Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to design a conceptual model that explains and predicts the performance of non-for-profit (NFP) organizations. We introduce and define three separate cognitive frameworks (mindsets) used by NFP executives/teams and examine their relationship to organizational performance as measured in terms of growth (Carton and Hofer, 2006). They are categorized as entrepreneurial, financial and social orientation. We build on Lumpkin and Dess’s (1996) work on entrepreneurial orientation, and develop the other two concepts from theory. Each cognitive framework consists of a specialized set of prior experiences, knowledge, skills and mandates that form measurable constructs. The model is aimed at adding further depth and clarity to the decision making processes used by NFP executives, and analyzes how entrepreneurial behavior may effectively be explained and measured in the context of social entrepreneurship without the burden of having to reconcile the often dichotomously perceived relationship between for-profit motivation and social mission (Austin, et al., 2006; Frank, 2006)

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