In summer 2020, this original article will be updated in a new book titled: Purpose, Mindfulness, Capitalism. The text below is from that book.
The original of this book was written in 2000 and titled Spirituality at Work: Definitions, measures, assumptions, and validity claims. (Still awake?) It was published in academic “readers” (collections of articles) and as conference papers at the US ... [Show full abstract] Academy of Management. As one of the first systematic treatments of the subject, it was downloaded over 10,000 times.
The 2000 edition proposed that many of the ideas about humankind’s relationship to work, to purpose, and to ethics have roots in spiritual writings, and that there are insights from scholars outside management circles (theologians, psychologists of religions, sociologists of religion) who offer great insight on topics we care about as business leaders and as business scholars.
The original manuscript remains a “must-read” for those interested in spirituality and religion at work and is listed as “seminal work” on the subject in comprehensive, excellent bibliographies from one of the field’s founders, Professor Judi Neal—Workplace Spirituality Annotated Bibliography.
What was unique about this book, that remains so, is that I culled research from the psychology of religion, the sociology of religion, economics, post-modern philosophy, theology, political philosophy, ethics, and numerous ancient and contemporary spiritual traditions. My eclecticism, as you will know if you’ve read my other work, is at the center of my brand. Although I write about business, I’m interested in how business intersects with the history of ideas such as democracy, capitalism, freedom, equality, reason, rationality, and science. This fascination finds its way into this book as we consider where our ideas about work and about human meaning come from.