In Research


Year: 2019
Published in: Public Management Review 21.2 (2019): 159-186.
Cited as: Powell, Madeline, Alex Gillett, and Bob Doherty. “Sustainability in social enterprise: hybrid organizing in public services.” Public Management Review 21.2 (2019): 159-186.


It is commonly assumed that social enterprises (SEs) are able to meet social outcomes and also be financially viable; however, little research supports this claim. Using hybrid organizing as a lens to analyse case study interview data from ten SEs delivering adult day-care services, we identify three factors which affect an SE’s ability to simultaneously achieve social outcomes and financial sustainability and thus create value-spillovers for society. These are diverse income streams to strengthen financial viability and reduce reliance on service-level agreements and grants; delivering social quality (quality of social impact) as well as service quality, and a hybrid workforce.


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