Research seminar Prof. Santi Furnari

Louvain-La-Neuve, Mons

March 14, 2018



Doyen 21 et salle Visio Mons

Title: Becoming a Hybrid

Current research on organizational hybrids –i.e. organizations mixing different institutional
logics- has mostly focused on ‘born hybrid’ organizations, devoting less attention to how nonhybrid
organizations can become hybrid. Building on the inhabited institutions and open
polity theoretical perspectives, this paper examines the micro-processes by which individuals
can introduce a new institutional logic in a non-hybrid organization, thereby inducing
organizational hybridization. I draw on a qualitative, longitudinal case study of an initiallypublic
organization becoming over time a public-private partnership with private actors
exercising strong influence on the organization’s strategy and core product. The findings
show that individuals can successfully hybridize organizations initially non-hybrid
organizations by building and sustaining new political coalitions while simultaneously
decoupling their frontstage and backstage actions. I discuss the implications of these findings
for research on hybrids, inhabited institutions and open polities within organizations, as well
as their practical implications for managers leading change under institutional complexity.

Short bio

Dr. Santi Furnari is Associate Professor (Reader) in Strategy at Cass Business School, where he also serves as Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Corporate Governance. Prior joining Cass, he was an IRI Foundation Fellow and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Chicago. He completed his Ph.D. in Business Administration and Management at Bocconi University.

Dr. Furnari studies how new ideas, new practices and new industries emerge, particularly in the context of creative industries and creative projects. He also studies the performance consequences of different organizational configurations and business models. To address these issues, Dr. Furnari uses institutional theory, configurational approaches, qualitative methods, and fuzzy-set/Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fs/QCA). His paper titled “A Chemistry of Organization” (with Anna Grandori) has been among the first empirical applications of the fs/QCA methodology in management studies.

His research has been published in leading academic journals, such as the Academy of Management Review, Human Relations, Industrial and Corporate Change, Journal of Management, Organization Studies, and Strategic Organization (among others). His paper titled “Interstitial Spaces” has received the AMR Best Paper Award for the best paper published in the Academy of Management Review in 2014. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Organization Studies and Journal of Management Studies.

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