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Hybrid Organizations - Value Creation and Strategy

In this BSc elective course on Hybrid Organizations - Value Creation and Strategy, you will study hybrid organizations such as social enterprises, sports clubs, culture institutions, family firms, state-owned enterprises and large mega-projects. You will also analyse the accounting and management control of these organizations, discuss key strategic choices and how hybrid organizations thrive over time. The course is led by the Director for the Center for Sports & Business, Martin Carlsson-Wall.

First Lecture in Accounting in Hybrid Organizations 


In recent years, hybrid organizations (i.e. organizations that rely on two or more institutional logics) have grown in importance in society. Instead of being a "pure" private, public or civil society organization, organizations such as social enterprises, sports clubs, state-owned enterprises, mutuals and privately owned schools need to combine norms and ideals from at least two sectors. 

Managing this increased institutional complexity is difficult. When an organization has "dual missions", both internal and external stakeholders can get confused about the strategic direction and how resource allocation should be done. On the other hand, when a hybrid organization is successful, performance can be extraordinary since resources and legitimacy come from a wide range of stakeholders. 

The purpose of this course is to explore the many roles accounting play in managing multiple institutional logics in hybrid organizations. 

High-Level Guest Lecturers and Faculty 

Teaching Faculty

Martin Carlsson-Wall (Course Director, Department of Accounting) 

Guest Lecturers

The guest lecturers in the first edition of the course included: 

Håkan Strandlund, CFO AIK Football 

Ulrika Årehed Kågström, Chairwoman, The Royal Dramatic Theatre 

Mattias Nordqvist, SSE Professor Family Business 

Ola Peter Gjessing, Senior Analyst, Norges Bank Investment Management (Norwegian Oil Fund)

Guest Lecture with Håkan Strandlund, CFO AIK Football

Combining Theory & Practice 

The course consists in total of 15 lectures, mixing both theory-based lectures, with project coaching where students are expected to apply the theoretical concepts as well as guest lectures and a field trip, thus combining the research and practitioner frontier. 

Lecture 1: Introduction

Lecture 2: Introduction to Hybrid Organizations 

Lecture 3: Project Introduction

Lecture 4: Accounting in Sport

Lecture 5: Guest Lecture, Håkan Strandlund AIK Football 

Lecture 6: Accounting in Culture

Lecture 7: Guest Lecture, Ulrika Årehed Kågström, The Royal Dramatic Theatre 

Lecture 8: Accounting in Social Enterprises 

Lecture 9: Accounting in Family Firms

Lecture 10: Accounting in State-Owned Enterprises

Lecture 11: Accounting in State-Owned Enterprises Part 2. 

Lecture 12: Guest Lecture, Professor Mattias Nordqvist, Family Business

Lecture 13: Project Coaching

Lecture 14: Guest Lecture, Ola Peter Gjessing, Norwegian Oil Fund

Lecture 15: Exam Preparation

+ Field Trip to Giva Sverige 

Relevance to the Students 

Hybrid organizations are becoming increasingly important in society. Historically, SSE has focused on the private sector with a strong focus on multinational companies and professional service firms. With this course, we offer students a broader view. Not only will they deal with the public sector and the civil society sector, they will have to learn about the institutional complexity that emerges when organizations are part of two sectors. 

FREE, SSE's educatonal mission, is about "being free and alive in relation to the unknown". This is a different (but complementary) topic compared to many other courses. The ambition is that this forces the students to reflect and show empathy, but also become more entrepreneurial

Martin Carlsson-Wall has published several articles and book chapters on accounting in hybrid organizations. He is also the research director for the Center for Sports & Business. 

Accounting in hybrid organizations contributes to two fields: (1) accounting, and (2) organizational theory. As can be seen in the literature for this course, module 1 consists of articles from organizational theory and then module 2 and 3 are articles from accounting. 

This is an introductory course. As such, it complements other courses and gives students contextual knowledge of hybrid organizations and the role accounting can play in them. Career-wise, students can hopefully become more interesting in hybrid organizations and apply for jobs in social enterprises (Norrsken Foundation, Red Cross, Stadsmissionen etc.), sports organizations and state/municipality-owned enterprises. Learning about institutional complexity is also important for students aiming for management consultancy. Regardless if the student is working for a client in the private, public or civil society sector, handling interdependencies between sectors will most likely be an important task. 

Intended Learning Outcomes

To successfully complete the course, students need to demonstrate knowledge in: 

1. How and why hybrid organizations are different compared to organizations that rely primarily on one institutional logic. 

2. The multiple accounting practices that are involved in managing hybrid organizations (e.g. budgeting, performance metrics, costing etc.) 

3. Understand contextual differences among hybrid organizations. For example, in public sector hybrids such as state-owned company, it is critical to acknowledge the importance of transparency, laws and regulations while a social enterprise needs to understand the emotional and identity aspects of not being "a pure business" to motivate employees. 

Format and Structure 

The course will combine lectures, seminars and a project in four modules:

1. An introduction to hybrid organizations and its growing importance in society. 

2. Value creation practices in civil society hybrids (e.g. social enterprises, art/culture organizations, sports organizations, family businesses, mutuals etc.)

3. Value creation practices in public hybrids (e.g. state-owned companies, municipality-owned companies, hospitals, universities, public-private partnerships etc.)

4. Project work. 


No prerequisites. 


Exam (70%):

The main examination is a written exam at the end of the course. 

Project (30%): 

A course project will be conducted in groups of 4-5 students where students apply theoretical concepts. 


Module 1: An Introduction to Hybrid Organizations and its Growing Importance in Society 

Battilana, J., Lee, M., Walker, J., & Dorsey, C. (2012). In Search of the Hybrid Ideal. Stanford Social Innovation Review, Summer 2012 49-55.

Besharov, M., & Smith, W. (2014). Multiple institutional logics in organizations: Explaining their varied nature and implications. Academy of Management Review, 39(3), 364-381.

Smith, W., Besharov, M. (2019). Bowing before Dual Gods: How Structured Flexibility Sustains Organizational Hybridity. Administrative Science Quarterly, 64(1), 1-44.

Module 2: Accounting in Civil Society Hybrids 

Carlsson-Wall, M., Kraus, K., & Messner, M. (2016). Performance measurement systems and the enactment of different institutional logics: Insights from a football organization. Management Accounting Research, 32, 45–61.

Chenhall, R. H., Hall, M., & Smith, D. (2013). Performance measurement, modes of evaluation and the development of compromising accounts. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 38(4), 268–287.

Christiansen, J. K., & Skærbæk, P. (1997). Implementing budgetary control in the performing arts: Games in the organizational theatre. Management Accounting Research, 8(4), 405–438.

Ferry, L., & Slack, R. (2021). (Counter) accounting for hybrid organising: a case of the Great Exhibition of the North. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal. forthcoming.

Schäffer, U., Strauss, E., & Zecher, C. (2015). The role of management control systems in situations of institutional complexity. Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management. 12(4), 395-424.

Module 3: Accounting in Public Hybrids 

Carlsson-Wall, M., Iredahl, A., Kraus, K., & Wiklund, M. (2021). The role of management controls in managing heterogeneous interests during extreme situations: the Swedish migrant crisis in 2015. Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, 18(1), 1-25.

Ezzamel, M., Robson, K., & Stapleton, P. (2012). The logics of budgeting: Theorization and practice variation in the educational field. Accounting, organizations and society, 37(5), 281-303.

Gerdin, J. (2020). Management control as a system: Integrating and extending theorizing on MC complementarity and institutional logics. Management Accounting Research, 49, 100716.

Kaufman, M., & Covaleski, M. A. (2019). Budget formality and informality as a tool for organizing and governance amidst divergent institutional logics. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 75, 40–58.

Kreander, N., & McPhail, K. (2019). State investments and human rights? The case of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 32(6), 1742– 1770.

Morinière, A., & Georgescu, I. (2021). Hybridity and the use of performance measurement: facilitating compromises or creating moral struggles? Insights from healthcare organizations. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal. forthcoming.


If you want to know more or have any questions regarding the course, please feel free to contact:

Lennart Asensio Nitz, Project Manager Center for Sports & Business, 24777@student.hhs.se