Silvia Payer-Langthaler, Martin Hiebl,
"Towards a definition of performance for religious organizations and beyond: a case of Benedictine abbeys"
, in Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, Vol. 10, Nummer 3-4, 2013, ISSN: 1176-6093
Towards a definition of performance for religious organizations and beyond: a case of Benedictine abbeys
Sprache des Titels:
Purpose - This paper aims to analyze how performance may be defined in the context of a religious organization. We do so by studying the case of a Benedictine abbey.
Design/methodology/approach - Using an etymologically derived understanding of performance, and predominantly based on the Regula Benedicti (the central guideline for Benedictine monks), we first conceptually develop an understanding of performance in Benedictine abbeys. We then apply this understanding in a single case study.
Findings - We found that in order to comply with the Benedictine mission laid out in the Regula Benedicti, Benedictine abbeys need to balance sacred and secular goals. We also derived six key actions in order to accomplish these goals. Our case study shows that an imbalance in these key actions may cause severe (financial) distress.
Research limitations/implications - Our study provides an alternative framing of the term "performance" and further evidence that only a combined pursuit of sacred and secular goals seems useful for religious organizations. Researchers interested in religious organizations might find our conceptual approach and findings useful to analyze performance in such organizations.
Practical implications - Benedictine abbeys and other religious organizations may find our analysis valuable to critically analyze their current strategies and focal activities. Moreover, this paper?s results might also be worthwhile for other faith-based or third-sector organizations when seeking an alternative framing of performance.
Originality/value - This paper provides a new framing of "performance" and is the first to analyze what performance might mean in the context of a Benedictine abbey.