SGS Brownbag - Stoyan Sgourev, ESSEC
The art of juggling logics: An analysis of the Monte dei Paschi Bank Foundation (1996-2012) (with Elisa Operti and Shemuel Lampronti)
Wednesday 14 March 2018 (12h00 - 13h00) - Extranef - 125
There is increasing attention in scholarship to organizational hybridity – the integration of conflicting institutional logics within the organizational core. But if some studies present hybridity as a threat to performance and survival, others contend that is contributes to sustainability and innovation. Why do hybrids survive over the long run and how is contradiction resolved? The paper brings attention to the ability to juggle between institutional logics, using data from the oldest hybrid in the world: Monte dei Paschi in Siena, Italy - simultaneously a charity and a bank since the 15th century. Emerging from the historical overview, the two logics are documented in an analysis of all donations by the bank (1996-2012). Despite the adoption of a law pursuing the separation of the financial and charitable activities, hybridity survived. We show that financial performance conditioned funding for charities, while the donations were instrumentally used in preparing the bail-out of the bank. The interweaving of logics is a source of organizational adaptability, but dilutes accountability. The practice of navigating between commercial and non-profit activities, and between profitability and eligibility for public assistance is historically anchored and is critical in understanding the organizational mechanisms of banking crises.