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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Public management principles: the relevance of the 16th century Reformation for public managers in the 21st century
Authors:Swart, M.R.
Malan, L.P.
Periodical:Politeia: Journal for Political Science and Public Administration
Geographic terms:South Africa
public administration
Calvinist churches
Abstract:In his 'The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism', the German sociologist Max Weber (1852-1937) points to a positive relationship between Protestantism (especially Calvinism) and the rise of capitalism. The 16th-century Reformation in Europe coincided with the rise of early capitalism (1500-1760). Since the Church was such an integral part of society, many of the Church leaders in the Low Countries also played a leading role in the rise of capitalism. The results were religious, political and social reform and economic growth. The Belgic Confession, as one of the three main creeds of the Protestant Reformation in the Netherlands, contained management principles that could be applied to both the household of faith and the management of the public sector. The present article identifies those principles of the Reformation, as expressed in the Belgic Confession, and those principles contained in other Church documents, such as the Rule of St. Benedict, that are relevant to 21st-century public management in South Africa. The article shows that there are similarities between the Netherlands of the 16th century and postapartheid South Africa, and it questions whether the management principles contained in the Belgic Confession are also relevant to society today. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]