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‘Hybrid’ honours


Awards for PhD student Laura Claus for studies on ‘hybridity’.

Laura Claus, a PhD candidate at Cambridge Judge Business School, recently was honoured with two awards relating to her research conducted along with her PhD advisor, Shaz Ansari, on the subject of “hybridity.”

Laura Claus
Laura Claus

Laura was awarded a prestigious Ewing Marion Kauffmann Award at a Social Entrepreneurship Conference in Denver, Colorado, in April, for a paper on “social hybridity.” The paper examines institutional complexity in “hybrid” organisations that have competing demands (for example, between promoting social welfare and maximising financial profit) – showing how organisations can maintain their hybridity over time without drifting toward either alternative.

In addition, Laura received an Organisation and Management Theory stipend to attend the Alberta Institutions Conference held in Banff, Canada, in June 2015, for her paper: “Keeping it weird: coping with institutional complexity as an ongoing accomplishment over time” – which was her MPhil dissertation at Cambridge University. This paper also looks at corporate hybridity, finding that individuals caught between conflicting institutional prescriptions coped by means of “anchoring” – mitigating the discomfort experienced from having to satisfy competing demands.

“Both these papers make important findings related to hybridity, a field of studies that is becoming increasingly important because of the rising scale and complexity of social and environmental challenges,” says Ansari. “Addressing these challenges requires ‘mixed form’ approaches – business going beyond the singular pursuit of profit to also address social and environmental problems, as well as organisations driven by social mission such as NGOs and charities adopting more business-like approaches.”