Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Degree Program

Entrepreneurship, PhD

Committee Chair

Quinn, Ryan

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Bennett, Daniel

Committee Member

Bennett, Daniel

Committee Member

Botero, Isabel

Committee Member

Garrett, Robert

Author's Keywords

mission drift; nonprofit; resource dependence theory; governance; organizational stigma; internal resource constraints


Why are some organizations able to maintain focus on their mission while others founder? This theoretical and empirical dissertation examines the relationships among funding sources, management practices, and organizational stigma within an internally resource-constrained environment. Using Resource Dependence Theory (RDT) as a basis to manage external resource dependencies, I build a theoretical model and empirically test a research model to understand how funding source affects mission drift, how management practices might help organizations manage that drift, and what effect organizational stigma might have on those relationships within an environment of internal resource constraints. Specifically, this study hypothesizes that nonprofits that receive funding from commercial revenue and government funding have a higher probability of experiencing mission drift than other organizations and that organizational stigma and management practices proposed by RDT will affect those relationships. Using a random sample of 8,359 nonprofit tax returns between 2010 and 2021, representing 961 publicly supported charities, I find no evidence that commercial revenue or government funding is associated with higher levels of mission drift. In addition, the use of management practices and organizational stigma does not appear to have a statistically significant effect on the incidence of mission drift. This study contributes to the literature on mission drift in nonprofit organizations, primarily related to the incidence of and management of mission drift. In addition, it also begins to explore resource dependency theory in the context of internal resource constraints. This study also suggests that, contrary to prior findings, commercial revenue may not result in mission drift in nonprofit organizations.