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Organizational hybrids as biological hybrids: Insights for research on the relationship between social enterprise and the entrepreneurial ecosystem

Jeffery S. McMullen

Journal of Business Venturing, 2018, vol. 33, issue 5, 575-590

Abstract: Using the study of hybridization in evolutionary biology as metaphorical inspiration, I offer a thought experiment about the emergence and proliferation of social enterprise and the influence of hybrid organizing on the entrepreneurial ecosystem. After establishing a number of analogues between biological and organizational hybrids, I analyze the degree to which social enterprise may be indicative of hybrid speciation – i.e., a new organizational form – versus introgressive hybridization – i.e., a variant of a more traditional organizational form. I then use the metaphor to examine whether social enterprise: (1) possesses distinct rules and features, (2) is shaped by or shaping the entrepreneurial ecosystem, (3) still remains a hybrid organization, and (4) might even be considered an invasive species.

Keywords: Hybrid organization; Evolutionary biology; Social enterprise; Social entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial ecosystem (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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