Between Economization and Ideals: Exploring Third Sector Developments in Germany

Ragnar Martens

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis explores current developments in Germany’s third sector. In particular, it investigates the factors that influence the increasingly commercial orientation of organizations operating within that sector and the repercussions that this trend has for the organizations’ orientation toward collectivist ideals. Analyzing a large dataset of third sector organizations in Germany with the help of exploratory factor analysis and structural equation modeling, using a partial least squares approach, the study reveals that the dependency on public funding and not the exposure to the competitive marketplace drive increases commercial orientation. Furthermore, it finds that commercial orientation does not necessarily negatively impact an organizations social mission orientation. The findings confirm institutional theories brought forward by DiMaggio and Powell (1983) and provide a better understanding of the inherent trend of “economization” of the sector as described by Priller et al. (2012) and Droß (2013).

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages108
SupervisorsKai Hockerts