Discourses of Collective Spirituality and Turkish Islamic Ethics: An Inquiry into Transcendence, Connectedness, and Virtuousness in Anatolian Tigers


Based on case studies and qualitative interviews conducted with 40 stakeholders in five SMEs, or so called Anatolian tigers, in Turkey, this article has explored what collective spirituality and Turkish Islamic business ethics entail and how they shape organizational values using diverse stakeholder perspectives. The study has revealed six emergent discourses around collective spirituality and Islamic business ethics: Flying with both wings; striving to transcend egos; being devoted to each other; treating people as whole persons; upholding an ethics of compassion; and leaving a legacy for future generations. These discourses are organized around three themes of collective spirituality, respectively: Transcendence, connectedness, and virtuousness.

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Correspondence to Fahri Karakas.


Appendix 1

Issues Probed: Themes of Collective Spirituality

  1. 1.

    Analytical Memo on General Organizational Context

  • Organizational mission, vision and objectives, strategic directions

  • Organizational culture, values and how they are related to spirituality

  • Organizational spiritual climate for employees

  • Spirituality and spiritual values of organizational founders/leaders and how these affect the organization

  1. 2.

    Analytical Memo on Collective Spirituality

  • Meanings attached to collective spirituality

  • Discourses on collective spirituality

  • Ways of incorporating spirituality: Innovation and best practices

  • Organizational guidelines/policies/attitudes related to employees’ spiritual needs

  1. 3.

    Narratives Section: Narratives of spirituality

  • Experiences/stories/perceptions of collective spirituality

  • Emotions, symbols, metaphors, and language used to describe collective spirituality

  • Reflective Memo A: A focus on interpersonal aspects of narratives

    Characteristics of interpersonal relationships

    Sense of belonging? Sense of community? Interconnectedness?

  • Reflective Memo B: A focus on the organizational level

    What are characteristics of work contexts where positive relationships and spirituality are nurtured and flourished?

    Guiding values

  • Emergent frameworks: Discourses of collective spirituality

Appendix 2

Interview Protocol

Interviewee General Information

  • Age, sex, demographics; job and position

  • Years and experiences in the organization, career trajectory

Individual Perceptions of Spirituality

  • Probe into personal meanings of spirituality, attitudes toward spirituality

Spirituality Narratives

  • Participants asked to provide stories/narratives of a time when they experienced or witnessed spirituality at work. Collective aspects of narratives probed.

Perceptions of Collective Spirituality

  • What gives life to this organization? What gives meaning to work in this organization?

  • Fit between individual and organizational spiritual values

Perceptions of Organizational Values and Ethics

  • What are the overarching values and principles that guide people in this organization?

  • What are the organizing principles for nourishing spiritual well-being?

  • What are shared ethical and spiritual values in this organization?

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Karakas, F., Sarigollu, E. & Kavas, M. Discourses of Collective Spirituality and Turkish Islamic Ethics: An Inquiry into Transcendence, Connectedness, and Virtuousness in Anatolian Tigers. J Bus Ethics 129, 811–822 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2135-6

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  • Spirituality at work
  • Islam
  • Turkey
  • Anatolian tigers
  • Ethical discourses