Hybrid organizations : defining characteristics and key factors for organizational sustainability. A qualitative study from Latin America
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- Master's theses (HH) 
The theme for this thesis is the characteristics of successful hybrid organizations and how they can sustain their hybrid nature. Hybrids surpass the boundaries between typical for-profit and non-profit entities, by being both market-oriented and mission-centered. They may be promising vehicles of multiple value creation, but the organizations need to walk a fine line to maintain their hybrid nature. The aim of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the nature and potential of hybrid enterprises, and the extent to which they are offering alternative approaches for addressing economic, social and environmental needs. Through a phenomenological and explorative research design, I have conducted individual interviews with five entrepreneurs who have experienced success with their hybrid business in Latin America. The following research question has been developed: What are the characteristics of hybrid organizations, and how do they sustain their hybrid nature? The study links existing theories of hybrid organizations with empirical evidence, and shows that these organizations are characterized by having realistic visionaries as founders, an innovative business model and the environmental and social mission embedded in the organizational identity. Key factors in understanding how they sustain their hybrid nature are related to activity system and organizational identity. Companies can sustain their hybrid nature by designing business models that have integrated social, environmental and commercial activities. Lastly, identifying and communicating organizational values are particularly crucial for the viability of hybrid organizations.