Growing up from In-Betweeners: Alternatives to Hybridity in Social Entrepreneurship Research

Othmar Manfred Lehner*, Christiana Weber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Social ventures (SVs) based on social entrepreneurship are often labeled in the literature as hybrids because of their inherent different institutional logics between social and commercial thinking. As one potential consequence, it is further argued that these not-yet institutionalized organizational forms lack legitimacy. In this conceptual paper, we articulate our concerns with this trend in social entrepreneurship research. We propose configuration theory as an alternative approach to move forward and argue that from a configurational lens such SVs can be identified as distinct, yet coherent configurations driven by their intrinsic and idiosyncratic value bundles and related value creation goals. We demonstrate how this helps overcome the raised concerns and contribute to the literature on social entrepreneurship and configuration theory.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20180099
Peer-reviewed scientific journalEntrepreneurship Research Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19.01.2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • blended value
  • configuration theory
  • hybridity
  • organization
  • social entrepreneurship
  • 519 Social and economic geography
  • social entrepreneurship
  • configuration theory
  • organization
  • blended value
  • hybridity

Sustainable Development Goals

  • GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Financial management, accounting, and governance


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