Searching for Sustainability-led Innovation:
Reconciling the Unintended Consequences
of Conflicting Organizational Logics
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Searching for sustainability-led innovation: Reconciling the Unintended Consequences of Conflicting Organizational Logics

A competitive innovation climate and the scale of sustainability challenge requires higher levels of collaboration with unusual partners The circular economy is challenged to resolve multiple tensions – closing material loops, improving social conditions, and satisfying market demands. Innovating with in hybrid organizational forms creates sites for sustainability-led innovation, owing to different institutional logics.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
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Transcripts - Searching for sustainability-led innovation: Reconciling the Unintended Consequences of Conflicting Organizational Logics

  • 1. Searching for Sustainability-led Innovation: Reconciling the Unintended Consequences of Conflicting Organizational Logics PhD, 2013-2016 Stefan Hemel Supervisor: Dr Palie Smart Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL, United Kingdom T: +44 (0)7970 758124 or +44 (0)1234 751122 E: stefan.hemel@cranfield.ac.uk or palie.smart@cranfield.ac.uk http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/about/cranfield/themes/environment/ 1: Thornton, P., Ocasio, W. and Lounsbury, M., 2012. The Institutional Logics Perspective, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2: Seebode, D., Jeanrenaud, S. and Bessant, J., 2012. Managing Innovation for Sustainability. R&D Management, 42(3), pp.195–206. 3: Levinthal, D. and March, J., 1981. A Model of Adaptive Organizational Search. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2(4), pp.307–333. 4: Smith, W. and Lewis, M., 2011. Toward a Theory of Paradox: a Dynamic Equilibrium Model of Organizing. Academy of Management Review, 36(2), pp.381–403. 5: Pache, A.-C. and Santos, F., 2013. Inside the Hybrid Organization: Selective Coupling as a Response to Competing Institutional Logics. Academy of Management Journal, 56(4), pp.972– 1001. 6. Jay, J., 2013. Navigating Paradox as a Mechanism of Change and Innovation in Hybrid Organizations. Academy of Management Journal, 56(1), pp.137–159. 7: Battilana, J. and Dorado, S., 2010. Building Sustainable Hybrid Organizations: The Case of Commercial Microfinance Organizations. Academy of Management Journal, 53(6), pp.1419– 1440. 8: Haigh, N. and Hoffman, A.J., 2012. Hybrid organizations. Organizational Dynamics, 41(2), pp.126–134. 9: Flanagan, J.C., 1954. The critical incident technique. Psychological bulletin, 51(4), pp.327–58. • A competitive innovation climate and the scale of sustainability challenge requires higher levels of collaboration with unusual partners • The circular economy is challenged to resolve multiple tensions – closing material loops, improving social conditions, and satisfying market demands. • Innovating with in hybrid organizational forms creates sites for sustainability-led innovation, owing to different institutional logics. • Understanding reconciliation strategies for sustainability-led innovations with hybrid organizational forms • Paradox perspective allows for better understanding modes of reconciliation regarding sustainability aspirations • Reconciliation strategies developed ultimately allow for faster delivery of novel ideas and opportunities in different hybrid organizational forms. General aim Identify paradoxical incidents and their reconciliation in search for sustainability-led innovations Who is observed Collaborating corporate partners involved with non-profit organizations searching for sustainability-led innovations What is observed Predominantly paradoxical tensions and their reconciliation Method Critical incident technique Data collection Interviews with individuals involved in the for- profit/non-profit collaboration Analysis Analytic induction and ideal type analysis Reporting Descriptive and evaluative RESEARCH CONTEXT Organizational search in hybrid organizational forms NOVELTY AND CONTRIBUTION Reconciliation strategies for sustainability-led innovations • Hybrid organizations are sustainability-driven and address social and environmental concerns predominantly in market settings • In practice, paradoxical incidents are expected to occur during agenda setting and through problem-solving activities. • Little empirical evidence how such paradoxes are reconciled. RESEARCH QUESTION How do distinct institutional logics impact the search for sustainability-led innovations? • Systematic literature review brought together findings on organization- level search. • Evidence suggests that search practices vary • Organizational search is well developed in inter-firm organizational contexts, but less so in cross-sector contexts • Literature review on institutional logic revealed that different firms are influenced by distinct sets of institutional systems • Evidence suggests that material and symbolic practices shape a firms’ institutional logic • Paradoxes and tensions occur as conflicts when logics recombine LITERATURE REVIEW Organizational Search and Institutional Logic METHODOLOGY Critical Incident Technique9 • Different institutional logics with distinct aims in hybrid organizational forms are suspected to create different types of conflicting paradoxes • Hybridization or hybridity is a key construct in relation to conflicts and tensions • Overcoming insurgent logics through appropriate reconciliation strategies impact learning and innovation • Sustainability-led innovations supports transition towards a circular economy EXPECTED FINDINGS AND IMPLICATIONS Reconciliation strategies support faster innovation searches towards a circular economy Organizational Search Sustainability -led innovation Industrial Sustainability Social/Eco Innovation CSR and Sustainability Institutional logic A1 Organizational structures and symbols - Organizational purpose - Search strategies and routines Search aspirations2,3 •New business model •Better performance measurement •Search opportunities for sustainability •Pooling resources and routines Features3 •Broad/narrow search •Local/distant search Paradoxical tensions4 •Identity •Performing •Learning •Coordinating Search outcomes2,3 •Discovered innovation opportunities for sustainability •Reformulated problems/opportunit ies •New designs (of existing strategies and routines) •Solution alternatives (Resource redistribution)Reconciliation1,5 •Replacement •Blending •Segregation •Assimilation •Elaboration •Expansion •Contraction •Other mechanisms6 Institutional logic B1 Organizational structures and symbols - Organizational purpose - Search strategies and routines Hybrid organizational form5,6,7,8 CONCEPTUAL MODEL Paradox reconciliation in hybrid organizational forms

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