By Margaret Harris (eds.)
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Additional info for Organizing God’s Work: Challenges for Churches and Synagogues
Finally, there is a 'symbolically appropriate' (Thompson, 1973, p. 295) correspondence with Christian theology. Rudge (1968, p. 66), after reviewing a range of organizational theories, argues that the open systems perspective is the most appropriate for the study of 'ecclesiastical administration' because it 'has the greatest weight of biblical support and is nearest to the central stream of Christian thinking'. Beckford (1973) employed an open systems framework for the analysis and presentation of his review of the sociological literature on 'religious organization'.
Religious institutions face special challenges in developing and implementing organizational goals; they have to reconcile the desire to reflect their religious values with the practicalities of running an organization and ensuring its survival (Jeavons, 1992; Rudge, 1968). Difficulties in clarifying purposes in churches and synagogues are sometimes traceable to unresolved debates and disagreements about overarching religious principles. Hornsby-Smith (1989) for example describes the 'struggles' within Catholic parishes trying to reflect post-Vatican II theology6 in their activities and internal structures.
173). And finally, they can be a resourceefficient method of generating rich data which can contribute to building theoretical insights, but which can also be added to and reviewed by subsequent researchers. It was also decided to combine the case study approach with a 'qualitative' methodology. The religious values underpinning churches and synagogues and their possible impact on the perceptions of key participants demanded a methodology sensitive to 'organizational culture' and one which gave weight to interviewees' own 'construction of reality' ((Berger and Luckmann, 1967).
Organizing God’s Work: Challenges for Churches and Synagogues by Margaret Harris (eds.)