Abstract – Starting out

The departure point for this review is the publication of Peter Rudge’s Ministry and Management in 1968 (Rudge, 1968). That book was a published version of Rudge’s PhD thesis at Leeds University, which in turn grew out of a Diploma at St Augustine’s College, Canterbury, entitled A New Approach to the Study of Ecclesiastical Administration. The examiner of the original Diploma wrote, ‘Mr Rudge took a considerable risk in settling on his subject. He was not making a new approach to an old subject but a new approach to a new subject’[1].

From our perspective half-a-century later, we can understand the examiner’s comment. Rudge was exploring new ground, or at least linking hitherto separate disciplines. It is beyond our scope to trace what Grundy (1992) describes as the scandal of the separation of church and industry since the Reformation, which has led to the mutual marginalisation of Christianity and business (Higginson, 2002: 1). But we can note that Rudge did not start with a blank canvas. His debt to such thinkers as Max Weber is obvious. But I should like to highlight two publications which Rudge references:

The Management of Innovation (Burns & Stalker, 1961), like Rudge’s book, was published by the Tavistock. The authors contrast linear approaches to innovation with an organic approach. More than five decades later, such writing has a remarkable contemporary feel.

John Adair had published a paper in Theology calling for a staff college for the Church of England (Adair, 1962). Adair worked at the British Army’s Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst (motto ‘serve to lead’).

These two publications prompt us to consider the convergences and divergences that have happened since.