Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 30, 2019

Proceedings of the Thirtieth Annual Meeting

Meike Siegner, Rajat Panwar, Robert Kozak
Pages 59-65

Marginalized Communities and Social Enterprises
An Anatomy of Community Engagement in Hybrid Organizations

Thus far, the academic focus has been limited to understand how hybrid organizations balance goal plurality. However, the question how hybrids engage (or fail to engage) local communities in this process and the potential challenges involved has remained unaddressed. Relying on an inductive multiple case study of six Canadian community forest enterprises (CFEs), we describe dilemmas that arise between community engagement and CFEs’ other goals that form their social mission, as well as a distinct set of compromise tactics to address them. We further identify a tension that arises from two distinct dimensions inherent to community engagement that are inherently interwoven yet contradicting. We add to research on paradox by showing that tensions not merely arise between outcome-focused goals that stem from organizational hybridity, but demonstrate that individual goal prescriptions in itself entail elements that cause tension, and warrant paradoxical management to ensure hybrids’ success in fulfilling their overall mission.