Motivation and Influence within a Religious Organization: A Look at the LDS Church

By Jared R. Chapman and Jonathan H. Westover.

Published by Organizational Cultures: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 8, 2015 $US5.00

The science of understanding how people motivate and influence each other's attitudes and behaviors has been studied by social psychologists, sociologists, and organizational behaviorists for decades. This large multidisciplinary body of research has produced a number of models, heuristics, and theories and has had a powerful influence on many industries. For example, marketing, public relations, politics, counseling, therapy, sales, management, and leadership all draw heavily upon principles of motivation and influence. This presentation will explore the relationships between attitude and behavior in a religious contexts, first providing a brief overview of the affecting (attitude) domain in Bloom's taxonomy of learning (Bloom, Krathwhol, & Masia, 1964), cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1956), and aspects of reciprocity, authority, consistency, friendship/liking, and social validation (Kelman, 1958; Deutsch & Gerard, 1955). We will then apply these models, heuristics, and theories to specific examples of secular organizations in industry (such as Nike), followed by a brief discussion of the ethical considerations of utilizing such approaches of motivation and influence within various organizational settings. Finally, we will provide application to a religious context, exploring how principles of motivation and influence have been applied, whether intentionally or not, within the contexts of religion (specifically the LDS Church). We will explore the mechanisms that can be/have been institutionalized that take advantage of the models, heuristics, and theories of motivation and influence. Brief conclusions and suggestions for future research will also be discussed.

Keywords: Organizations, Motivation and Influence, Religion Institution

Organizational Cultures: An International Journal, Volume 14, Issue 1, July 2015, pp.17-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 8, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 213.953KB)).

Jared R. Chapman

Assistant Professor of Management, Woodbury School of Business, Utah Valley University, Orem, UT, USA

Dr. Jonathan H. Westover

Assistant Professor of Business, Woodbury School of Business, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah, USA