Article: JBIB

Business as Mission Hybrids: A Review and Research Agenda

Steve Rundle 

Biola University

The Journal of Biblical Integration in Business, is a collection of articles from various authors addressing business as mission. In this article, Steve Rundle discusses the development of business as mission:

The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of the emergence of BAM as a movement and a field of scholarly inquiry. It is not an all-encompassing literature review, but rather a limited one that is meant to provide a chronology of this young field.

“Business as Mission,” as the name suggests, involves businesses that have a missionary impulse, and as such, fit the definition of hybrid organizations. Neither motivated by money, nor embarrassed about making it, these enterprises and the entrepreneurs who start them defy easy classification. They are hybrids in their purpose, and in many cases, their organizational structures. Many are organized as “regular” for-profit businesses, but others have ties, either formal or informal, to the tax-exempt, nonprofit world. The term itself—often abbreviated simply as “BAM”—first began to appear in the Christian business lexicon about twelve years ago. Since then, many Christian universities have created courses, convened seminars and conferences, and organized student trips around this theme. Serious scholarly work also started appearing on the subject at about the same time.