Sustainability in social enterprise: hybrid organizing in public services

Madeline Powell*, Alex Gillett, Bob Doherty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 a SEs 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-186
Number of pages28
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number2
Early online date20 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • hybrid organizing
  • public service delivery
  • Social enterprise
  • sustainability

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