Challenging traditional notions of value: how Australian companies are navigating sustainable hybrid value creation

2017-05-18T02:34:27Z (GMT) by Castellas, Erin
Abstract The purpose of this study is to understand how organizations that wish to create multiple forms of value, e.g. social, environmental and financial, are able to deliver potentially conflicting forms of value. Drawing upon institutional logics and value theories, I explore what is meant by value and frame the possible challenges and tensions that arise in the pursuit of different types of value that draw upon different rationalities and ideologies. This thesis addresses a gap in understanding how hybrid organizations manage multiple logics to create complex forms of value that reflect the disparate ideologies associated with sustainable development goals. I undertake exploratory qualitative research with a multiple embedded case study design of six Australian hybrid organizations. I engage 49 participants in semi-structured interviews, focus groups and a survey and analyse these results using thematic analysis to identify patterns in the data that are then organized into categories and themes to explain how and why organizations pursue hybrid forms of value. I find that my case studies draw on six organizing concepts to interpret what is meant by hybrid value, which is underpinned by four value components (social, environmental, financial and internal value) and four institutional logics (market, community, social welfare, and intrinsic logic). I also find that the reasons that they define value as a hybrid construct is due to individual values coupled with perceived organizational ‘need,’ as the pursuit of ‘additional’ or bonus value, and/or due to legislative and normative pressures. Additionally, I uncover 200 examples of organizational practices that lead to hybrid value outcomes. This thesis makes substantial contributions to the hybrid value, hybrid organization, value theories and institutional logics literatures. Specifically I build upon the extant literature by providing examples and evidence of extant hybrid value concepts, examples of how organizations are overcoming the issues raised by value plurality, evidence of why organizations pursue hybrid value, and examples of how organizations manage the tensions that arise due to plural logics. Finally, I make new contributions to the literature by developing a taxonomy and typology of hybrid value, uncovering five new hybrid value concepts and a new type of institutional logic and develop a conceptual model of how institutional logics inform the meaning of hybrid value. My conceptual model holds practical implications demonstrating how organizations can map their value ‘footprints’ and develop practice-to-outcome models.