Hybrid Associations and Blurred Sector Boundaries

  • David Billis


This chapter, in keeping with the objectives of the Handbook, focuses on membership associations. However, in so doing, it offers a different perspective on several fundamental issues by utilizing an emerging theory of organizational hybridity. This reveals three interdependent sectors (third, public, and private), each of which overwhelmingly consists of organizations that share common principles. Yet each sector also contains hybrids: organizations that have also absorbed significant features of their neighboring sectors. Despite this, hybrids nevertheless retain their prime adherence to the principles, the rules of the game, of one sector. This prime sector accountability becomes particularly problematic in turbulent times; but awareness of the nature of hybridity, and ways of controlling and managing it, is essential for organizational maintenance, change, and even survival.

And what of associations? The analysis adopts a decision-making approach to the nature of ownership and membership and concludes that the core organizational principles of the association provide the raison d’être for the entire, normal, third sector.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Billis
    • 1
  1. 1.UK

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