Critics and Crusaders 30 years on: Is Workplace Spirituality inherently ‘good’?

Brown, Martyn and Palframan, Jason and Scott, Lichtenstein (2020) Critics and Crusaders 30 years on: Is Workplace Spirituality inherently ‘good’? In: BAM2020 Conference in the Cloud, 2nd - 4th September 2020, Manchester.

Critics and Crusaders 30 years on Is Workplace Spirituality inherently ‘good ’.pdf - Accepted Version

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This paper presents a systematic review of the workplace spirituality literature as characterised by two factions which we have called the Crusaders and the Critics. The Crusaders are seen as authors whose work is clearly aimed at promoting the notion of workplace spirituality academically and in practice. The Critics are those who are, at the least, more reticent and calling for caution. The literature suggests very clear lines of demarcation between these two factions over about a 30 year period beginning in the 1990’s and identifies three themes in the bulk of the ‘crusader’ contributions which we have labelled as follows: functional and managerial, dualistic and reified. By way of comparison, these three themes were then compared with the results of an ethnographic study of self-sustaining spirituality communities (Buddhist and Benedictine) (Brown, 2009), and it was noted how these three themes are the antithesis of organisations with a spiritual raison d’etre to aspire too. The paper concludes by arguing that the field known as workplace spirituality is unlikely to develop and/or contribute to management discourse in the absence of a clear attempt to address the issues noted in the three themes.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
30 April 2020Accepted
4 September 2020Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: spirituality, workplace, review
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-02 - economics > CAH15-02-01 - economics
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School
Depositing User: Martyn Brown
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2020 13:52
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2023 11:49

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