Taking root in fertile ground: Community context and the agglomeration of hybrid companies

Michael V. Russo, Andrew G. Earle, Brooke A. Lahneman, Suzanne G. Tilleman

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2 Scopus citations


Where do hybrid companies flourish and why? We draw on economic theories of agglomeration and sociocultural theories of community to examine the specific contexts in which hybrids flourish, and offer an understanding of why place matters to the unique business models they employ. We hypothesize that a community's collectivism, political orientation, and third sector munificence have distinct roles in promoting hybrid company agglomeration. We test these hypotheses with data drawn from a variety of sources, covering 260 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas across 17 years. Our results indicate that both economic and sociocultural theories offer explanatory power, and their union more completely explains hybrid agglomeration. Additional analyses enrich our understanding of how this agglomeration unfolds over time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106184
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2022


The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Strategy Research Foundation, which underwrote data collection for this project under Grant SRF-2013-006. As well, we are indebted to Green America, in particular Russ Gaskin and Dennis Greenia, for providing data for our study. We also appreciate the helpful feedback of participants at a research seminar at the University of Michigan, the 2015 Academy of Management Conference, the 2016 GRONEN Conference, and the Organizations with Purpose Conference in 2016. The research support of Hyeonjin Cha, Samantha Galvin, Brandon Herring, Joerg Hofstetter, Jennifer Irwin, Aaron McDonald, Jordan McNea, Maggie Perdzock, Emily Plews, Yusi Turell, and Jacob Woods, also is gratefully acknowledged.

FundersFunder number
University of Michigan


    • Agglomeration
    • Hybrid companies
    • Local communities
    • Place-based enterprise
    • Regional entrepreneurship


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