Transcending unsustainable dichotomies in management: Lessons from Sustainability-Oriented Hybrid Organisations in Barcelona

Dina Hestad, J. David Tàbara, Thomas F. Thornton

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16 Cites (Scopus)


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Transformations towards more sustainable consumption and production cannot be achieved through mainstream organisational management rationales and practices. These management rationales and practices tend to impose rigid, fictitious dichotomies between what occurs internally within the organisation and what occurs ‘out there’ in biophysical systems, economies, and the broader social world. Such abstract divides not only create strong limitations on organisations’ responsibilities to address the complexity of accelerated global change, but also further exacerbate unintended negative consequences on environmental sustainability. However, new organisational forms are emerging aimed at overcoming such split rationalities with the overall goal to couple in a more sustainable manner their daily organisational practices in relation to biophysical systems. In this inductive research, we ask how Sustainability-Oriented Hybrid Organisations (SOHOs) can successfully promote positive transformations towards sustainability. We analysed nine SOHOs in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona and found that their transformative abilities relate to how they: (1) promote and apply complex socio-ecological worldviews where individuals and organisations are seen as integral components of socio-ecological systems; and (2) create enabling collaborative environments which include synergetic connections and substantive relationships ‘beyond’ the organisation. We found that the complexity of socio-ecological worldviews varies within the organisations which impacts the consistency to which they implement sustainability-related activities and experience mission drift.
Idioma originalEnglish
Número d’article118766
Nombre de pàgines10
RevistaJournal of Cleaner Production
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 20 de gen. 2020


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