Volume 4: 2010 Abstract 3

Journal of Spirituality, Leadership and Management

Volume 4: 2010

Spirituality in the mindsets of organisational members

Ekaterina Zhuravleva and Elizabeth E. More

Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Sydney

ABSTRACT: pp. 19-33.

While the construct of spirituality is gaining more attention in organisation and management discourse, it is still problematic to capture empirically what kind of employee behaviours can be regarded as spiritual. This paper presents partial findings of a larger study investigating how individuals with different mindsets manifest and achieve spirituality and, consequently, understand their organisations. Firstly, the conceptual framework of ‘Four Worlds’ is introduced. Individuals’ mindsets are juxtaposed along the dimensions of the duality of thinking and metaphysics of interactions. The literature demonstrates that individuals from these ‘Four Worlds’ see and understand the organisation quite differently. The operational definition of spirituality is followed by the description of and rationale for the research methods. While qualitative content analysis assigns research participants into four of the outlined worlds, hermeneutic methodology captures the gestalt of developed themes in the model of spiritual presence. In particular, the model demonstrates that spirituality is manifested through maturity, an emergent category formed by four ‘gestalts’ – mind and heart openness, reflexivity, responsibility, and ultimate concerns. In answering how spirituality is achieved, the category of internalisation of spirituality emerged, in turn formed by three ‘gestalts’ of the nature of spiritual commitment, the internalisation of spirituality through social choices and the content of faith. The paper ends with a number of conclusions and recommendations for future research.

Key words: organisation, mindset, spirituality