A Paradox perspective
: how social-business hybrids manage the tension between commercial growth and environmental impact

  • Michiel Steven De Wolf (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In this thesis I study how social-business hybrid organizations manage the tension between commercial growth and environmental impact. I do so by inductively investigating six different organization in the food and beverage industry in Europe and relating the findings to existing academic literature on sustainability, organizational hybridity and sustainability. I found that organizations can perform three different strategies to navigate aforementioned tensions—‘justification’, ‘live with it’ and ‘avoidance’—also discovering that their adoption can be explained by the dominant motivation behind commercial growth and by how the tensions is perceived by the manager. Based on these findings I developed a theoretical model which illustrates which strategies social-business hybrid organizations adopt to manage impact vs. growth tensions, in this way contributing to a better understanding of the peculiar challenges faced by organizations aiming at growing in a sustainable way.
Date of Award21 Oct 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorTommaso Ramus (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

Cite this