Balancing a hybrid business model: the search for equilibrium at Cafédirect

Iain A. Davies, Bob Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


This paper investigates the difficulties of creating economic, social, and environmental values when operating as a hybrid venture. Drawing on hybrid organizing and sustainable business model research, it explores the implications of alternative forms of business model experimented with by farmer owned, fairtrade social enterprise Cafédirect. Responding to changes and challenges in the market and societal environment, Cafédirect has tried multiple business model innovations to deliver on all three forms of value capture, with differing levels of success. This longitudinal case study, therefore, provides a contribution to our understanding of how business models enact hybrid mission, providing a platform for triple-bottom-line value capture. In doing so, we are able to expand on the normative understandings of integrating hybrid objectives, and the complications of multiple types of value capture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1066
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2019


  • fair trade
  • governance
  • hybrid organizing
  • hybridity
  • social enterprise
  • sustainability
  • sustainable business models


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