August 2002
Academy of Management Proceedings & Membership Directory;2002, pB1
Conference Proceeding
Most of the focus in the burgeoning new field of spirituality in organizations is on how spirituality improves organizational performance. This is important work that needs to be done, especially to help this field be in dialogue with mainstream management scholars. At the same time, there are serious questions left unaddressed by this approach: If spirituality is ultimately about nonmaterialistic concerns, is it appropriate to focus on the material gains to be reaped by integrating spirituality into organizational life? If we seek to motivate an organization to adopt spiritual practices to improve its bottom line, have we trivialized spirituality? What happens when an organization that chooses to follow a spiritual path hits the inevitable bumps on the spiritual journey? This paper will address these questions by considering the process of individual spiritual transformation as articulated in the field of spirituality, and comparing it to organizational transformation through studying the case of Reell Precision Manufacturing. In particular, the focus will be on motivation for entering upon a spiritual path and what happens when an individual or organization hits the inevitable bumps. What helps an individual or organization make the transition to the second half of the journey, i.e., the part of the journey in which the individual or organization understands that the spiritual journey is more about its own transformation than about what material gain it can reap from being on a spiritual path? How can organizations be helped to understand and persevere through the second half of the journey?


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