Re-visiting the relevance of John Calvin’s values of self-denial and calling for new Learning Organisations Danie F Du Plessis

Re-visiting the relevance of John Calvin’s values of self-denial and calling for new Learning Organisations

Danie F du Plessis

Abstract


Abstract

Modern organisations are subjected to increasing demands for the space employees and members need to find purpose, meaning and sense in what they do every day. This article aims to connect John Calvin’s ideas related to calling and self-denial with the needs of organisations to accommodate staff members’ wishes for meaningful engagement with the work they do in the context of the concept of Learning Organisations.

This connection between Calvin and the aim of organisational renewal is made by briefly pointing to the disillusionment of postmodern society with modernistic forces of rationalism, linear thinking, bureaucratisation and standardisation which have led to the dehumanisation of organisations and, ultimately, the world of work. The argument is also made that the development of the Learning Organisation as concept is a new trend in organisational thinking.  The Learning Organisation represents a break with modern bureaucratic and hierarchical thinking.

The aim is to link these relatively new two organisational trends with the principles which John Calvin articulated about the calling or vocation of the faithful and their relationship with their fellow humans.

The conclusion is that, for Christian (Reformed) faithful, the Learning Organisation and acknowledgement of their spiritual contribution is an opportunity to claim the workplace as territory to be in the service of others (as explained in Chapter 7 of Book 3 of the Institutes of the Christian Religion) and, effectively in service of God, experience work as a true vocation and calling.

Opsomming

Herbesinning van die relevansie van Johannes Calvyn se waardes van selfverloëning en roeping vir bereiking van Lerende Organisasies se doelwitte.

Moderne organisasies kry te doen met toenemende eise om ruimte te voorsien vir werknemers en lede van die organisasies waarin hulle doel, betekenis en waarde kan sien waarin hulle elke dag doen. Hierdie artikel poog om Johannes Calvyn se idees van roeping en selfverloëning as beginsel te verbind met die behoefte van organisasies om werknemers betekenisvol betrokke te maak in die werk wat hulle doen in die konteks van die idee van Lerende Organisasies.

Die verband tussen Calvyn en die doel van organisatoriese vernuwing word getrek deur kortliks te wys op die teleurstelling van die postmoderne samelewing met die modernistiese kragte van rasionalisme, liniêre denke, burokratisering en standaardisering wat gelei het tot die ontmensliking van organisasies en uiteindelik die wêreld van werk. Die argument word ook aangebied dat ʼn nuwe beweging in organisatoriese denke ontstaan het wat die ontwikkeling van die idee van die Lerende Organisasie voorstaan. Die Lerende Organisasie verteenwoordig ʼn breuk met moderne burokraties en hiërargiese denke.

Die doel is om hierdie relatief nuwe idees oor vernuwing in organisasies te verbind met die sienings wat Johannes Calvyn uitgedruk het oor die roeping van gelowiges in die werkplek en hulle verhouding met die medemens.

Die gevolgtrekking is dat Christelike (Gereformeerde) gelowiges die Lerende Organisasie en erkenning van hulle geestelike bydrae as ʼn geleentheid kan gebruik om die werkplek as terrein op te eis waar die naaste gedien kan word (soos verduidelik in Hoofstuk 7 van Boek 3 van Calvyn se Institusie van die Christelike Godsdiens) in diens van God. Op hierdie manier kan werk ervaar word as ʼn ware uitlewingsgeleentheid van hulle roeping.

 

https://doi.org/10.19108/KOERS.82.2.2353


Keywords


Learning Organisation; John Calvin; Organisational Purpose; Calling; Self-denial; erende Organisasie; Johannes Calvyn; Organisatoriese Doel; Roeping; Selfverloëning

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