For over a decade I’ve tacked this question, through academic research, and through starting several companies with spiritual principles in mind. There is no straightforward answer, but rather this question leads us to a number of important, related questions.
1) Does it matter what kind of spirituality?
2) What does it mean ‘in business’: individual practices? places for reflection? pro-spiritual policies? a spiritual organizational purpose?
3) What if workers, management and leaders have different views of what is spiritual and what is not?
4) Is there a possibility of religious conflict?
5) Does it make for happier, more productive, or more ethical workers?
6) Could it be good for people in businesses, but not so good for businesses themselves?
7) Does any evidence back up what ‘gurus’ and the media might say about this?
Those are only a small number of questions tackled in my book Spirituality at Work, which started life as a Masters Thesis before being widely distributed and published in abridged form all over the world. It is about 90 pages long, and very academic.
Warning! Probably not the place to look for inspiration – could not be further in tone from Deepak or Tolle – very analytical, and very empirically rigorous. (And very well researched if I do say so drawing from a very wide range of ancient writings and contemporary academic writing.) Much other writing on this is quite the opposite, very inspirational and not academic at all. An updated, 2nd edition of the book will be published electronically in the first quarter of 2014 with up-to-date insights, research and wisdom from the intervening years.
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