Journal Article

Organizational Culture and Women's Leadership: A Study of Six Catholic Parishes

Elaine Howard Ecklund

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 67, issue 1, pages 81-98
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
Organizational Culture and Women's Leadership: A Study of Six Catholic Parishes

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I report results from a study of women's leadership among six Catholic parishes. I asked how these parishes differed, if at all, in the congregational culture surrounding women's leadership and discovered distinct factors that characterized a progressive parish culture of women in leadership when compared to a more traditional culture. In progressive parishes priests actively encouraged women's leadership as part of a larger commitment to lay leadership, members viewed the priest shortage as an opportunity for more lay leadership, and female leaders talked about their agency to change the Church through their local parish. These findings expand the way researchers currently think about the role of women in the Church and provide models of mechanisms by which congregations might build and sustain cultures at odds with the institutions they inhabit

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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