Hybrid Forms of Business: The Logic of Gift in the Commercial World

31 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2011 Last revised: 28 Jul 2011

Date Written: July 15, 2011


Benedict XVI in Caritas in Veritate advances a positive view of businesses that are hybrids between several traditional categories. He expects that the “logic of gift” that animates civil society infuses the market and the State with relations typical for it – reciprocity, gratuitousness, and solidarity. His theological rationale offers an answer to two questions that have largely re-mained open in the literature – why hybridization occurs and why it is desirable. A rational reconstruction of hybrid enterprise that goes beyond a simple taxonomy of types benefits from the Pope‟s call for an intrinsic integration of institutions and processes traditionally attributed to disparate spheres. The relational model of the Trinity defines the unity in diversity that accounts for the benefits of truly hybrid businesses, and the “logic of gift” serves as the agent of integration.

Keywords: Caritas in Veritate, Catholic Social Teaching, Holy Trinity, Hybrid Businesses, Non-Profit Enterprise, Social Enterprise, Reciprocity, Gift

JEL Classification: A13, D64, L21, L31, M14

Suggested Citation

Grassl, Wolfgang, Hybrid Forms of Business: The Logic of Gift in the Commercial World (July 15, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1776125 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1776125

Wolfgang Grassl (Contact Author)

St. Norbert College ( email )

100 Grant Street
De Pere, WI 54115-2099

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