Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 215-225

First online:

Outing the Silent Partner: Espousing the Economic Values that Operate in Not-For-Profit Organizations

  • Sarah KaineAffiliated withManagement Discipline Group, University of Technology Email author 
  • , Jenny GreenAffiliated withManagement Discipline Group, University of Technology

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The tension between organizational values and the operation of aged care as a business is often characterized as the “mission versus margin” dilemma. It is common across the industry in both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. However, in for-profit aged care facilities, there is no question about the intention to make a profit or the purpose of the profits. This is not so clear in not-for-profit aged care organizations. This article explores the tension through the examination of a detailed case study of one of the larger not-for-profit social service organizations—All Saints Christian Care. It analyses the culture and managerial decisions though the lens of the political philosophy value pluralism. Finally, based on the value-plural theory, recommendations are made that would create greater operational transparency in not-for-profit aged care service.


Value pluralism Aged care Not-for-profit