|Blogs and Online Resources
Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism, by Patricia Aburdene
Spirituality and Business Oh Really?, by Ed Konczal , July 31, 2008
Stern School of Business, NYU
Catholic Church Ethics, by Andy Crane and Dirk Matten, April 15, 2010
Schulich School of Business, York University
Does Spirituality Drive Success?, by Martha Lagace, Sean Silverthorne, and Wendy Guild, April 22, 2002
Harvard Business School, Harvard
Publications Available Online:
Links to articles and websites on the ways spirituality affects business ethics and decision-making. Compiled by Nancy R. Smith for the Workplace Spirituality website.
Spirituality and Management, by Donald W. McCormick, reprinted with permission from the Journal of Managerial Psychology.
Spirit at Work New Zealand
On Balance: A New Way To Manage Work And Life, by Amy Gage, Columnist for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press
Spirituality at Work, by Sherry Connolly, Summer 2006
Esprit d'ACCORD (Association for Creative Change in Organization Renewal and Development) Newsletter
Sermon by H.E. Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa
President of the United Nations General Assembly, Cathedral of St. John the Divine,
New York, NY, September 17, 2006
It has become a tradition to invite Presidents of the General Assembly early in the session to share their insights and vision. This initiative pays homage to the indispensable work of the United Nations in maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, fostering sustainable development and upholding the rule of law. In fact, it not only underlines the common endeavor that religious institutions share with the United Nations, rather it confirms the need to forge stronger partnerships that raise awareness, monitor and implement development programs and peace initiatives... read more
Journal of Business Ethics Articles:
Jones, M. T. and C. C. J. M. Millar (2010). "About Global Leadership and Global Ethics, and a Possible Moral Compass: an Introduction to the Special Issue." Journal of Business Ethics Online First.
This paper reviews a number of huge challenges to ethical leadership in the twenty-first century and concludes that the need for global ethical leadership is not merely a desirable option, but rather – and quite literally – a matter of survival. The crises of the recent past reveal huge, and in some cases criminal, failures of both ethics and leadership in finance, business and government. We posit that mainstream economic theory’s construct of ‘homo economicus’ and its faith in the ‘invisible hand’ of the market constitute deeply flawed foundations upon which alone policy may be built and, farthermore, that these problematic foundations exert substantial shaping power over the institutional and discursive landscapes in which international business is transacted. Analogously, we argue that dominant approaches to business ethics and corporate social responsibility are, if not incorrect, at least in need of revisiting in terms of questioning their basic assumptions. Instead of the smugness of Western (especially Anglo-American) attitudes towards other ways of thinking, valuing and organising, it appears clear that openness, cooperation and co-creation between the developed and developing worlds is a basic prerequisite for dealing with the global challenges facing not just leaders, but humanity as a whole. This objective of stimulating discussion between dominant and marginal voices has guided our selection of papers for this Special Issue. We have thus included not only representatives of research from within the parameters of mainstream business ethics, IB or leadership scholarship, but also innovative contributions from fields such as military history, information technology, regulation, spirituality and sociology.
Issa, T. and D. Pick (2010). "Ethical Mindsets: An Australian Study." Journal of Business Ethics Online First.
The aim of this article is to define and delineate an ethical mindset. In deploying an interpretive mixed-methods analysis of the Australian services sector, data were collected through an online survey on 223 respondents followed by focus group interviews involving 20 participants. The analysis reveals evidence of ethical mindsets in Australian business context, the components of which are identified as being aesthetic judgment, spirituality, optimism, harmony and balance, contentment, truth telling, individual responsibility and professionalism. While the findings are limited to the Australian context, it illuminates the value of mindsets to business ethics in a way that has theoretical rigour and practical relevance. Research has so far only considered business ethics within other mindsets (e.g. global mindset). This article provides a foundation for further application and development of mindset theory.
Vasconcelos, A. F. (2010). "Spiritual Development in Organizations: A Religious based Approach." Journal of Business Ethics 93(4): 607-622.
Both the spirituality in organizations and managerial issues have been addressed through different religion-based beliefs. In this article, one intends to enlarge it through the perspective of the Spiritist Doctrine (SD). Thus, it reviews the SD literature, as well as spirituality in organizations theory to find common views. In addition, it (1) argued that SD tenets, codified by Allan Kardec, also bring helpful contributions to work settings that differ from the traditional religion approaches and (2) discussed its implications to managers’ spiritual development. It is posited that the SD tenets, while building on and expanding Jesus Christ’s teachings, disclose us some severe implications related to our future. In a broader view, SD tenets provide important warnings that encompass people work lives as well. Finally, we depict a framework that embraces corporate life coupled with some factors that may likely build and enhances one’s spiritual progress, the potential spiritual rewards derived from these factors, and the loci where the rewards are enjoyed.
Kolodinsky, R. W., T. M. Madden, et al. (2010). "Attitudes About Corporate Social Responsibility: Business Student Predictors." Journal of Business Ethics 91(2): 167-181.
Four predictors were posited to affect business student attitudes about the social responsibilities of business, also known as corporate social responsibility (CSR). Applying Forsyth’s (1980, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39, 175–184, 1992, Journal of Business Ethics 11, 461–470) personal moral philosophy model, we found that ethical idealism had a positive relationship with CSR attitudes, and ethical relativism a negative relationship. We also found materialism to be negatively related to CSR attitudes. Spirituality among business students did not significantly predict CSR attitudes. Understanding the relationship between CSR attitudes and the significant predictors has important implications for researchers and teachers in particular.
Karakas, F. (2010). "Spirituality and Performance in Organizations: A Literature Review." Journal of Business Ethics 94(1): 89-106.
The purpose of this article is to review spirituality at work literature and to explore how spirituality improves employees’ performances and organizational effectiveness. The article reviews about 140 articles on workplace spirituality to review their findings on how spirituality supports organizational performance. Three different perspectives are introduced on how spirituality benefits employees and supports organizational performance based on the extant literature: (a) Spirituality enhances employee well-being and quality of life; (b) Spirituality provides employees a sense of purpose and meaning at work; (c) Spirituality provides employees a sense of interconnectedness and community. The article introduces potential benefits and caveats of bringing spirituality into the workplace; providing recommendations and suggestions for practitioners to incorporate spirituality positively in organizations.
Poole, E. (2009). "Organisational Spirituality – A Literature Review." Journal of Business Ethics 84(4): 577-588.
The jury remains out about the bottom-line relevance of organisational spirituality. This article reviews the arguments made thus far, using those sources most commonly cited as providing ‹evidence’ that organisational spirituality adds value to the bottom line. Having collated the evidence, this article offers some observation about the robustness of this existing ‹business case’. It then offers some preliminary conclusions on the literature review, examining the merits of pursuing a ‹business case’ in this field and identifying some specific questions for future research.
Pawar, B. S. (2009). "Some of the Recent Organizational Behavior Concepts as Precursors to Workplace Spirituality." Journal of Business Ethics 88(2): 245-261.
This paper addresses researchers’ call for integrating workplace spirituality with organizational literature. This paper points out that self-interest transcendence is a common aspect in the workplace spirituality concept that emerged in the last decade and also in four OB concepts – transformational leadership, organizational citizenship behavior, organizational support, and procedural justice – that emerged in OB about two decades ago. Based on this common aspect of self-interest transcendence and the temporal precedence of these four OB concepts’ emergence, it indicates that these four OB concepts constitute a precursor of workplace spirituality. It places workplace spirituality in the larger context of OB␣and outlines the associated research and practice implications.
Pawar, B. S. (2009). "Workplace Spirituality Facilitation: A Comprehensive Model." Journal of Business Ethics 90(3): 375-386.
This article specifies a comprehensive model for workplace spirituality facilitation that integrates various views from the existing research on workplace spirituality facilitation. It outlines the significance of workplace spirituality topic and highlights its relevance to the area of ethics. It then briefly outlines the various directions the existing workplace spirituality research has taken. Based on this, it indicates that an integration of the elements from various existing research works on workplace spirituality facilitation into a comprehensive workplace spirituality facilitation model could make relevant contributions to the existing workplace spirituality research. It then indicates that there are various points of focus in workplace spirituality conceptualization and facilitation views. It outlines various views from the existing research on workplace spirituality facilitation. Drawing on the elements of these various workplace spirituality facilitation views, it specifies a comprehensive model of workplace spirituality facilitation. It outlines how the various parts and linkages depicted in the comprehensive model of workplace spirituality facilitation are consistent with and are supported by the various views of workplace spirituality facilitation that it seeks to integrate. It then outlines how the comprehensive model specified can guide the future research in the area of workplace spirituality and how it can provide inputs to leadership and organization development (OD) efforts for workplace spirituality facilitation.
Pandy, A., R. K. Gupta, et al. (2009). "Spiritual Climate of Business Organizations and Its Impact on Customers’ Experience." Journal of Business Ethics 88(2): 313-332.
This study examines the notion of ‹spirituality’ as a dimension of human self, and its relevance and role in management. Major thesis of this research is that spirituality of employees is reflected in work climate. This may in turn affect the employees’ service to the customers. In the first part of the study a Spiritual Climate Inventory is developed and validated with the data from manufacturing and service sector employees. In the later part, hypothesis of positive impact of spiritual climate on customers’ experience of employees’ service is examined and found to be substantiated empirically.
Lynn, M. L., M. J. Naughton, et al. (2009). "Faith at Work Scale (FWS): Justification, Development, and Validation of a Measure of Judaeo-Christian Religion in the Workplace." Journal of Business Ethics 85(2): 227-243.
Workplace spirituality research has sidestepped religion by focusing on the function of belief rather than its substance. Although establishing a unified foundation for research, the functional approach cannot shed light on issues of workplace pluralism, individual or institutional faith-work integration, or the institutional roles of religion in economic activity. To remedy this, we revisit definitions of spirituality and argue for the place of a belief-based approach to workplace religion. Additionally, we describe the construction of a 15-item measure of workplace religion informed by Judaism and Christianity – the Faith at Work Scale (FWS). A stratified random sample (n = 234) of managers and professionals assisted in refining the FWS which exhibits a single factor structure (Eigenvalue = 8.88; variance accounted for = 59.22%) that is internally consistent (Cronbach’s α = 0.77) and demonstrates convergent validity with the Faith Maturity Scale (r = 0.81, p > 0.0001). The scale shows lower skew and kurtosis with Mainline and Catholic adherents than with Mormons and Evangelicals. Validation of the scale among Jewish and diverse Christian adherants would extend research in workplace religion.
Corner, P. D. (2009). "Workplace Spirituality and Business Ethics: Insights from an Eastern Spiritual Tradition." Journal of Business Ethics 85(3): 377-389.
The author extends theory on the relationship between workplace spirituality and business ethics by integrating the “yamas” from yoga, a venerable Eastern spiritual tradition, with existing literature. The yamas are five practices for harmonizing and deepening social connections that can be applied in the workplace. A theoretical framework is developed and two sets of propositions are forwarded. One set emanates from the yamas and another one conjectures relationships between spirituality and business ethics surfaced by the application of these spiritual practices from yoga.
Kolodinsky, R. W., R. A. Giacalone, et al. (2008). "Workplace Values and Outcomes: Exploring Personal, Organizational, and Interactive Workplace Spirituality." Journal of Business Ethics 81(2): 465-480.
Spiritual values in the workplace, increasingly discussed and applied in the business ethics literature, can be viewed from an individual, organizational, or interactive perspective. The following study examined previously unexplored workplace spirituality outcomes. Using data collected from five samples consisting of full-time workers taking graduate coursework, results indicated that perceptions of organizational-level spirituality (“organizational spirituality”) appear to matter most to attitudinal and attachment-related outcomes. Specifically, organizational spirituality was found to be positively related to job involvement, organizational identification, and work rewards satisfaction, and negatively related to organizational frustration. Personal spirituality was positively related to intrinsic, extrinsic, and total work rewards satisfaction. The interaction of personal spirituality and organizational spirituality was found related to total work rewards satisfaction. Future workplace spirituality research directions are discussed.
Gotsis, G. and Z. Kortezi (2008). "Philosophical Foundations of Workplace Spirituality: A Critical Approach." Journal of Business Ethics 78(4): 575-600.
It is an undeniable reality that workplace spirituality has received growing attention during the last decade. This fact is attributable to many factors, socioeconomic, cultural and others [Hicks, D.A. 2003: Religion and the Workplace. Pluralism, Spirituality, Leadership (Cambridge University press, Cambridge)]. However the field is full of obscurity and imprecision for the researcher, the practitioner, the organisational analyst and whoever attempts to systematically approach this relatively new inquiry field. This article attempts to provide a critical review of the literature on workplace spirituality by examining the underlying rationale of the main trends regarding spirit at Work and by negotiating their strengths and weaknesses. Current approaches to workplace spirituality are distinguished to the exploratory, contextual and the consequential, acontextual ones. Particular attention is given to ‚Respectful Pluralism’ proposed by Douglas Hicks, as it is suggested that this theoretical framework is the most well-founded, elaborated and systematic up to date. However, it is proposed that even ‚Respectful Pluralism’ fails to fully capture the complexity of such a multidimensional phenomenon as spirituality. Drawing on mainstream ethical and philosophical traditions (deontology, utilitarianism, virtue ethics) supporting alternative value-systems, it is suggested that a more inclusive and philosophically affluent framework needs to be developed. Finally, some propositions and thoughts are made towards this direction.
Pava, M. L. (2007). "Spirituality In (and Out) of the Classroom: A Pragmatic Approach." Journal of Business Ethics 73(3): 287-299.
This paper is divided into two sections. In the first section, I discuss “what is spirituality?” and in the section that follows, I examine some of the implications of my definition to the teaching of spirituality in an undergraduate business ethics course. For the purposes of this paper, spirituality is defined as the planned experience (the inner feeling) of blending integrity and integration through 1 – acceptance (of the past), 2 – commitment (to the future), 3 – reasonable choice, 4 – mindful action, and 5 –continuous dialog (both internal and external). This definition is a work-in-progress and offered mainly as a point of departure rather than a final destination.
Driscoll, C. and M. McKee (2007). "Restorying a Culture of Ethical and Spiritual Values: A Role for Leader Storytelling." Journal of Business Ethics 73(2): 205-217.
In this paper, we outline some of the connections between the literatures of organizational storytelling, spirituality in the workplace, organizational culture, and authentic leadership. We suggest that leader storytelling that integrates a moral and spiritual component can transform an organizational culture so members of the organization begin to feel connected to a larger community and a higher purpose. We specifically discuss how leader role modeling in authentic storytelling is essential in developing an ethically and spiritually based organizational culture. However, we also acknowledge a potential dark side to leader storytelling. Implications for authentic storytelling research and practice are discussed.
Sheep, M. L. (2006). "Nurturing the Whole Person: The Ethics of Workplace Spirituality in a Society of Organizations." Journal of Business Ethics 66(4): 357-375.
In a world which can be increasingly described as a “society of organizations,” it is incumbent upon organizational researchers to account for the role of organizations in determining the well-being of societies and the individuals that comprise them. Workplace spirituality is a young area of inquiry with potentially strong relevance to the well-being of individuals, organizations, and societies. Previous literature has not examined ethical dilemmas related to workplace spirituality that organizations might expect based upon the co-existence of multiple ethical work climates, nor has previous literature accounted for the relevance of the cosmopolitan (external, societal) source of moral reasoning in the ethical treatment of workplace spirituality. The purpose of this paper is to address these gaps by articulating two such ethical dilemmas related to workplace spirituality: the “quiet desperation” dilemma and the instrumentality dilemma. Moreover, I propose two theoretical contexts that foster “both-and” rather than “either-or” thinking, thereby mitigating (moderating) the relationships between climate combinations and conflictual aspects of the ethical dilemmas. For the “quiet desperation” dilemma, I propose a person–organization fit perspective to emphasize diversity of individual preferences instead of a managerially prescribed uniformity of spirituality. For the instrumentality dilemma, I propose a multiparadigm approach to workplace spirituality research to avoid the privileging of one research interest over another (e.g., instrumentality, individual fulfillment, societal good). I conclude with suggestions for future research.
Schwartz, M. S. (2006). "God as a Managerial Stakeholder?" Journal of Business Ethics 66(2-3): 291-306.
Can or should God be considered a managerial stakeholder? While at first glance such a proposition might seem beyond the norms of stakeholder management theory or traditional management practice, further investigation suggests that there might be both theoretical and practical support for such a notion. This paper will make the argument that God both is and should be considered a managerial stakeholder for those businesspeople and business firms that accept that God exists and can affect the world. In doing so, part one of the paper first discusses the growth of religion and spirituality within the business and academic communities. Part two raises several arguments based on stakeholder theory and business reality to support the notion of God as a managerial stakeholder. Part three addresses the arguments against God as a managerial stakeholder. Part four discusses the managerial implications of considering God as a managerial stakeholder. The paper concludes with its limitations.
Giacalone, R. A., K. Paul, et al. (2005). "A Preliminary Investigation into the Role of Positive Psychology in Consumer Sensitivity to Corporate Social Performance." Journal of Business Ethics 58(4): 295-305.
Research on positive psychology demonstrates that specific individual dispositions are associated with more desirable outcomes. The relationship of positive psychological constructs, however, has not been applied to the areas of business ethics and social responsibility. Using four constructs in two independent studies (hope and gratitude in Study 1, spirituality and generativity in Study 2), the relationship of these constructs to sensitivity to corporate social performance (CSCSP) were assessed. Results indicate that all four constructs significantly predicted CSCSP, though only hope and gratitude interacted to impact CSCSP. Discussion focuses upon these findings, limitations of the study, and future avenues for research.
Beekun, R. I. and J. A. Badawi (2005). "Balancing Ethical Responsibility among Multiple Organizational Stakeholders: The Islamic Perspective." Journal of Business Ethics 60(2): 131-145.
In spite of a renewed interest in the relationship between spirituality and managerial thinking, the literature covering the link between Islam and management has been sparse – especially in the area of ethics. One potential reason may be the cultural diversity of nearly 1.3 billion Muslims globally. Yet, one common element binding Muslim individuals and countries is normative Islam. Using all four sources of this religion’s teachings, we outline the parameters of an Islamic model of normative business ethics. We explain how this ethics model seeks to balance the needs of multiple stakeholders, and discuss its enforcement mechanisms. This Islamic approach to business ethics is centered around criteria that are in common with stakeholder theory such as justice and balance, and includes unique additional criteria such as trust and benevolence.
Rayburn, C. A. and S. Osman (2004). "Self-Ratings and Expectations of the U.S. President, Ideal Physicians, and Ideal Automechanic." Journal of Business Ethics 50(1): 45-51.
Relationships between self-ratings and expectations of an ideal U.S. president, were studied in 43 men drawn from a university setting in the eastern coast of the U.S.A. The men first rated themselves on personality variables, life choices (agentic and communal), peacefulness, spirituality, and morality. Then they were presented with a vignette requesting that they describe an ideal U.S. president on inventories measuring personality variables, life choices, peacefulness, spirituality, and morality. For the rating of the ideal U.S. president, they also were asked to respond to a 20 item questionnaire that was a composite of several factors on organization and leadership, morality, spirituality, and peacefulness. The respondents belonged to one of seven different political persuasions, similar in some ways to different cultures. Self-ratings of the men and expectations of the president were highly correlated for extraversion, openness, trait morality, agentic and communal life choices. However, no significant correlations were found between the self-ratings and expectations of the president for neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, peacefulness, nor state morality. The men were also presented with vignettes for the ideal physician and ideal automechanic and asked to rate each of them on the inventory items. Overall, the U.S. President was rated as more neurotic and immoral in terms of ingrained ideas of right and wrong, but also as more caring for others, transcendent, seeking goodness and truth, forgiving, cooperative, and most concerned with matters of justice and mercy, and more concerned with both agentic (power-seeking) and communal (community-minded) life choices than were either the ideal physician or ideal automechanic. The ideal physician was rated as highest in extra-version, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and overall peacefulness, and lowest in neuroticism. The ideal automechanic was rated as highest in state or situational immorality, and lowest in both agentic (power-seeking, business-mindedness) and communal (community-mindedness) life choices, and also lowest in caring for others well-being, transcendence, seeking goodness and truth, forgiveness and cooperation, being concerned with justice and mercy, overall expectations, overall spirituality, and overall organization and leadership. In general, the self-ratings were significantly related to ratings/expectations, of the U.S. President, ideal physician, and ideal automechanic. The men seemed to identify more with the automechanic than with the present or physician.
Jurkiewicz, C. L. and R. A. Giacalone (2004). "A Values Framework for Measuring the Impact of Workplace Spirituality on Organizational Performance." Journal of Business Ethics 49(2): 129-142.
Growing interest in workplace spirituality has led to the development of a new paradigm in organizational science. Theoretical assumptions abound as to how workplace spirituality might enhance organizational performance, most postulating a significant positive impact. Here, that body of research has been reviewed and analyzed, and a resultant values framework for workplace spirituality is introduced, providing the groundwork for empirical testing. A discussion of the factors and assumptions involved for future research are outlined.
Pava, M. L. (2003). "Searching for Spirituality in All the Wrong Places." Journal of Business Ethics 48(4): 393-400.
This paper examines three popular and important books on spirituality in business: Mitroff and Denton''s A Spiritual Audit of Corporate America, Nash and McLennan''s Church on Sunday, Work on Monday, and Lerner''s Spirit Matters. Interestingly, none of these books can find satisfactory examples of legitimate spirituality in business.
This paper suggests that one reason these authors can not find acceptable models of spirituality in business is that they are all employing an unnecessarily restrictive definition of spirituality. The paper concludes by suggesting that a definition of spirituality based on John Dewey''s pragmatist philosophy is more appropriate for today''s businesses.
Giacalone, R. A. and C. L. Jurkiewicz (2003). "Right from Wrong: The Influence of Spirituality on Perceptions of Unethical Business Activities." Journal of Business Ethics 46(1): 85-97.
A network sample of 162 employees from across the U.S. was studied to assess the relationship between individual spirituality and perceptions of unethical business activities. Analyses indicate that degree of individual spirituality influences whether an individual perceives a questionable business practice as ethical or unethical. Ramifications of these findings regarding the role of spirituality in enhancing workplace ethicality, as well as directions for future research, are discussed.
Epstein, E. M. (2002). "Religion and Business – The Critical Role of Religious Traditions in Management Education." Journal of Business Ethics 38(1-2): 91-96.
During the past decade many individuals have sought to create a connection between their work persona and their religious/spiritual persona. Management education has a legitimate role to play in introducing teachings drawn from our religious traditions into business ethics and other courses. Thereby, we can help prepare students to consider the possibility that business endeavors, spirituality and religious commitment can be inextricable parts of a coherent life.
Cavanagh, G. F. and M. R. Bandsuch (2002). "Virtue as a Benchmark for Spirituality in Business." Journal of Business Ethics 38(1-2): 109-117.
Business people often consider spirituality a means of increasing integrity, motivation and job satisfaction. Yet certain spiritualities are superficial and unstable. Religion gives depth and duration to a spirituality, but may also sew divisiveness. A spirituality's ability to develop good moral habits provides a positive test of the "appropriateness" of that spirituality for business. Many successful business executives demonstrate a spirituality that does develop good moral habits.
Jackson, K. T. (1999). "Spirituality as a Foundation for Freedom and Creative Imagination in International Business Ethics." Journal of Business Ethics 19(1): 61-70.
Spirituality, in the broad sense, provides a deeper foundation for principles of international business ethics than legalistic, command-based ethics programs. Spiritual-based principles and values are presupposed and endorsed by established legal and ethical principles for international business. Identifying such spiritual-based principles and values requires the exercise of moral imagination and an openness to values embraced by the world's religions. Once identified, a new realm of moral freedom is attained for multinational corporations which may help them move beyond an "ethics for sale" orientation.
McKenna, T. F. (1997). "Vincent de Paul: A Saint Who Got His Worlds Together." Journal of Business Ethics 16(3): 299-307.
From the point of view of a saint's life, the article addresses the question of integrating holiness and business dealings. By analyzing the heavy involvement of Vincent de Paul, a seventeenth century French saint, in the world of finance and politics as he ministered to the poor of his day, the study attempts to show that it is both possible and beneficial to join together the world of business with that of a religiously inspired ethic. The spiritually grounded manner in which Vincent de Paul approached his institutional tasks and the ways in which those endeavors gave body to his spirituality present an unitary, non-dualistic instance of how business and morality can interact.