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KiTeS colloquium with Barbara Kump Adhering to Multiple Logics: Willing Hybrids in Organizational Change

Research meeting of the Section of Knowledge, Transformation, and Society (KiTeS), University of Twente, with Barbara Kump, who will give a presentation followed by questions and discussion. For more information please contact the KiTeS secretariat. You are welcome! 


Organizations are increasingly seeking to address societal challenges through hybrid approaches, bridging different institutional logics. Organizational change to introduce such hybridity can provoke conflicts and paradoxical tensions for individual organization members and often meets resistance from those deeply committed to the existing logic. Nevertheless, particularly in endeavors aimed at tackling societal issues, there exist ‘willing hybrids’—individuals who embrace both the established and the new logics brought forth by organizational change initiatives. Although willing hybrids can play a pivotal role in reconciling conflicting logics, their significance in organizational change initiatives has largely been overlooked. To grasp the contribution of willing hybrids to organizational change towards hybridity, we conducted a study involving members of a Dutch research university who willingly participated in organizational change initiatives aimed at fostering greater societal impact and engaged scholarship. This strategic shift introduced hybridity between the existing academic logic and the emerging societal impact logic, leading to numerous tensions within the organization. Our study, employing an abductive qualitative analysis of 32 interviews, websites, and strategic documents, unveils three forms of participation in organizational change by willing hybrids: compliant, entrepreneurial, and critical. These forms of participation are contingent upon individuals' emotional, normative, and instrumental adherence to the established versus newly introduced logic. Each form of participation yields distinct effects on the nature of hybridity in the ongoing organizational change. Our findings enhance the current understanding regarding how willing hybrids shape and influence organizational change processes, shedding light on the micro-foundations of organizational hybridity.

Barbara Kump, University of Twente