"Changing Leadership Patterns: Conference of Mennonites in Canada"

Peters, J.
January 1989
Journal of Mennonite Studies;1989, Vol. 7, p167
Academic Journal
The post‐Second World War years challenged Canadian Mennonites to examine their religious organizations in the context of a growing rationalization of the organizational environment. Like other organizations, Mennonite organizations were compelled to adopt a more bureaucratic form to ensure survival. This may be seen in the way participatory democracy pushed aside autocratic decision making. Professional pastors replaced traditional bishops, formal rules replaced informal traditions, and complex organizations replaced simple associations. This paper, a case study of the organization Conference of Mennonites in Canada, is based on content analysis of archival data. It analyses organizational changes at the denominational and congregational levels and examines the internal problems and external pressures associated with the changes. In conclusion, the Mennonite religious organizations, as institutional isomorphism theory would suggest, resemble more and more other organizational forms within the environment.


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