Social business hybrids: Demand externalities, competitive advantage, and growth through diversification

Andrea Fosfuri, Marco S. Giarratana, Esther Roca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (SciVal)


Organization scholars have recently studied the internal challenges and opportunities faced by companies that combine business and social logics (i.e., social business hybrids). By adopting a demand-side perspective, this paper addresses the implications of hybridity for strategic choices with products and businesses by focusing on the role of social business hybrids' customers. In the conceptual framework, social identity theory explains how hybridity generates both positive and negative demand-side externalities. Thus, hybridity can be a source of competitive advantage in the marketplace, but also create hurdles to firms' ability to scale up their business. Diversification represents a potential choice that simultaneously generates growth, preserves hybridity, and avoids negative demand-side externalities. This paper analyzes the optimal type, timing, and scope of such diversification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1275-1289
Number of pages15
JournalOrganization Science
Issue number5
Early online date27 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2016


  • Diversification
  • Growth
  • Social business hybrids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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