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Article

David Fowler, Jon Musgrave and Jill Musgrave

This organizational climate empirical case study involves a religious organization in the United States of America, which has experienced a substantial decline in…

Abstract

Purpose

This organizational climate empirical case study involves a religious organization in the United States of America, which has experienced a substantial decline in membership and weekly service participation numbers over the previous five years. The purpose of this qualitative case study is to reveal motivating factors that drive parishioners to leave or stay within a traditional protestant congregation and to uncover the strengths and weaknesses within the organization.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology behind the study considers personal observation by the author and engages current and former members of the organization as well as front-line employees and senior leadership. Qualitative essays were completed through Qualtrics by participants and analyzed with the use of MAXQDA software for thematic frequency and organization.

Findings

During analysis, correlations were found to exist between the church's membership decline and ineffectiveness of senior leadership. Also, it is quite evident that the church's strengths were found in the quality of its members and the relationships they developed. This was found to be a significant motivation to stay within the organization.

Originality/value

The study provides value to practitioners within organizational development fields. Usage of this knowledge could assist in providing insights into possible reasons why religious organizations falter under ineffective leadership, which in turn could provide opportunities to implement improvements based on discoveries.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

Keywords

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Article

Jeanine L. Parolini and Mark D. Parolini

Christian Churches in the United States are facing decline and, just like other organizations, must renew themselves. This study explores the culture of a successful…

Abstract

Christian Churches in the United States are facing decline and, just like other organizations, must renew themselves. This study explores the culture of a successful Midwestern church and its climate for innovation in an effort to move this church toward renewal. Through multiple regressionanalysis, support was found for the literature’s claims that a strong adhocracy culture has a significantly positive relationship with climate for innovation. However, the findings offered startling support that a strong clan culture has an even greater significant correlation with climate for innovation. Interestingly, it was found that market and hierarchy cultures have a small inverse relationship with support for innovation, and also that market culture has a small inverse relationship with resource supply. These results have significant implications for churches, ministries, and other nonprofit leaders and their organizations.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Book part

Dina Biscotti and Nicole Woolsey Biggart

A growing religious-environmental movement is working to reconcile environmental thought and practice with the mission and ministry of religious organizations. We examine…

Abstract

A growing religious-environmental movement is working to reconcile environmental thought and practice with the mission and ministry of religious organizations. We examine two leading interfaith social change organizations and identify key strategies they routinely employ to create shared meaning and alignment between environmentalism and faith. They reframe stewardship in religious organizations by (1) highlighting and interpreting environmental themes in sacred texts and scriptures, (2) celebrating and fostering mutual awareness of environmental action by faith-based organizations, and (3) providing resources and creating linkages between clergy and lay leaders across religious congregations. By emphasizing moral and spiritual rationales for the adoption of resource-saving products and behaviors at both the congregational and household level, these networked organizations help shift the perception of global climate change from an insurmountable problem to one that is being addressed in cooperation with similar others. Our investigation reveals organizational actors deeply engaged in growing moral calls for political action to address climate change and underscores the need for more socially realistic models of technology adoption and behavior change.

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Article

Tim J. Pratt, Roy K. Smollan and Edwina Pio

This paper aims to explore the experiences of church ministers who played the role of transitional leaders in congregational situations involving conflict.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the experiences of church ministers who played the role of transitional leaders in congregational situations involving conflict.

Design/methodology/approach

Grounded theory was chosen as a suitable approach to investigate phenomena that occasionally penetrate religious publications and even less frequently scholarly management journals. Accordingly, in-depth interviews were conducted with six church ministers who had been transitional leaders in one Christian denomination in New Zealand.

Findings

Participants indicated that the drivers of transitional ministry were conflict, dysfunction and loss of direction; the goals were to heal the damage caused by conflict and restore functionality and well-being; the process, underpinned by a leadership philosophy of affirmation, trust-building, engagement and communication, involved working with church members to instil hope, establish operational structures, identify and resolve dysfunction, envision a future and ultimately recruit a permanent minister.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of a small sample size in one Christian denomination could be addressed by using wider samples in other contexts. It is suggested that insights into transitional leadership after conflict will be of interest to researchers as well as practitioners in other religious organizations, the wider non-profit sector and the private sector. Future research into the impact of transitional leadership, against a background of conflict and organizational change, will add to this empirical foundation.

Originality/value

The model of transitional ministry is a unique contribution to religious literature and practice. It also offers insight into how other types of organization could deal with the exit of its permanent leader, in circumstances of conflict, and manage the transition phase of a temporary replacement, so that the organization returns to a state of well-being with a renewed sense of purpose.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

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Article

Helen Irvine

This study of budgeting practices and attitudes to budgeting in a local church uses Booth's (1993) framework to consider the potential conflict between the “sacred” agenda…

Abstract

Purpose

This study of budgeting practices and attitudes to budgeting in a local church uses Booth's (1993) framework to consider the potential conflict between the “sacred” agenda of the church and the “secular” nature of accounting.

Design/methodology/approach

Over a six‐month period, the author conducted a series of semi‐structured interviews with key church leaders, and studied financial reports and the minutes of church meetings.

Findings

Clergy and lay people alike, far from viewing accounting as an unwelcome intrusion into their church's sacred agenda, integrated belief in their church's mission with the need to raise and manage the money necessary to mobilise that mission.

Research limitations/implications

Religion and religious organizations occupy a greater importance in society than academic accounting research would indicate, and this paper represents a response to that academic blind spot. Opportunities abound for further studies of the contribution accounting makes to other religious organizations, and to non‐profit organizations whose goals are not primarily wealth creation.

Practical implications

All organizations, even those with a sacred agenda, need to confront the reality of money and accounting if they are to achieve success. If they are unable to obtain or account for the resources they need for their mission, their ability to fulfil that mission is likely to be compromised.

Originality/value

By portraying accounting as an enabling and liberating contributor to a church's fulfilment of its spiritual mission, this study demonstrates that attitudes to accounting are inextricably intertwined with religious beliefs, and that accounting can be a valuable tool in a cooperative attempt to implement a spiritual vision.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article

Tony Kiely

The purpose of this paper is to explore attitudes among church administrators to church tourism, and the vexing challenge of categorizing church properties as tourist…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore attitudes among church administrators to church tourism, and the vexing challenge of categorizing church properties as tourist attractions for the city visitor. Furthermore, it seeks to ascertain if in the current economic climate, evidence of a collaborative inclination exists between core and peripheral supply‐stakeholders towards delivering a church tourism trail in this visitor‐rich area of Dublin city.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered to coincide with the busiest period of the tourist season. Using a qualitative methodology involving a series of semi‐structured interviews, initial research concentrated on attitudes to church tourism among both church administrators and church visitors. Subsequent interviews with key informants from both core and peripheral stakeholder groups focused on their attitudes to stakeholder collaboration in the development of a localized church tourism trail.

Findings

The findings of this paper would suggest broad support among most church administrators towards tourism and contextualising church properties as heritage attractions. However, operational dissonances associated with “church ethos” and “collaborative engagement”, particularly when embedded within individual fears of being associated with an official “tourist trail” were viewed as collaborative impediments among some traditional and peripheral stakeholders.

Originality/value

As international competition for the urban tourist intensifies, this paper, in adopting a supply‐sided perspective has, through counterpointing psychological barriers to the development of a church tourism product, with the absence of collaboration champions in the area, highlighted a number of limiting factors to adding value to the visitor experience in Dublin's Liberties. Challenges abide!

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 68 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

Keywords

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Article

Jame Schaefer

Religious organizations are among the non-government groups in the USA that are addressing climate change phenomena from their various faith perspectives and, despite the…

Abstract

Purpose

Religious organizations are among the non-government groups in the USA that are addressing climate change phenomena from their various faith perspectives and, despite the differences in their traditions and practices, are collaborating with one another to achieve their mutual goal – the establishment of policies that will mitigate the real and anticipated perils scientists are forecasting. If sufficiently motivated by their faith, informed by climate science, and politically astute, these groups may be reliable allies for climate change decision-makers to tap as they strive to achieve their mutual goal. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Focusing on the Coalition on Environment and Jewish Life, the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, and Interfaith Power and Light, the author explores the diverse religious faith-based motivations underpinning their efforts, the extent to which they remain cognizant of the latest climate science, the structures through which they share their particular faith perspectives and collaborate with one another, and their efforts to reach decision makers at various levels of governance.

Findings

Motivated by their religious faiths, these three organizations demonstrate that they are scientifically informed, politically astute, and collaborative with others in striving to achieve their mutual goal of mitigating the adverse effects of climate change locally to globally.

Research limitations/implications

The three groups on which the author focuses are based in the USA and collaborate with one another. In an earlier presentation prepared for an international conference, the author included two other groups outside the USA, but manuscript length precluded their inclusion in this submission. Perhaps the author's limited study will stimulate scholars to explore other groups in various parts of the world.

Practical implications

To assure and strengthen the momentum already underway, scholars of religions need to probe their foundations for responding to climate change, leaders of religious communities must heighten their efforts to educate their followers accordingly, adherents of religions must be open to embracing their motivating traditions, and religiously based groups must seek to collaborate with one another at various bioregional and political levels to demand actions that will advance a life-sustaining climate.

Originality/value

The author is unaware of studies exploring these three groups using the methodology the author employs for the purposes of describing and assessing the effectiveness of religious groups in addressing human-forced climate change.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Women in Leadership 2nd Edition
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-064-8

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Abstract

Details

Understanding Decision-Making in Educational Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-818-0

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Book part

Rhys H. Williams, Courtney Ann Irby and R. Stephen Warner

The sexual lives of religious youth and young adults have been an increasing topic of interest since the rise of abstinence-only education and attendant programs in many…

Abstract

Purpose

The sexual lives of religious youth and young adults have been an increasing topic of interest since the rise of abstinence-only education and attendant programs in many religious institutions. But while we know a lot about individual-level rates of sexual behavior, far less is known about how religious organizations shape and mediate sexuality. We draw on data from observations with youth and young adult ministries and interviews with religious young adults and adult leaders from Muslim, Hindu, and Protestant Christian groups in order to examine how religious adults in positions of organizational authority work to manage the gender and sexual developments in the transition to adulthood among their youth. We find three distinct organizational styles across the various religious traditions: avoidance through gender segregation, self-restraint supplemented with peer surveillance, and a classed disengagement. In each of these organizational responses, gender and sexuality represent something that must be explained and controlled in the process of cultivating the proper adult religious disposition. The paper examines how religious congregations and other religious organizations oriented toward youth, work to manage the gender and sexual developments in their youth’s transitions to adulthood. The paper draws from a larger project that is studying the lived processes of religious transmission between generations.

Methodology/approach

Data were extracted from (a) ethnographic observations of youth programming at religious organizations; (b) ethnographicobservations with families during their religious observances; (c) interviews with adult leaders of youth ministry programs. The sample includes Protestant Christian, Muslim, and Hindu organizations and families.

Findings

The paper presents three organizational approaches toward managing sex and instilling appropriate gender ideas: (a) prescribed avoidance, in which young men and women are segregated in many religious and educational settings and encouraged to moderate any cross-gender contact in public; (b) self-restraint supplemented with peer surveillance, in which young people are repeatedly encouraged not only to learn to control themselves through internal moral codes but also to enlist their peers to monitor each other’s conduct and call them to account for violations of those codes; and (c) “classed” disengagement, in which organizations comprised of highly educated, middle-class families do little to address sex directly, but treat it as but one aspect of developing individual ethical principles that will assist their educational and class mobility.

Research limitations/implications

While the comparative sample in this paper is a strength, other religious traditions than the ones studied may have other practices. The ethnographic nature of the research provides in-depth understandings of the organizational practices, but cannot comment on how representative these practices are across regions, organizations, or faiths.

Originality/value

Most studies of religion and youth sex and sexuality either rely on individual-level data from surveys, or study the discourses and ideologies found in books, movies, and the like. They do not study the “mechanisms,” in either religious organizations or families, through which messages are communicated and enacted. Our examination of organizational and familial practices shows sex and gender communication in action. Further, most existing research has focused on Christians, wherein we have a comparative sample of Protestant Christians, Muslims, and Hindus.

Details

Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Among Contemporary Youth
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-613-6

Keywords

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