The challenge of mission drift through growth in the hybrid organisation
by Connie Van der Byl; Harrie Vredenburg
International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management (IJETM), Vol. 18, No. 4, 2015

Abstract: Most innovative, sustainability focused enterprises are founded as entrepreneurial start-ups by visionary leaders. Those that are successful grow and become viable businesses, necessitating access to private and public financial markets to fuel their growth. The dynamics of financial markets put demands on these successful firms that often challenge their very foundations. Should hybrid firms that integrate social, environmental and profit goals go public? How should a growing sustainability focused start-up manage their institutional shareholders to defend their mission? How should such a company, if accessing public stock markets, defend against an unwanted takeover? How should an incumbent industry player acquire a hybrid firm and preserve its valuable mission? In this article, we explore these questions using an in-depth case study of a Canadian renewable energy start-up firm that took the public market route and was eventually acquired in a hostile takeover by a major publicly-listed utility company.

Online publication date: Thu, 01-Oct-2015

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