Term Paper: Hybrid Organizations

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[. . .] The results obtained by Kickert (2001) indicated what was termed as "devolution" of hybrid agencies within the Dutch public sector. Devolution is described as having the ability to sometimes result in reduced autonomy for an organization, apparent in increased ministerial control over policy, and governance relationships have demonstrated increased transparency and explicitness (Kickert, 2001). The author suggested that hybrid organizations have an important role in government of the Netherlands, and that their presence will remain for some time. Therefore, it is unrealistic and impractical to continue for a strict, distinct separation between private and public organizations (Kickert, 2001). Approaches utilized within hybrid organizations must strike a balance, as the application of management strategies successfully used in private organizations to the operations of hybrid organizations does not lead to effective results (Kickert, 2001). Furthermore, it is important that theorists take into account the functioning of hybrid agencies in the development of public sector theory due to the ever-increasing presence of hybrid organizations within the public realm (Kickert, 2001).

Organizations can no longer always be effectively classified as public or private. The expansion of public services to include private elements has necessitated the development of hybrid organizations in which components are adopted from each end of the spectrum. Governance in these types of organizations must maintain balance in order for optimal functioning and successful outcomes.

What contributes to the sustainability of hybrid organizations? Since the increasing presence of hybrid organizations is a relatively new phenomenon, these types of agencies often struggle with tensions due to the blending of private and public approaches inherent within them (Battilana & Dorano, 2010). These tensions were studied by Battilana and Dorado (2010), who determined that in order for hybrid organizations to effectively sort out confusions stemming from their combined logics, a common organizational identity must be developed. These researchers reached their conclusions based on their studies of microfinance organizations, which first appeared in the 1990s in response to the need for non-governmental agencies that provided loans to the poor. Furthermore, these microfinance agencies were what are now called hybrid organizations, as they strike a balance between public approaches (service to the poor) and private approaches (provision of financial services) (Battilana & Dorado, 2010). These types of microfinance organizations essentially pioneered the advent of hybrid organizations, combining logics from contrasting ends of the private -- public continuum. It has been suggested through past research that new types of hybrid agencies display characteristics that are highly unstable and are unlikely to remain hybrid by definition over long periods of time (Battilana & Dorado, 2010).

The study conducted by Battilana and Dorado (2010) sought to explore whether organizations are able to maintain their hybrid characteristics through the examination of two microfinance organizations. Results for the investigation revealed that efforts to effectively establish common organizational identities needed to pay particular attention to policies involving hiring and socialization (Battilana & Dorado, 2010). These findings enabled the researchers to identify two different approaches to establishing identities for hybrid organizations that contribute to longevity for these new types of organizations. The approaches devised are centered around socialization and hiring policies. The first approach is apprenticeship, essentially a clean-slate approach blended with a socialization strategy focused on means (Battilana & Dorado, 2010). The aim of this approach is to effectively aid newly hired employees to learn the skills necessary to function in a new occupation, and its success is highly associated with the organizations initially hiring individuals that do not have many preconceptions about the occupation and are instead focused on how operations involved are most effectively performed. This acts to reduce likelihood of conflicts and tensions in order to ensure the development of identity for the hybrid organization that contributes to sustainability of the blended private and public logics involved in management and policies (Battilana & Dorado, 2010).

Battilana & Dorado (2010) describe how the apprenticeship approach to hybrid organization identity development requires high levels of discipline in order to limit growth of the organization to ensure that employees thoroughly learn all the skills associated with tasks within their occupations. This could be seen as a potential disadvantage to this approach, along with the necessary continual attention that is necessary to ensure that effectiveness of operations is in fact achieving the set out goal of hybrid organization sustainability and does not become the end focus in and of itself (Battilana & Dorado, 2010).

The other approach suggested by Battilana and Dorado (2010) to develop organizational development for hybrid agencies is integration. This approach presents the combination of a diverse hiring practice with socialization that is end-focused. The aim associated with this approach is the blending together of diverse components representing various private and public logics in order to form a new integrated group that commonly are focused on the same single goal of developing identity, and therefore sustainability, for the hybrid organization (Battilana & Dorado, 2010). The results of this approach may be the facilitation of quick operationalization, but risks remain regarding possible division and polarization into subgroups based in differing identities due to the tensions between private and public logics (Battilana & Dorado, 2010). These risks could be controlled through close attention and diffusion of the emergence of these subgroups within the hybrid organizations (Battilana & Dorado, 2010).

Moreover, sustainability of hybrid organizations as valid and effective groups for achieving successful outcomes necessitates the development of identity. Developing this identity often proves challenging due to the blending of contrasting principles adopted from the private and public organizational spheres, and the fact that the concept of hybrid organizations is relatively new. Therefore, establishing core characteristics that are common across the majority of hybrid organizations would aid in identity development, and thus longevity and sustainability.

One of the most prominent characteristics associated with hybrid organizations is change necessitating appropriate and effective management control. Systems for management control must be developed with particular attention to the specific features associated with hybrid organizations (Boland et al., 2008). Boland et al. (2008) explore this need for effective management control through the examination of case examples within the engineering, oil and gas, architectural, and construction industries. The results of this study revealed that the most prominent components integral to the design of management control systems within hybrid organizations are path creation and morphogenesis. These components are important to the development of synthesis for the hybrid organization rather than decomposition, which is achieved through particular attention to specific practical elements within the organization, including the histories, trajectories, and industry standards associated with the agencies. The hybrid organizations examined in the study by Boland et al. (2008) were characterized by fast-moving change involved in materials used, practices, and technologies. They were also considered to be high-risk enterprises that were heavily reliant on systems for management control (Boland et al., 2008).

Hybrid organizations are often created in order to facilitate the development of especially diverse resources and skillsets in order to successfully address and accomplish difficult organizational tasks (Boland et al., 2008). Results of the study by Boland et al. (2008) indicated that effective hybrid organizational management is greatly facilitated by morphogenesis and path creation, which enable the formation of hybrids through the action of synthesis and not from decomposition. Decomposition of hierarchical elements with the intention of infusing market elements within hybrid organizations tends to work against the important process of adding hierarchical elements into systems that are market-based in order to create hybrids (Boland et al., 2008). Conceptual understandings of morphogenesis and path creation and their involvement in the development of management control systems within hybrid organizations point to the need for a redesigning of hybrid forms in order to achieve this sought after control (Boland et al., 2008). This redesigning is executed through path creation, in which industrial contracting procedures are changed, effective organizational elements are borrowed from other organizations, and effective management control systems are developed from exploring strategies beyond those that have always been assumed to be the only approach (Boland et al., 2008).

Furthermore, the findings of this study suggest that new theoretical approaches with regard to effective management control within hybrid organizations should be developed (Boland et al., 2008). Managerial effectiveness is crucial to successful outcomes for any organizational type, including hybrid organizations. Identifying factors that contribute to effective and successful management practices not only promotes more efficient operations within the organization, but may also aid in the development of identity for the organization by pinpointing characteristics that are common across all hybrid organizations.

It is important to explore the issues of leadership and governance in the context of hybrid organizations and attempt to understand how and to what extent these organizations differ from standard forms of organizations in regard to challenges, issues, requirements, solutions, as well as emerging patterns and styles (Anheier, 2011). Anheier (2011) investigated the differences between leadership and governance between hybrid and other types of organizations through an examination… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Hybrid Organizations.  (2011, December 3).  Retrieved March 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/hybrid-organizations-order/1596861

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"Hybrid Organizations."  Essaytown.com.  December 3, 2011.  Accessed March 23, 2019.
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