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Combining Purpose With Profits by Julian Birkinshaw, Nicolai J. Foss, Siegwart Lindenberg, Adam M. Grant, Jay Carson, Douglas Ready, Philip Podsakoff, Gary P. Latham, John R. Hollenbeck, D. Scott DeRue, Jennifer Nahrgang, Katherine A. DeCelles, Joshua D. Margolis, Matthias Spitzmuller, Michael M. Gielnik

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Combining Purpose With Profits

A sense of purpose that transcends making money can motivate employees. But to sustain both a sense of purpose and a solid level of profitability over time, companies need to pay attention to several fundamental organizing principles.

Julian Birkinshaw, Nicolai J. Foss and Siegwart Lindenberg

February 19, 2014

It’s an old idea: If you want to build a company that truly motivates its employees, it has to have a sense of purpose. Purpose, according to Ratan Tata, the recently retired CEO of the Tata Group, is “a spiritual and moral call to action; it is what a person or company stands for.”1 When such a purpose exists, it provides employees with a clear sense of direction, helps them prioritize and inspires them ...

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