Nina Monowski, M.A.

Room F21/01.43
Feldkirchenstr. 21
96052 Bamberg
Phone: 0951/863 3142


Office hours:
Wednesday 4-6 pm (please contact to arrange an appointment via mail).

Research Interests

  • Sociological Theory
  • Economic Sociology
  • Sociology of Religion
  • Social Network Analysis

Dissertation project: "Organizational Actorhood of Protestant Congregations: The Diffusion of Cultural Models under the Influence of Consulting."

The dissertation deals with the role of consulting knowledge in religious markets from an organizational sociological perspective. In the so-called "consulting society", refraining from professionalized consulting when faced with problems and uncertainties is considered irrational (Schützeichel and Brüsemeister 2004). Accordingly, religious congregations also make use of consultation to justify their actions internally and externally. In terms of institutional theory, the universalistic knowledge conveyed by consultants contributes to the rationalization of organizational action, as a result of which congregations see themselves less and less as subunits of their denomination and increasingly as autonomous purpose-oriented actors (Kern et al.; Brüsemeister 2004; Meier 2004; Meyer et al. 2005). This actor model is accompanied by the proliferation of religious markets, in which congregations perceive themselves as individual service providers with self-defined goals and adapt religious practice according to their strategic orientation.

Neo-institutionalism, however, has been criticized for viewing organizations as automatically adapting to their environment (Chang 2003). The research tradition ignores, on the one hand, the fact that different denominations are the result of individual solutions to past problems and, on the other hand, that the adaptive flexibility of religious practice and organizational structures is limited by identification with the denomination (ibid.). Thus, it is doubtful that congregations automatically align themselves with the cultural model of organizational agency and see themselves as market participants. Instead, it must be individually negotiated to what extent the new interpretive offers of the consultants can be legitimized or whether they contradict the organizational self-image. Accordingly, the following question is at the center of the research project: What contribution does consulting make to organizational change in the Protestant field? What are the institutional conditions that make models of organizational agency connectable in a congregation?

Methods: social network analysis, topic modeling, machine learning, qualitative content analysis.