Rozuel, C. and Kakabadse, N. K. (2008) Ethics, spirituality and self: leadership perspective. Seminar Presentation presented to: 7th European Academy of Business in Society (EABIS) Annual Colloquium: Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability: Leadership and Organisational Change, Cranfield School of Business, Cranfield, 10 - 12 September 2008.
Spirituality in the workplace has witnessed a burgeoning interest from both scholars and practitioners. The fervour to pursue goals such as economic growth and to maintain the primacy of business objectives are perceived as being the main reason for people’s life disenchantment and disarray, on the basis that needs are not being fulfilled in the way that was hoped for (Gotsis and Kortezi, 2008). Goal oriented displacement has spawned the view that ‘whatever one’s underlying belief system, everyone has a spiritual life’ (Howard and Welbourn, 2004: 43). This in turn has shaped a view that work is a vocation rather than a necessity, urging many to search for a spiritual quest for meaning within the workplace. The quest for “spirit at work” has an intrinsic ethical flavour, not least because it aims to redefine or rediscover values that balance good for oneself with good for society and even with good for humanity and the Earth. Pauchant (2000: 60) associates management with action, ethics with reflection and spirituality with transcendence, underlining that all three steps should be integrated and translated into collective practice. Principally, the increasing interest in spirituality aims to rediscover the ‘man’ in management, and as such to remind us that management is first and foremost a matter of people and their essence and not just the distribution (and redistribution) of physical resources