the traditionally narrow understanding of performance by adopting the concept of value blends. We show that from an institutional theory lens SEs are not the result of any inherent “hybridity” but are independent, yet comparable configurational archetypes simply stemming from the logical consequences of an idiosyncratic set of performance goals grounded in a modern interpretation of capitalism based on Porter. We advance social entrepreneurship literature by demonstrating the institutional theory lens and its notion of “hybridity” as unjustly diminishing and hindering for social ent...
Original languageEnglish
Article number10629
ProceedingAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management


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