Date of Paper/Work

5-2014

Type of Paper/Work

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Department

Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Rebecca Hawthorne

Abstract

The boundaries between for-profit and non-profit organizations are less distinct now than in the past. Today, many non-profit organizations include revenue-generating and other business strategies in their operations. At the same time, many for-profit companies include a focus on social impact as part of their business goals. From this blurring of boundaries has emerged the concept of shared value, a practice that aims to create both economic and social impact. Through a literature review and analysis of interviews with six industry leaders and two subject matter experts, this study identifies how leaders define, demonstrate, and engage in shared value; the tensions they face in this context; and, the factors that guide their decision-making. This study also describes the ways in which the conversation about economic and social impact is changing, and provides recommendations for business, leadership programs, and future scholarship.

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