Abstract

The recent economic crisis has increased pressure on social enterprises to self-fund their activities through trading (selling services or products). Does this increased focus on economic goals lead to a decreased focus on social goals, i.e. mission-drift?

This paper reports a 1.5 year longitudinal study which addresses the following questions: Are hybrid organisations temporarily upgrading economic goals at the cost of social goals and; Are there underlying changes in the values of the upper echelon of the organisation?

This second question is important as upper echelons theory (Hambrick, 2007) suggests the values of upper echelons are particularly important in shaping organisational goals (also Schein, 1992) through focussing managerial attention (Ocasio, 2010).

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