Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Founder succession in international Christian networks and organizations : a narrative case-study approach
Author: Bunton, Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 9352 1904
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2020
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines how international Christian organizations and movements undergo and enact leadership succession from their founders. It particularly focuses on the theories and theologies, whether overt or latent, which shape and inform such succession processes and enactments. This multi-disciplinary study seeks to understand organizational successions by drawing on perspectives from psychology, organizational development, leadership theory and theology. As founder succession within Christian ministries has rarely been examined, a breadth of literature on succession from other fields of study is reviewed to show that, while studies in succession have been neglected in this specific field, much can be gleaned from other fields and applied to understanding Christian organizations. Furthermore, this thesis critically evaluates the methodological approaches adopted by the few attempts to study recent founder succession within Christian ministries and finds serious deficiencies in such approaches. A multi-case study approach is pursued by examining the founder successions enacted within the Christian mission and development agency International Aid Services (originating in Sweden), the network of churches Newfrontiers (originating in the UK) and the network of churches and ministries Grace Network (originating in the USA). A narrative approach is adopted; data was gathered through tripartite, open-ended interviews with the organizations' founders and successors, as well as documentary analysis. This approach provided data which allowed an analysis of succession as it relates to gender, apostolicity, movement deconstruction, successor origins, familial connections, leadership styles, symbolic enactments, environmental pressures and theology. Inconsistent theologies are brought forth through comparing elements of both espoused and operant theologies of succession within these organizations, showing that a lack of theological reflexivity impaired the succession processes in each of the three cases.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International ; Christian ; Narrative ; Case-study ; Leadership ; Church ; Founder ; Succession