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Spirituality in Management

Abstract

The increased dissemination of the notion of ‘spirituality’ in the world of management and work organisations takes various forms, and is usually referred to as the ‘Spirituality at Work’ phenomenon (SaW). This has led to new practices within the workplace as organisations seek to increase their employees’ spiritual awareness.

The literature on ‘Spirituality at Work’ (SaW) is increasing, but as the phenomenon is new and amorphous there are still many gaps that call for empirical research. Moreover, most of the academic literature on SaW is polarised between the affirmative side arguing for introducing ‘SaW’ in organisations and the critical side cautioning against the oppressive potential of ‘spirituality’ adopted as a management initiative.

This chapter will analyse this main argument at the societal, organisational and individual levels. At a societal level the discussion focuses on whether spirituality is a social apparatus to maintain capitalism or if it is a means of social change. At the organisational level the argument is used to question whether spirituality enhances organisations by providing meaning to work or whether it masks manipulation for compliance. At the individual level, the emphasis is placed on employee development and organisational performance, focusing on the ‘spiritual’ self and identity in relation to work, which has contributed to various professional development and management initiatives, ranging from leadership development and mindfulness, to introducing meditation rooms in organisations. Finally the chapter will offer future directions for spirituality and management.

Keywords

  • Spirituality in management
  • Work organisations
  • Management initiatives
  • Self at work

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Correspondence to Fahri Karakas .

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Tzouramani, E., Karakas, F. (2016). Spirituality in Management. In: de Souza, M., Bone, J., Watson, J. (eds) Spirituality across Disciplines: Research and Practice:. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-31380-1_21

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