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What Can We Learn about (Good) Governance Practices from Monasticism and Mendicant Orders?


  • Peter Wirtz

    () (Centre de Recherche Magellan - UJML - Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Lyon)


The present research is a tentative contribution to paving the way for an interdisciplinary study of the history of governance practices in ancient religious orders. What do these real-life practices, proven over the course of centuries, teach us about the principal challenges facing organizational governance and the way in which this governance actually influenced the actions of the individuals at the head of these organizations (abbots, priors, etc.), and, consequently, the organizational coalition? Can we use a contemporary corporate governance research approach to analyze the challenges and functioning of these practices? If yes, under what conditions? Conversely, will observing centuries-old orders help to develop contemporary thinking on governance in the financial economics and management science fields? The principal challenges of and proposed directions for such research on the comparative governance of old religious orders is illustrated through selected historic examples from Benedictine abbeys and Dominican monasteries, as they can be found in the yet scarce literature devoted to religious governance in the management field.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Wirtz, 2017. "What Can We Learn about (Good) Governance Practices from Monasticism and Mendicant Orders?," Post-Print hal-01583830, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01583830
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    Corporate Governance; Religious Orders; History;


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