Skip to main content

Getting Ahead at Your Nonprofit or Mission-Driven Company

A new study finds that “true believers” are more likely than non-believers to increase in status and influence, especially at organizations that are ideologically-oriented. So stow away that cynicism.

The research comes from the paper called “Status and the true believer: The impact of psychological contracts on social status attributions of friendship and influence,” published in the May 2013 issue of the Journal of Organization Science.

“Those who were true believers in this company’s cause were considered idea leaders and influenced how other employees viewed their work,” said John Bingham, the lead author of the study and a professor of organizational leadership and strategy at BYU Marriott School of Management, but like yours truly, a alumnus of the University of Utah. “If the mission is a legitimate part of an organization’s identity, that tends to be the case,” he says.

Bingham and his coauthors, James B. Oldroyd, Jeffery A. Thompson, Jeffrey S. Bednar, and J. Stuart Bunderson… apparently you had to have a J in your first name to be part of this research team… surveyed teams at organizations with a mission-based culture.

In the past the way to get ahead was to be tall, have a strong handshake and a steady gaze, know the boss or the board well, and be in well-positioned in the company hierarchy.

“While those factors still remain strongly influential in many organizations,” the press release said, “especially those without well-defined missions, Bingham believes a growing number of people entering the workforce are passionate about causes and are looking for employers that both ‘do good and do well.’”

People want to belong to organizations that have meaning and purpose. That means nonprofit causes, but also companies like Whole Foods, Patagonia, and the Body Shop.

“Having a mission-based organization has great potential to recruit and retain talent,” Bingham said. “But it has to be legitimate. If top management doesn’t believe it or is simply using it as a ploy, it doesn’t work.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

KFC Concept Restaurant Gives a Nod to Cause Marketing for Local Causes

KFC, a unit of Yum Brands, is testing a new quick-serve restaurant version of the fried chicken outlet and among the changes is that its cause marketing efforts will be much more local, according to Anne Fuller, senior director of development for KFC eleven.

The KFC eleven test store is in Louisville, Kentucky, KFC’s headquarters. When it opens August 5, 2013, it will feature rice bowls, flatbreads, salads, KFC original recipe chicken among other items, plus sides. A second test location is set to open in Louisville before year’s end. The 11 in KFC eleven is a salute to the 11 herbs and spices in their original recipe chicken.

The trade-dress for the test store includes lamp lighting, digital signage with community news, and artwork from local artists.

Why step into the quick serve space? Fuller answered a reporter from QSRweb.com this way: “People love KFC but it's not a frequent choice for many guests for some reason. We wanted to create a broad and balanced menu that could mayb…