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The Rise of the Hybrid Domain

Collaborative Governance for Social Innovation

Yuko Aoyama and Balaji Parthasarathy

By conceptualizing the rise of the hybrid domain as an emerging institutional form that overlaps public and private interests, this book explores how corporations, states, and civil society organizations develop common agendas, despite the differences in their primary objectives. Using evidence from India, it examines various cases of social innovation in education, energy, health, and finance, which offer solutions for some of the most pressing social challenges of the twenty-first century.
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Chapter 8: Domain flexibility

Yuko Aoyama and Balaji Parthasarathy


, which refers to the blurring of boundaries between the public and private domains. We examine various hybrid activities that straddle the domains, and discuss how they evolved over time. We begin with the limits of CSR in producing desirable outcomes in terms of social impacts, then discuss the challenges of merging economic and social missions and achieving shared value creation. We then examine how learning through collaborating across the traditional boundaries of the public and private sectors facilitates social innovation. Finally, we explore why some NGOs are transforming themselves into social enterprises, and discuss the rise of hybrid organizations – those that combine, in one form or the other, for- and non-profit sub-entities in their organization.

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, which left at least 7,000 people dead or missing, was a catalytic event for CSR initiatives in India. An estimated USD 200 million was donated by American MNEs alone, and launched an era in which MNEs began working with communities, the state, and civil society organizations. Good intentions do not necessarily translate into social impacts, however. Today there is widespread frustration expressed by both for-profit and non-profit sectors about the efficacy of CSR and the desire to generate greater impact through these activities.

Both for-profit and non-profit organizations question the limited impact of CSR and how it can adversely affect the sustainability of social missions. An interviewee at an American MNE in ICTs (M18) provided the following insights.

Generally, most CSR...

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