Title page for ETD etd-10112007-153313

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Heaton, Robert William
Email tcz@netconnect.co.zw
URN etd-10112007-153313
Document Title The impact of worldview on the process of administration : a study of Shona and Ndebele Christians in Zimbabwe
Degree PhD (Practical Theology)
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Prof G A Lotter
Prof H Stone
Prof I Swart
Prof J C Muller Committee Chair
  • Ndebele
  • administration
  • narrative
  • social constructionism
  • Shona
  • worldview
  • postfoundationalism
  • practical theology
  • praxis
Date 2007-09-05
Availability unrestricted

As a Euro-African I wish to explore the validity of the idea that worldview factors are fundamental in determining the praxis of administration. From observation and experience, problems with the practice of administration appear to be generic, rather than primarily personal. (It was noted, however, that personality and temperament also play a role.) The enquiry focuses on Shona and Ndebele Christians in Zimbabwe. As the field of study is Practical Theology and to give a theological foundation for and, perhaps, at least a partial solution to some of the perceived problems, a nascent theological approach to administration is presented, together with proposed training courses in administration and leadership for Bible colleges.

Because the notion of administration is somewhat abstract, a fivefold framework was used comprising Planning, Organising, Leading and Controlling, all performed within Time. Questions on the connections, values, perceptions, expectations and use of these components by Shona and Ndebele Christians were discussed in light of their worldviews.

Although the intended research approach was social construction, the need for the framework undercut this approach somewhat. I also came from a moderately soft postfoundationalist viewpoint, using narrative practical theology. Six Christian leaders as co-researchers – three Shona and three Ndebele; three Pentecostal and three non-Pentecostal – shared their multicultural insights through personal anecdotes and narrative interaction.

Chapter One, in two parts, begins with a personal anecdote and other illustrations highlighting some of the difficulties experienced with administration and its processes in a multicultural African context. The research question – whether worldview shapes the praxis of administration – together with sub-problems, is then outlined. The second section explains the research methodology.

Chapter Two defines worldview and administration from both the natural and Christian perspectives, to clarify their nature and praxis. Some underlying problems are introduced. Chapter Three explores what constitutes administration in Christian ministry. Here, values and tasks are itemised to reveal the actual content of administration (at least from a local church pastor’s perspective) and some assumptions behind it. Chapter Four presents individual conversations with the six co-researchers. These personal responses begin to highlight the connection of worldview to administrative praxis and some initial issues arising there from.

Chapter Five reflects group dialogues, which allow for cross-cultural and cross-theological views. Gender is introduced as a woman para-church ministry leader replaces a pastor. This provides further fusion of views.

From there, Chapter Six examines the Shona, Ndebele and Christian worldviews in more depth. Two case studies are explored narratively, to identify how worldview factors impact the praxis of administration in specific settings.

Chapter Seven discusses the group’s understanding of the Biblical perspective of administration. A tentative theological approach to administration is offered. And lastly, Chapter Eight summarises the findings, identifies the issues and presents some solutions. The focus for the latter is on possible administration courses for Bible colleges. Although not directly social constructionist, the team affirmed this approach. The intention here is to enhance this training and thus improve administration in Christian ministry for the wider benefit of the Church community.

© University of Pretoria
  Filename       Size       Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds) 
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  00front.pdf 158.93 Kb 00:00:44 00:00:22 00:00:19 00:00:09 < 00:00:01
  01chapter1.pdf 263.44 Kb 00:01:13 00:00:37 00:00:32 00:00:16 00:00:01
  02chapters2-3.pdf 287.61 Kb 00:01:19 00:00:41 00:00:35 00:00:17 00:00:01
  03chapter4.pdf 409.22 Kb 00:01:53 00:00:58 00:00:51 00:00:25 00:00:02
  04chapter5.pdf 415.15 Kb 00:01:55 00:00:59 00:00:51 00:00:25 00:00:02
  05chapters6-7.pdf 442.21 Kb 00:02:02 00:01:03 00:00:55 00:00:27 00:00:02
  06chapter8.pdf 293.24 Kb 00:01:21 00:00:41 00:00:36 00:00:18 00:00:01
  07bibliography.pdf 184.81 Kb 00:00:51 00:00:26 00:00:23 00:00:11 < 00:00:01

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