While the distinctions between organizational sectors have never been particularly clear, the emergence of new corporate forms that intentionally blend for-profit organizational forms with public purposes blur the lines further. More than 600 organizations nationwide are now certified as “B-Corporations,” legally integrating public purposes, accountability and transparency into their founding documents and stated corporate missions. However, rather than a new monolithic organizational form that will be equally associated with public benefit, authors Stephanie Moulton and Adam Eckerd expect that these organizations vary considerably in the extent to which they achieve public benefit.
In their paper From Blurred to Blended: Exploring the Institutional Environment and Public Benefit of For-Profit B-Corporations, first presented at the 2013 Fall Research Conference, the authors hypothesize that the institutional environment will be a strong predictor of organizational behavior, including the extent to which B-Corporations achieve public benefit. Their findings have implications for public management research and organizational theory, and the interactions between corporate structure and insitutional environments on the public benefit of private sector organizations.
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