Reference : Understanding the diverse scaling strategies of social enterprises as hybrid organiza...
Scientific journals : Article
Business & economic sciences : Social economics
Business & economic sciences : General management & organizational theory
Understanding the diverse scaling strategies of social enterprises as hybrid organizations: the case of renewable energy cooperatives
Bauwens, Thomas []
Huybrechts, Benjamin mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > HEC Liège : UER > Management en économie sociale >]
Dufays, Frédéric []
In press
Organization and Environment
SAGE Publications
Yes (verified by ORBi)
New York
[en] social enterprise ; scaling ; renewable energy cooperative
[en] This paper seeks to shed light on the diversity of scaling strategies of social enterprises, which can be considered as emblematic hybrid organizations. By comparing three Flemish renewable energy cooperatives with contrasted scaling strategies, the paper shows how these strategies can be understood in relation to the organizational mission as imprinted at the founding. We extend the notion of hybridity beyond the combination of institutional logics to highlight the interest orientation (mutual versus general interest). Unlike what is suggested in extant literature, we find that mutual interest orientation may be associated with ‘scale up’, business growth strategies, while general interest orientation may lead to less growth-focused ‘scale out’ and ‘scale deep’ strategies. The findings illuminate aspects of the hybrid nature of social enterprises by explaining their diverse scaling strategies, and extend the notion of imprinting to the inter-organizational level by highlighting how social enterprises may collaborate to collectively achieve the pursuit of their multiple missions.
Centre d'Économie Sociale - CES

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