Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor

Nardia Haigh

Second Advisor

Edward Carberry

Third Advisor

Theodore DeWitt, Christopher Marquis


Management literature focusing on the interaction of business and society has highlighted the role of purpose-driven for-profit organizations in benefiting society. While this literature has advanced the scholarly understanding of purpose-driven firms broadly, we need more understanding of the outcomes of formalizing purpose in organizational structures and practices. This dissertation investigates the formalization of purpose in a population of firms that identify with social and environmental commitment. The first study focuses on employees as internal stakeholders and investigates the effect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and practices on job satisfaction using logistic regressions. Findings show that while embedded CSR contributes to job satisfaction, peripheral CSR has a heterogeneous impact in these organizations. The second study investigates impact assessment practices among social enterprises. Results from multilevel modeling suggest that formalizing purpose in internal structures and practices such as governing body and training is associated with greater social impact assessment. The third study uses multi-case study approach and identifies the drivers and processes by which purpose-driven firms engage in and disengage from third-party evaluations. Overall, this dissertation contributes to our understanding of the different outcomes of formalizing purpose among organizations that use market mechanisms to create social and environmental value.


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